Parenting: Reflecting On Authortiy

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I was talking to my girl friends about Heaven one day and what they thought Heaven would be like. We went back and forth about how everything there will reflect his likeness. Since then, I have been thinking about how God reflects his nature now.  How it reflects off me as being a child of God, who is responsible to reflect His likeness. One of the things I thought about is His authority. The way He reflects authority to me, how I receive it, and why. I never thought of this idea as a guide to parenting until I started explaining loving authority to my kids one day. It gave me a peaceful understanding of how to handle authority and how to respond in love.

God reveals and reflects His authority in ways of a husband. God is the husband and His people are His wife. He is our Bridegroom and we are his bride. We know He gives husbands authority and mothers authority. Basically,  what I want to get at is that we all have authority figures. Authority figures reflect the fact that God created this life style, because He is one. Therefore, we have authority figures. God asks us to obey respect authority/ figures because He appointed them to be responsible for whoever that is. At the same time, He is the authority over us all. Plus God reflects a true husband, happily taking the responsibility to provide for his brides. Looking at Him as an example in whatever authority situation He puts us in.

Other than being a husband, God also reflects a loving father who loves and corrects.  How does He reflect being a Father with authority? In Hosea 6:6 God says he’d rather us have steadfast love for Him rather than just going through the motion of obediants.

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,

the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

He desires  steadfast love. So when we train our kids to do things, as leading up a child the way they should go. It’s not because, “I told you so,” but out of love.

When I ask my children to be obedient or tell them why. I say, “You love on mommy when you do this. You love on Jesus when you respect mommy and daddy.”  Because I myself never knew that obeying my mom when I was a child also meant doing it because I loved her. My boys love hugs and kisses and I tell them there are other ways to love me. Such as, not having a fit, speaking to me nicely, or putting diapers away.

Seeing God’s heart is even huge for us as parents in Hosea 6:6, “I desire steadfast love.” I know for me I want respect at times or being selfish and just wanting good obedient children! What God desires more is love. We shouldn’t want to gain anything with our authority as parents more than the love from our children. And again the only way to do that is to reflect the Father by spending time with Him.  I forget at times to not abuse my authority by being bossy, but to correct myself and seeing the nature of true authority. Because we are trying to do for them what Christ does for us. Not saying that it is going to be perfect, but if they see God’s reflection in authority, then they will feel safe. They will desire the Father and not turn away from Him because He is The Authority.

I hope this was encouraging or interesting to read. I have had so many times of confusion on how to train my children. How to give grace, when to correct, etc. Looking at the Perfecter of authority and Creator of authority has helped me to have a clearer understanding how to respond to authority and how to reflect it.

We All Fall Short

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One of my many thoughts today was the words, “We all fall short of the glory of God.” Meaning, no one is perfect. I can’t compare myself. Even if I don’t struggle like the other person does, I can struggle in another area. People struggle with pornography, sexual immortality, masturbation, steeling, telling lies, being unkind, not being understanding, not being honest, not being fruitful, not being loving, shouts of anger, a bad mouth, the list could be endless. I might not struggle with most of these, but I do struggle with being loving, having angry words, the need to be perfect, or not trusting in the Lord and falling into my own understanding. I can sin against God and man. I can hurt others and myself just as another person who struggle with who knows. I can’t compare myself or rate myself to another. Because we end up all doing the same thing. Hurting ourselves, hurting others, and sinning before God.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned about myself this year is finding out I am not as righteous as I thought. I thought the more I would understand about my Father the better I would become.  It turns out this year, He has really humbled me in seeing that I can still fall short through all my efforts of being knowledgeable. The more I grow in Him the more I understand I need Him.  I fight myself and God every time I fail Him. It’s because I have become more aware of how weak and sinful nature I really am day after day. Knowing over and over I can retain knowledge, but still not be perfect and blameless. That perfection and thoughts of self righteousness is getting tumbled down. Tumbled into the arms of someone perfect and wants me as I fall short in Him. I don’t understand it fully and I hate it sometimes, but He knows what I truly need. He is amazing and patient in teaching me this amazing power of love through forgiveness and grace. As He continues to humble me in revealing how powerless I am in myself.

 

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see. ~ John Newton 

The Boys Birthday Parties

It was a crazy crazy few weeks over here. Both boys birthday are in April and I was worried that I wouldn’t have the energy or will power to make up the decorations or think of something fun to do. Finances are really tight so I was always waiting for a pay check to buy the stuff I needed. In order to make or get decorations which gave me two to three days. God was really good and helped me out. He gave me energy, ideas, and the money to do what I was imagining.

Maximus turned three this year and he is really into “How To Train A Dragon” and Veggie Tale Vikings about sharing. So this year, vikings was our theme. He loved the swords and shields that I put together. The two banners made of paper, paint, and marker. It was a fun party. I loved painting and creating the ship which was out of cardboard. I didn’t mind dressing up a little for it myself. 😉

 

My lil lad turned one this year! I knew for a long time I wanted to base the party theme off of the book, “The Wonderful Things You Will Do” by Emily Martin. Love her books! I didn’t know really how to do it, but it turned out to be a little bit of everything. There were balloons, a flag banner that I made, and a little garden where the food was with outdoor animals. We threw a tee pee that my husband made while back in the back yard for the kids to play in. It was a really cute party. I did a lot more for this one, but it was worth it! It was Tenzin’s first. Even though it was really for me (that’s what they say) I wanted to bless him and everyone that came. Besides it gave me a chance to use my creative skills. I haven’t made anything for a while. Yay for projects!

His Little Girl

It has been a precious time going deeper with God over my husband’s absents. God has shown me a lot of things, but one specific example has impacted me greatly. It was an example of love that I really needed to see before Andrew left for his mission trip.

It was Sunday before Andrew left for Russia. We were at church and during worship two little girls and their father stood in front of us. These girls I’d say were under 6 of age, and were fondly squirming leaning on their father. He wouldn’t just hold one of them, but would hold both of them if they desired it. It was the most sweetest thing to see. A father loving his two girls by holding them close. I rarely see such affection between a father and a child. It made me want that kind of sweet fondness from my Heavenly Father. Then I wondered, does God think of me as his little girl?

At that moment, God was laying on my heart the love He had for me.  This understanding was just as if God was carefully and affectionately holding me. I have not yet understood God’s direct love for me. I never pictured it in that way as being his little girl. I’ve heard we are all God’s children, but it never felt personal. This time I felt God’s words aiming straight to my heart.

After I dropped Andrew off at the airport, that sweet example at church stuck to my mind. It gave me such a sweet promise. That I am his little girl and he will take care of my every need. He will fill the longings for my husbands comfort, even though God can’t physically hold me close.

I praise God that He knew what I needed at the right time. Knowing my heart better than I know myself.

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.” Psalm 139:1