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Being on Mission with Your Children- Part 2

February 15, 2010

This is part two of the series, Being On Mission with Your Children. Part one consisted of Being a Mommy on Mission. This final part is about Being a Daddy on Mission. I encourage Mommy’s and Daddy’s (anyone) to read both.

In Being a Mommy on Mission, I addressed how the tiniest moments of slowing down will define the huge moments of how we meet our child’s physical and emotional needs. Slowing down is just one of the many ways that mommy’s can be on mission.

I appreciated Dan Browne’s comment from last week: “We made a decision to live each day with our child to the fullest. Even if that means Mickey Mouse Club House for a few hours because she wants to see the fish or dog or show us the flower on the screen, etc…”

Daddy’s don’t want to miss those moments either, and I’m convinced that Daddy’s role is equally important as Mommy’s, if not more important.

1 Corinthians 11:7 says that a man is the image and glory of God. I just love that. God has designed the man as the leader and head of the home. He has purposefully created men to cultivate and to build (Gen. 2:15), so I think the important issue with being a Daddy on Mission is that you have to fight in the Battle as you build.

God created Daddy’s to cultivate their children through discipline, love, encouragement, rebuke, and making sure there is steady progress in the family. But the reality is that since the fall where sin made its first ugly appearance, Daddy’s have to work hard at cultivating (Gen. 3:17-19). It doesn’t come natural and it doesn’t happen over night.

I sense the fight in our family. When my husband Jeremiah leads the three of us in prayer before bed time every night, searches out the deeper things in my heart, loves me and John well, and is being the spiritual leader he was created to be, there are all kinds of things that want to thwart that mission.

I can be a very difficult wife sometimes and an impatient mommy. John can be fussy, disobedient, and a handful. Jeremiah sometimes gives into his flesh and has a hard time leading. All of that coupled with the flesh, spiritual warfare, baggage, and Satan’s ultimate plan to destroy the family can’t be diminished.

But what I do see is that Jeremiah puts his armor on daily and is ready to fight back. He’s not perfect, but he works hard at loving us even when he doesn’t always get the response he wants. He strives to love me like Christ loved the church by being in the word, confessing sin, staying pure, and being held accountable to other guys. His love has encouraged me to be the person God created me to be. And honestly, I think he “gets” how to love much more than I do.

While he fights to cultivate well, I’m also learning that it’s my role to build him up and not tear him down when he has failed. I realize the implications of that are massive. Choosing to tear down could result in another casualty- a mere tragedy all together.

So why do you have to be in the war? How come it’s just so hard sometimes?

In our experience, we’re learning to expect the battle because we’re fallen. In our marriage and in raising John, we’re starting to appreciate the gospel even more. We treasure God’s constant grace on our failures and sin. We become more dependent on him to make it through each day because some days are just plain hard. We’re thankful he’s in the process of sanctifying us for his glory.

Daddy’s have such a high calling as cultivators of their marriage and their children and to love without conditions. And apart from the Holy Spirit’s transforming power in a man’s life, it’s impossible to be the cultivator God desires. But Daddy’s who are in Christ, have been given everything they need to stand strong and fight the battle against sin.

So build away, and continue to let God be your ultimate strength as you raise your family. We need you, Daddy, more than you could ever imagine!

Question: What challenges do you face in being on mission as a cultivator? What rewards? What do you want wives and mommy’s out there to know about “the fight”?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2010 4:23 pm

    i like the honesty here =) sometimes it’s difficult to admit “i can be a very difficult wife”…especially when you don’t feel you’re being difficult at the time (‘i’m not difficult…any logical person could see…’). thank God for grace!

  2. February 15, 2010 4:36 pm

    It is very hard to admit (esp. in writing!) because I like to think that I’m not difficult at all (but I am sometimes 😦 Oh and I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t think I was difficult in the moment…

    I often see it in hindsight.

    yes it’s all about grace. grace. grace.

    Thank you!

  3. February 16, 2010 12:48 pm

    I think the biggest challenge for dads right now is learning how to be a spiritual leader in the home, and as you said, Samantha, learning to love “even when he doesn’t always get the response he wants”. After nearly 17 years of marriage and fatherhood for almost 12 years, it’s still not easy…but by the grace of God, gets easier.

    It’s also about learning to recognize the new seasons in each child’s life – on a recent Daddy/Daughter day with my 11 year old, Margaret, I admitted to her that I was having a hard time learning how to parent a pre-teen girl, and apologized to her for being harder on her at times than I probably should have. She said it was okay and understood, saying that her grandparents had told her that it was going to be tough for both my wife and I adjusting to parenting this new stage in her life.

    Long story short: as both dads and moms, it is just as important to be humble with our kids, too, especially as they get older. If I can model that, then the kids will learn how to do that too.

  4. February 16, 2010 1:34 pm

    I really appreciate your comment. I think being honest has got to be key. That’s really neat about your daughter’s response.

    Our family pastor often shares stories how he admits to his kids when he has messed up. It’s taught me a lot about the importance of being real. I really want to be quick to admit when I’ve messed up.

    Humility- I will store that one away for sure in the teen years. Thank you for the encouragement.

  5. February 16, 2010 9:57 pm

    What a great post! I think rewards in cultivating can be seen in divine teachable moments that come from the hand of God. We had a cool experience this week where God just totally laid out an opportunity for us to observe a sinful pattern in our son at it’s peak. We were able to identify it and talk about from a biblical point of view. The talk was well received and his attitude changed out of what seemed to be a genuine spirit. About fifteen minutes later he experienced a really cool thing that God just sort of dropped in his lap. It had to do with meeting a new friend that he just hit it off with immediately and I exchanged numbers with the other kid’s mom for us to have the boys play together sometime soon. Later that day my son (8yrs old) and I had a great discussion about God’s grace and forgiveness….how right after he had displayed such selfishness and greed that God brought him a really awesome blessing out of nowhere! And I really know that God orchestrated all of that and I feel like he gave us the eyes to be able to see a deeper issue at hand and a platform to come alongside our son and help cultivate the truth of grace being worked out in his life.

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