Parenting…

Saturday night we walked out of a popular retail store behind a couple with a toddler. I vividly remember them for it was cold outside and the parents like us were bundled up. The toddler, however, had no shoes or socks with one pant leg pulled up to her knee. The Momma in me wanted to go talk to them but I held back. That young child was totally dependent upon her parents to care for her.

I’ve been a Mom for over 25 years and I can confidently say the role has brought me great joy while challenging me like nothing else in life ever has. When my babies were little, the focus was on their physical needs. As they grew, the focus changed to helping them grow healthy self-esteem, build knowledge and skills, and develop an understanding and love for who God is. Even as our children change their views of us as parents… from knowing everything to knowing nothing… the parents still play a most vital role. The decisions we make not just about our children but about our jobs, our friends, and our finances have an effect on our families. Check out Lot for an example…

When Abraham and Lot split up, Lot chose the plains of Jordan because they were well-watered and productive. He was looking for the easiest and most profitable decision. That decision caused him to pitch his tent near Sodom. In time, Lot came to be a well-known leader in the area as evidenced by the fact that he sat at the city gate. When God sent his messengers to the city, Lot intercepted them and took them to his house to protect them from the evil men of the city. (full story in Genesis 19).

The messengers told Lot to gather his family and flee for they were there to destroy the city. Though we could look at this story from different angles, I want to focus on the effects his decisions made on his family. He decided to focus his life on worldly gain and being an important man in the city and it cost him the life of his wife and the morality of his daughters. When the family left the city, Lot’s wife apparently struggled to leave and looked back and became a pillar of salt. Then there are the actions of his daughters… Lot and the girls were living alone in the mountains and the girls were worried that Lot’s line would end with them so they devised a scheme. Over 2 consecutive nights, they got their father drunk and took turns lying with him resulting in both of them being pregnant by their father. I know… sounds more like a made-for-TV movie but such was their story. Lot’s focus on gaining wealth, prestige, and power was paid for at the expense of his family.

To all the parents… including myself… I ask: where is our focus? What are we striving toward? Is what we pursue good for our children or causing them harm? Lord, help me to care for your precious gifts to me! Help me to pass on to them the most important part of life… a love for you! May the actions I take and the path I walk point them toward you and not this world. Help me! I am most desperate for you guidance and wisdom to be a better parent. Amen!affect

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