As parents we are given the responsibility of steering the family ship. We map out a course, and we set sail. It is up to us to see that the wind and waves don’t knock us off course and that our children are kept safe and are thriving. Storms may come, and we need to know that we have a safe harbor to hide in.
But what if the wind that comes is from the One who is our Safe Harbor? Do we stubbornly keep the course we have set for ourselves, or do we yield to the winds of change and let the breezes carry us to a place we don’t yet know?
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8 NKJV
We need to know that we have done our best to look out for the needs of our families, and that out of love for them, we have put their needs above our own in many cases. But there is something (or Someone) who has to be first, and that Someone is not our kids.
I know what people mean by “putting their kids first,” and I’ve never really thought about the idea until after a conversation I had the other day. Last week I had a talk with a very special lady in my life who loves me and my family very much, without a doubt. She knows more about the ins and outs of our decisions than some people do, and she is an avid worrier. So obviously she worries about us if she doesn’t understand exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing.
During the course of our conversation, she told me point blank that she didn’t feel like my husband and I were putting our children first. It surprised me, but I remained confident and didn’t get defensive, a definite sign that God’s grace was holding me together.
My response was this: The way my husband and I look at it, the best thing we can do for our children is to follow the Lord and obey Him. We have to do our best to follow what we feel He is telling us to do, trusting that He is going to take care of us. We trust that as we follow His plan, He will provide for us financially. We trust that being in the center of His will for our family will set our children up to be all He has created them to be. It will put them on the path to the destiny He has dreamed for them as well. We also trust that if we “miss” it (if we are mistaken, and God has not led us down a certain path), God knows our hearts and He will get us back on track. He will always take care of His children.
All in all, the conversation was a success. She left the conversation feeling thankful that she better understood our viewpoints, even though her outlook was different than ours. We still don’t agree, and that’s okay. I left the conversation feeling like I had had a breakthrough in confidence. I tend to get defensive and intimidated sometimes when people openly disagree with me (am I the only one working through insecurity?), but I can tell that God’s grace is helping me to overcome those feelings and embrace who He has created me to be with courage.
Since our conversation, I have still been processing the thoughts that were brought up by her words of true concern. This post is not only meant to be an encouragement for you to continue to follow the Lord no matter what others think about your decisions. I’m also writing it to help myself process my feelings about it all and embrace the truth of what God says about it.
I keep thinking over and over again about this passage from Matthew 6:33.
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? …your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:25-33 NKJV
I know that even if not everyone understands and agrees with our decisions as a family, the most important thing is that we seek first the kingdom. He will take care of everything we need.
When the winds of change come from the Lord, we let His breezes carry our ship to places only He can imagine. We don’t know exactly where we’re going or what it will look like when we get there, but we trust in His safe harbor. We won’t stubbornly stick to a course we’ve mapped out if He wants to change it. He can see where He is blowing us, and we trust in Him even if we don’t understand everything.
Graceful mama, you have permission to be courageous! Let God’s grace saturate every area of your life. You can be confident in Who you are in Him. You are a good mom, and the best thing you can do for your kids is to seek His kingdom above all else!
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