An Heritage of the LORD

{Thank you, Rachel Osborn!}

Blessing

As sisters, a large portion of our work in the ecclesia and in our families is often focused on children. It is the work God has given to us. It is a work that many women in the world around us, look down on and consider to be unfulfilling. Yet how many of them, in their careers and aspirations, are working to influence and prepare hearts and minds to become the children of God and the future rulers of the world?!

Some of our thoughts in this short devotion will be from Ps. 127. Verse three says, “Lo, children are an heritage of Yahweh and the fruit of the womb is His reward.” Our children are God’s gift to us. He has given them to us – this is an awesome gift and privilege. Many of us know the joy of a newborn child being placed in our arms, and the pleasure that young children can bring to us. Those quick smiles and the laughter that comes so readily, their complete trust in us, their confidence and unhesitating love. These are special years. (They are also physically demanding and exhausting years.)

God has given these children to us, but they are firstly His children. We are told this clearly in Ezekiel chapter 16 where God chastised the people because they had taken their sons and daughters, “whom (God says) thou hast borne unto ME and sacrificed them to idols”. He goes on to say, “Thou hast slain MY children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them” (v20-21). In these verses, we are both awed by the responsibility of raising God’s children for Him and comforted that because they are God’s children, He also is caring for them. We are not alone in this effort. We all make many mistakes in raising our children, and so often fail in the example we are to them of godly mothers (we don’t get a practice run first!), but our God will never fail them. He is much bigger than our failures. We are so blessed to have our heavenly Father on our side.

 

Purpose

Why has God gifted us these children and entrusted us with them? “That He might seek a godly seed.” (Mal 2:15). As parents, and particularly mothers in the younger years, we are the primary tools God uses to teach His word to our children. He tells us through Moses that we need to teach them diligently: to talk of them when we sit in our houses, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up. This is a high calling! We are working, alongside God, to begin the transformation process of changing selfish, fleshly minds into Godly thinking and acting.

How do we do this? Again, it comes back to God’s word. Ps. 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” We would all agree that this is a “work in progress”. No matter our age and stage in life, we are all striving towards this goal and perhaps the older we get, the more we realize how strong the flesh is and how much we rely on God’s mercy. But we have to start somewhere. This is our goal with our little ones. We start planting God’s word in their hearts when they are young and hope and pray that from this seed will grow a strong plant, bearing the fruit God wants to see.

As mothers, there are many sacrifices we make for our children. At times we feel pulled down by the seemingly endless daily and weekly routines that need to be done in our households and with our children, but let us not despise the day of small things! Each of those sacrifices are so worth it.  We understand John’s words when he writes, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 Jn 1:4)

God’s work

We are not alone in this work. It is God’s work. In fact, if we try to do it on our own, our efforts will fail. We look to Psalm 127 again. “Except Yahweh build the house, they labour in vain that build it:” (v.1) It is easy to try to go on our own strength. But we need to rely on God. We need to take the offering of help that He has given us and ask Him to take each day in His hand. We remember the joy of young children and their unhesitating trust in us, they teach us the type of reliance and trust we should have in our heavenly Father.

The work of raising children, of homeschooling them, is very rewarding, yet it can be hard work. It is at times exhausting, draining, and challenging. Sometimes we feel helpless to know how to react or what to do in certain situations with our children. We can feel discouraged and utterly at a loss. We have bad days; we have really great days.  Through it all, our God has promised that He is with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. We have the God of the universe on our side! From Ps. 103 – “Like as a father pitieth his children, so Yahweh pitieth them that fear him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust… the mercy of Yahweh is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;” (v13-14,17)

Conclusion

All too soon our children grow up and begin to make their own way in life. For us, it felt like this came on suddenly. Of course, we knew our children would become adults and move away, but mentally, we didn’t feel ready for this new stage. When our children are young we have full control of their lives, it is easy to have the feeling that they are ours forever.

The time is short! Our days are precious.

Ps. 127:4, “As arrows in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.” Let us spend each day with the focus of preparing our children so that when the day comes for them to leave our homes we have done our best to send the arrows off in the right direction. We have set the arrow in the bow and pointed it to where we are wanting it to go. Once it leaves our hand, it heads off on its own. Our direct influence is not so great. They now make their daily decisions, big or small, on their own. Yet they are not alone. They know we are always there for them and most importantly, our God is with them and continues to work in their lives.

Let us work with our heavenly Father to raise His children, the best we can, to be a joy to Him. We will close this devotion with Ps. 128:5-6 “Yahweh shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.”

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