Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Thoughts on Sunday's Afternoon Tea post
When one has dealt with premature birth, stillbirth, a miscarriage, or having given a child up for adoption to a loving family... you know you are a truly a mother but society doesn't see you as such if they cannot see the child.
My early challenges to motherhood came from the inability to carry a child full term, which was solved through surgery and the result was a beautiful baby girl. But in the years to come we were unable to have any other children until I was in my mid-30s and a specialist realized the problem... to be followed by a cute baby boy the following year.
I must admit that I was annoyed at God. But now I look back through the years and realize His wisdom (I am certain He is just so relieved).
Sometimes infertility challenges are solved such as mine. But there are many women who feel the emptiness of Mother's Day deeply. One of the most beautiful articles Lanier has ever written on her blog was one about infertility. It is called, Lo How a Rose. I thought of her often Sunday.
Mother's Day can hurt when we have prodigal children missing from the table, such as the commenter on Sunday's post. I must share two bits of wisdom I have learned about this over the years... some from having been a mother now for over half my life span and bits of wisdom obtained from others.
First, it is possible to have done everything right and have children seek after false gods of the World... drugs, alcohol, illicit relationships, turning their back on God, etc.
How do I know. I read the Book of Genesis.
God was the perfect parent and his children lived in the perfect environment of Eden. God not only loved but He was and is Love personified. There was nothing they could throw in the face of God as for the reason of their rebellion.
It was very simply... Eve believed the lies of Satan and Adam went along with it with eyes wide open. An action of deception and a willful disobedience to a perfect parent.
Second, our children can go prodigal because of mistakes we made when they were growing up. Let's face it, our first child arrives to inexperienced parents and for some of us, we were quite clueless on this whole parenting thing.
Like all kids, mine grew up in a very imperfect home... with imperfect parents... with far from imperfect circumstances... but filled with a lot of love and their parent's deep desire to follow Christ.
I know homeschool kids who have seriously rebelled and their parents wonder what happened. Especially when their other kids turned out fine. I also know homeschool parents who have great regret about being either too lax with their kids or having a home too filled with more rules than love.
I know parents who realized too late they should have homeschooled their children and others who think perhaps if they had not homeschooled their child would be just fine as an adult.
We have to put all that in the past, push the reset button in our mind, and realize whatever happened in the past... God can (and will) weave it into something good.
Satan goes around as a prowling lion seeking whom he can devour. He does so often by planting doubts and lies in our mind. He is not the real lion... the Lion of Judah. It is only through getting under our skin and working with our thoughts that the false lion can manipulate our thinking.
But the real Lion... the true King... the One who is the judge of all? Let's remember that He is able to bring back the least, the lost, the little... the last.
If you children turned out fine, you must keep praying for there are many snares in this fallen of worlds to turn them away from the One who created them. Just as with ourselves, we cannot let down our spiritual guard and think we are just fine, thank you.
If one or more of your children is still a Prodigal... well don't give up praying, either. There is hope while there is life (and even then we do not know what happened before they slipped into Eternity). You cannot look at the situation with human reasoning for it may be surrounded in the dark fog of their rebellion.
But God sees through that fog and knows how to bring your child back to Him. Someone mentioned the book Ruth Bell Graham wrote about the season in which Franklin was a prodigal. A rather famous church father was a prodigal with a praying mother... St. Augustine was quite the party boy and scoundrel.
We must build on our prayers with a foundation of love, not of the sin but love of the sinner. I see so often parents who think if they show love to their prodigal then it only encourages them to remain in rebellion.
That is not what our Father did when we were in rebellion. He let us know our sins... past and present... wounded Him deeply but He has never ever stopped loving us.
Even good kids will annoy us, that is a guarantee. Why? Because although they can be similar to us in many ways... they are not little clones of Mom and Dad. They will at times think differently than we do. As parents and then as grandparents, we learn to not sweat the little things of life.
They will have their own opinions about all sorts of things... from politics, to raising children, to what church to attend, to the kind of music they like, to the kinds of media they watch, to where they will live... etc.
We should never expect our kids to be just like us even if we think we are absolutely right on everything (and if you do, God has a way of shooting that down quickly).
Even my beloved mentor Edith Schaeffer has one of her four children in rebellion. I'm certain before she passed away, she spent much time in prayer over him. But from what I have read about their relationship... she loved him just as much as her non-prodigal daughters.
That's really what it comes down to in all of life. We must believe in the power of prayer and then understand that only God has the infinite wisdom required to take our children all the way from birth to that time they enter into eternity.
I don't know about you but that certainly takes a weight off of my shoulders.
Artist: Loren Entz
Posted by Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks at 10:44 AM