Why parenting isn’t and should never be boring.
A couple of years ago my sister and I got the bright idea that we wanted to run a half-marathon. So we did. And of course after you run a half-marathon it’s only natural to then want to run a full marathon (or that’s what they say). Regardless of your athletic prowess or cardio capabilities the history behind the marathon is fascinating.
Flash back several hundred years early to the Battle of Marathon (roughly 490 BC). The Greeks were squaring off against the Persians and they won. So one of the Greek soldiers got the bright idea to run without stopping back to Athens to herald the victory. And he did. Subsequently, after announcing the news of the victory he collapsed and died. Not a very happy ending after all.
There’s debate as to the accuracy of this legend but either way it’s remarkable to think that a message is so great and so urgent that someone would go to such great lengths (literally) to share the news. I wonder sometimes as parents…do we have the same zeal…the same urgency…and the same drive to see the message of the gospel heralded to our children?
I love how Moses lays the responsibility before the Israelites parents in Deuteronomy.
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
Here’s what you see in these verses…urgency to pass on to the next generation who God is and what He has done (v.7). Creativity and frequency in the ways that parents communicate this message (vv.7-9). And repetition…as generation after generation was to hear of God’s marvelous deeds. The task that we are given as parents is not one of mundane boredom. And it’s certainly not a task to be wasted.
Each day we get the chance, as dad’s to reflect the love of our heavenly Father to our children. As mothers, we get the opportunity to pour out grace upon grace to our kids in a way that mirrors the grace given to us in Christ. We, as parents, have the chance to speak the gospel in every and into every situation that arises in our home, in our parenting, and in our marriages (whether it’s who gets the next turn or why we need to forgive one another).
Mercy Hill Church recognizes this is not an easy task. It’s taxing emotionally, physically and spiritually. That is why a couple of times every year we come around parents – as the Body of Christ – to acknowledge our support in a time we call parent commissioning. Our hope is to see parents take a firm hold on the exciting task of child-rearing and plead with God to see their child grow up to know and love Jesus.
If you are a parent with a small child and would like to participate in our next parent commissioning on Sunday, March 8th please visit our website where you can get more details and register your family. We look forward to celebrating together on this day as parents proclaim to parent in a way that is anything but boring.