She Leads: By Example: Pt 1
Parenting is leading! Yes, we raise them, guide them, and direct them, but at the end of the day we are leading the charge. They are following what we do more than what we say.
Parenting is one of the hardest responsibilities we will ever have, and, if we are honest, a lot of the time we are winging it and hoping nobody notices. Most of us live day to day just hoping we don’t mess up. And if you are anything like me, sometimes you are just living one long parenting minute at a time.
We go to church when we can, we pray before meals, and even squeeze in a bedtime prayer. Sometimes those bedtime prayers sound more like threats than prayers, but we hope that it is enough.
If you are leading your kids to love Jesus wholeheartedly, if you are leading them to say “yes” to Jesus and to live out His purpose for them, then you my friend are doing a great job.
There is a lot of pressure that comes with leading, and sometimes it can feel like you are on the journey alone. Sometimes it feels as though your kids’ path to greatness is determined by your parenting skills.
Bad news: parenting does matter. You can set them up at the starting line or 20 feet behind it. The choice is yours.
Good news: you are not alone. We are all in the same predicament and the Bible tells us how to set them up for greatness.
There is a lady in the bible who was in our situation. She was a Jewish lady named Eunice who believed in Jesus and his message. She was married to a Greek man who was not a believer (Acts 16:1), but that did not stop her from raising her son Timothy to love Jesus.
Paul gives Eunice a shout out in 2Timothy 1:5 it says, “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.”
Eunice took her relationship with Jesus seriously. It didn’t matter if Timothy’s dad believed or not, she was going to make sure that her son knew of Jesus’ love, grace, forgiveness, and sacrifice. She and her mother prepared Timothy for what was to come. They prepared him for all God had planned for him. They led him to Jesus.
Timothy became one of our early evangelists who set the world on fire for Jesus. Timothy was all in. He was fully devoted, committed, respected and was ready to lead early Christians because he had a mom who loved him enough to lead him to Jesus.
Timothy’s faith was a reflection of his mom’s faith. If your kids’ faith looked like yours, what would it look like? Are you leading them to Jesus or away from Jesus?
Take a moment to answer those questions.
Does the answer scare you, make you sad, fill you with regret, or does it give you hope, peace, and joy?
Timothy had “that same faith” as his mom and grandmother. I love that the scripture says “that same faith” instead of the same great manners or great people skills. Eunice focused on leading Timothy to be like Jesus instead of leading him to become a good person. By making Jesus the focus he received the godly foundation he needed to fulfill the purpose God had laid out for him.
We have a responsibility to lead our little and big ones to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and to serve Jesus unconditionally. We must model how to put Him first in their lives, how to sacrifice for Him, and now to share His message.
It starts with us. If we are not living out our faith, how will they ever have
“that same faith?”
It’s not too late to be the example we need to be and to start leading them to Jesus.
It starts with your faith, your trust, and your heart for Jesus. It begins with your acceptance of His forgiveness and grace and your dedication to your personal relationship with Jesus. Then, while you grow and learn, you lead, teach, and live out your faith for all to see.
When my son was around four years old he was sitting on the couch watching cartoons and he called me into the room. He folded his little arms across his chest and furrowed his brow and said, “Mom, who am I?”
I looked at him for a second and said, “I don’t know son, who are you?”
He replied, “I’m daddy.”
My husband hates that story, but it was a wake up call. We are being watched all the time.
The things you don’t see, they see. The things you are convinced you are hiding are actually on display to them. And the person you want to be doesn’t matter because all they see is the person that you are.
There is a familiar saying that says “it takes a village to raise a child.” Whatever village you find yourself in and whether or not your village loves Jesus doesn’t determine your child’s future. As long as you put Jesus first and you are leading your child to do the same thing, your little and big ones will never sit on the sidelines of greatness. Instead, they will lead the charge of God’s greatness.