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It’s gardening time once again for us northerners and I, for one, am very happy about that.  Nothing is more depressing than my beige house with its beige landscaping during the bleak winter season.  Once spring hits and the red buds burst open its blooms and the crab apples look luscious and the dog woods are just heavenly, I’m ready to plant my annuals and make my home colorful once again.  New life is appealing!  It brings hope and joy and, of course, I’m talking about more than the lovely flowers in my garden.

Who can’t help but be reminded of her new life in Christ when she sees the signs of spring all around?  Every single human being is born dead.  Weird, huh?  But, it’s true.  Every single human being is born dead because of the sin in the Garden of Eden.  That sin continues through all of human kind for all time.  And, because of that sin, Jesus died.  He took our sin upon Himself, He incurred the wrath of God against that sin, He gave His life for His children.  That sacrifice is what now gives us new life.

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.                               2 Corinthians 5: 17, 21

This new life isn’t just a one time thing.  We live it out every single day.  As we live out this incredible gift of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, how do we do it?  How do I live as a woman in Christ?  How do I live as a godly wife?  How do I parent in a way that brings out good fruit in my children?  How do I serve my family when I want to just serve myself?  I can only help my husband, love my children, serve others and die daily to myself when I am abiding in Christ.

Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.                John 15: 4-5

When I bought my new plants, they thrived for a short time on my back patio, but after a few days, they began to wilt and look pathetic.  They needed to be connected to the soil and water, nutrients that would provide them with life.  We, too, need to be connected to our Source of Life.  We are branches, Jesus says.  He is the vine.  He is our life source–remember, we were dead before He died for us and made us new creations.  He caused us to come alive, to be born again, because of His sacrifice.  Apart from Him, we are basically zombies walking around with dead hearts.  Sure, I can do things, but will they have eternal value?  Will they be for my glory or His?  How far does my own glory go?  Basically, until I’m in the ground or people just forget about me eventually after a few years or so.  God is eternal and His glory is forevermore.

As we go about our daily lives, the challenge is to get connected to Jesus.  His Word gives us direction, life, truth.  As I pray, and listen, He re-directs my thoughts and gives me peace that passes all understanding.  When I stick closely with Him, when I abide in Him, I am connected with the One who says He can do all things.  The One in whom all things are possible!  But, if I’m just doing things on my own, John 15: 5 says, I can do nothing.  How about that for humbling?

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.                   James 4: 10

Our God is good, isn’t He?  Now, I must be off to go parent-in-the Vine…

Love, Wendy

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Let’s get down to business, mamas…

  1. First, when making a mama’s boy, you must, and I repeat must, boss him around.  A lot.  Tell him what to do.  Tell him what not to do.  Make him utterly dependent upon you so he can never make a choice of his own with confidence.  
  2. Next, be sure and protect him all the time.  Keep him from taking any risks and have plenty of restrictions.
  3. Be fearful and let it show.
  4. Keep him from taking responsibility.  Encourage his blame-shifting and excuses.
  5. Don’t let him make any mistakes.

I realize that most of us moms would never speak these words or hang this list on the wall as our credo.  However, the challenge is in our actions.  It’s hard, and who can blame us?  We carried these babies, we nursed them, protected them from illnesses, kept them from running into the street, cared for them completely.  Yet, there comes a time in our young boys’ lives when they morph into young men.  Suddenly, they resist mom’s authority and cling to dad’s advice.  They align themselves with the men instead of cuddling up with the nurturing mamas.  As mothers, we can either be aware of this and encourage our sons to grow up…or we can fight their development and create an unnatural dependence upon us.

As you know, there are various seasons in our lives, in our mothering.  For us to tell our three-month-old sons to “stand up like a man and take it” would be neglectful.  Yet, to coddle our thirteen-year-old boy and keep him from learning how to become independent, how to protect, how to provide, this, too, is neglectful.  As much as it tugs on our mother’s heart, we must direct our son in the path of being his future wife’s and children’s provider and protector.  This has to be our trajectory.

To boss our sons around, to nag them, to protect them from their mistakes and from taking responsibility, and to surround them with our fear…we are setting our sons up for being passive fathers and husbands.  We are training him to abdicate his responsibilities as the leader of his family.  We are coaching them to be led around by their wives instead of leading their families as God has intended.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.  Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.    Ephesians 5: 23-24

This passage from Ephesians (please open your Bible and keep reading in this chapter…it’s beautiful!) shows us the role of the man and woman in a marriage.  When things go awry, and the man refuses to lead and the woman steps up and insists on leading, we reveal a contorted and wrong view of Christ and His Bride, the Church.  As we raise our boys, we must have this eternal view in mind.  Trust in the Lord as you allow your son to fail.  Teach him to learn from these failures; point him to Christ, His redeemer.  Showing our fearfulness reveals a lack of faith.  Yet, we have no reason to fear any lack in our perfect God.  He is the ultimate Protector and Provider and Leader.  Trust Him.

Take a moment and examine yourself.  Examine your marriage.  Examine your parenting.  Are you basing your actions upon the Word or upon your own understanding?  What is the fruit?

If you are struggling to honestly trust God and find that you have to orchestrate situations based on your own limited understanding because you don’t fully believe that God will care for you, or your family, then confess and repent.   If you find that you’re bossing around your husband, or quietly coercing circumstances so you are subtly leading him, then confess and repent.  If you are following the above five easy steps to raising a mama’s boy, confess and repent.  Our Redeemer, Jesus, will be faithful to forgive you and guide you in the way of righteousness.  And, though I struggle with all of the above, I want to be right there with Him as He forgives me, cleanses me and gives me victory over my sin.

Love, Wendy

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