He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.
Talking about your children is a very touchy thing to do, and I knew that when I wrote last month about my children. I knew as I wrote about how blessed I had been with my children, someone reading about my blessing was going through a rough time with their child or children and I did not want to rub my blessing in. Sure enough, I heard from a suffering mother. At first I felt terrible and then I thanked the Lord that she shared with me where she was with her children.
As Paul Harvey said, “Now for the rest of the story.” Life is a race with hurdles. I feel I have faced my share of hurdles, as I am sure you have faced your share, but the Lord has not called me to go through horrible things with my children. Hard things, yes! Horrible things, no! But, I could tomorrow, because that’s life. Have my children struggled with sin? Yes! Have my children struggled with their daily walk? Yes! Jerry and I have fought as many battles as any parent, but when we sought God for wisdom, He was always faithful to give us the power and wisdom to work it through for good. Does that mean that Jerry and I were smarter than some other parents? Not on your life! It means, after we did our part and our work, God put His blessing on it. If God blesses, we are blessed and nothing can be added to it or taken away. If God does not bless, it does not mean that we have been forsaken, it means the work is not finished!!! He is still working on one or all of the parties involved.
I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
We are to praise God for His wonderful works among men! But while I am experiencing the mighty hand of God’s blessings in one part of my life, another brother or sister are experiencing the heavy hand of God’s trying in their life in that same area. While I am to suffer with them, I am also called to praise God for His work in my life. This is hard to know how to do and still meet both needs.
I have experienced an awful amount of death in my life these past eleven years. While others were working with a rebel child, I was lowering my loved ones into the ground. Those working with wayward children can have hope in the fact that as long as your child is alive there is hope that victory will soon come. My hope, as I laid my loved ones in the ground, was that I will see them again. Your pain and my pain are just temporary pains. This too shall pass!!! What we should never forget is that there is “hope”, and we should never forget that “this to shall pass”. While trials may go on for years, they all come to a close someday and you are not the only one who is, or who has, gone through that test.
Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Enduring is a part of the Christian life, because the rewards of the Lord are given at the end and not the beginning of a work. Satan will hand you something you desire really bad at the beginning of a work, but the end is “death”. God allows us to work, sweat, pray and seek, then He pours the blessings on.
If you have not yet seen the hand of blessing upon your work with your children, my first words to you are “HOLD ON”! Don’t give up! Where there is breath there is hope!
My next words to you would be to allow the Lord to instruct your life and show you what you have done or can do to make a difference. We are only usable to the Lord when we allow Him to purge us the way we hope He will purge our children. Just because we wanted to be the best parents in the world, and just because we spent all we had to do that, does not mean that we did all things well. Will we allow the Lord to point out our deficiencies and open our eyes to our lives? This is the hard part.
You may be like Job! Most are afraid to compare themselves with Job, because Job went through so great a testing. Any testing that comes to glorify God, and not to bring sin to light, is a work like Job’s. Job was not the cause of his testing and you may not be the cause either, but be sure you are willing to be the cause if God says so. It is not up to us, your friends, to tell you why God is allowing your trial. Only the Lord knows the answers to that.
When the Lord corrects me, I am usually shocked at what He has to say. I have found myself arguing with the Lord, telling Him it just isn’t that way! Then, I come to my senses and realize, I am talking to Almighty God who knows all and who created all and He is never wrong!!! When I agree with God, I always quickly understand that He was right all the time. Don’t let pride keep you from victory with your children or any other struggle you may be going through. Drop all pride, bend your knees and cry out to God for wisdom, casting all your care upon Him, and then wait for the answer.
A statement was made to me by a mother saying, “I don’t believe you can tell someone how to raise Godfearing children.” I disagree. I not only think we can, but I think we must teach how to raise God-fearing children. The one thing I am sure that me and this mother would agree upon, is that you cannot promise that the children will follow what they have been taught. I can promise that the teaching will not depart from them and they will have to endure the knowledge of it while they are away from God (Prov. 22:6). This mother also made another statement to me saying, “My children are not where they are because of how I raised them.” I would also disagree with this statement. They may not be doing what I taught them to do, but I do hold a great responsibility for the way in which they handle their lives.
After almost five years into my marriage my home was a disaster. I certainly was not trying to create a disaster. I was working as hard as I could to be a wife, a mother and a child of God and yet everything around me was falling in! Surely it wasn’t my fault, was it? I was trying to fulfil the Word of God in my life and it was not working. What was wrong? Does God’s Word not work, or was I missing something?
God’s Word works, and you can take that to the bank. If it is between me and God’s Word, it is me that has the problem. If God’s Word is not coming to pass in your life, something in your work is missing or your not at the end yet.
For me, the problem was that I was doing the right things, without the right spirit. The letter of the law killeth. I was using the Word of God and it was killing my work because I only used it in letter and not in spirit. What a change in my life and my work when I began to let God’s Spirit work through my life. Now
I haven’t done all things through that Spirit since then, but I did and still do, commit my life to living through that Spirit. When I fail, I quickly beg God to forgive me and restore me back to where I belong. I love what I see God do though the Spirit and I hate what happens when I walk in my flesh.
Parents are not responsible for the outcome of their children, but they are responsible for the raising of those children.
Last thought! God is perfect and He has rebellious children! Do not despair if you are working with a rebellious child. Love them as Christ loved us, saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Some children struggle with life as a child, other children as a young adult, and others in the latter years. All are different. Timing has everything to do with where our children are today and where they will be tomorrow. Our job is to do today that which the Lord has given us to do, wherever we are in life, and wait upon the Lord to finish the work.