Father of the Fatherless

It’s sad but true; many moms are serving in dual roles, as mother and father. Divorce happens. Some fathers, though outside of the home, are supportive and involved. The numbers of those who simply walk away, abandoning their children, is staggering. Fatherless children, confused and hurt, face many challenges throughout life.

Feelings of insecurity and trust issues are common. Having no good role model for a father of their own, they often repeat the mistakes of the past generation. As a result, their children suffer; once again, mom has to carry the sole responsibility of parenting. There is hope. The cycle of failure can be broken. We must place our trust in the Father of the fatherless.

“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land (Psalms 68:5-6 NKJ).” God’s word comforts those who feel lonely and unloved.  If mom shoulders the entire load, the Everlasting Father waits to lift her burden.

Tag Team

Brothers and sisters often are involved in pushing and shoving, which if left unchecked can escalate into wrestling matches with no holds barred. Frustration has Mom on the ropes but she holds her ground and serving as referee often sends them to opposite corners for time-out. In many instances, a mother of several children might secretly wish she could call in relief as one involved in tag-team wrestling.

As children of God, we wrestle with evil forces; experiencing weakness, we might be tempted to throw in the towel. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12 NKJ).” In times of discouragement, we can depend on God to step into the ring.

God’s Spirit abides within and yet at the same time is always walking by our side. He never leaves us in the clutches and we honor Him each time we call out to Him for rescue. The boldness of believers of the early church was not due to any natural strength but because of each one depending upon the power of the Holy Spirit to sustain them. The next time you feel down for the count, call out for re-enforcement. The Holy Spirit will win the match!

 

 

 

 

Coochy Coos

I have always been partial to newborn babies; the infants in all stages of development are precious gifts of God but babes in their first couple of months are magnets. A powerful force draws me to them; the tiny bundles of joy are the perfect size for cuddles, snuggles, smooches and coochy-coos. Their cries compel me to hold them and help meet their needs.

Newborns are totally dependent on parents and caregivers; God has blessed me with that role often since my first baby-sitter jobs at age 11. As a granny with college age grandsons, I anticipate a promotion to the rank of a great grandmother in the future. I might need my bifocals to view receiving blanket wrapped babies through a hospital nursery window, but my nurturing senses are as sharp as ever.

God is a proud papa peering through the heavens at the arrival of each newborn to His kingdom! “Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it is going, So it is with everyone born of the Spirit (John 3:7-8 HCS).” Angels rejoice and Father cradles them in His arms.

Cookie Cutter Creations

Preschool age children love to get their hands in Play-Doh and cookie dough. They roll it, pound it and squash it when they get mad. Mommy ads to their fun when she puts cookie cutter molds into their tiny hands; youngsters now have the excitement of creating favorite shapes.  The tikes laugh with glee when they see that they have created an exact copy of animals, Christmas trees, stars or snowmen.

As their mothers or grandmothers, we must guard our hearts and minds. We must not conform to the molds of our godless society. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (Romans 12:2 KJV).” The Creator places no cookie cutter into our feeble hands; He writes His word upon our hearts and watches to see its transforming power in our walk with Him.

What’s Your Worth?

Is your child perfect? I’m betting not. I’d like to think my children are perfect but there have been so many times when their behavior hasn’t measured up to what I’ve expected of them. Maybe they were too shy in a social setting and didn’t participate. Maybe someone asked them something or invited them to join in on something and they said, “no.” Maybe it was in a restaurant when they just didn’t sit still or they spilled something numerous times causing me embarrassment. Or they said something really loud causing everyone’s heads to turn in our direction.

We’ve all had those moments. For our children are in training. They certainly don’t know how to be perfect and even though we know we shouldn’t expect them to be – we do. We can get so uptight when they behave in ways that shocks or embarrasses us! Have you ever wondered why that is?

I heard someone say that we get so upset by our children’s less-than-perfect behavior at times because we feel it’s a reflection on us. We tend to build our self-worth based on our children’s behavior.

Do you realize that God loves you regardless of the fact that your children don’t always behave? He doesn’t “rate” us based on how perfect our kids look or act. He loves us unconditionally. He loved us before we were parents and He will love us after we are parents, just as we love our children unconditionally.

Of course we need to teach and instruct our children. We need to show them how to respect others and take care of themselves. We can share with them about how and why a certain response or situation may not have been the best choice on their part. But we need to free ourselves up from expecting them to be perfect. We need to pray for them, love them, and guide them – leaving the rest up to God.

Our children’s behavior up to a point – IS a reflection on us and our parenting skills. But it does not dictate our worth or value. God has said we are valuable and He does not base that on performance.

Maybe if we can remind ourselves of this, we can ease up on expecting so much out of our children (and ourselves) and let them be free to make mistakes and learn in life. God’s love will be there as they do… every step of the way.

~Dionna Sanchez is Founder of the EmphasisOnMoms.com ministry. Visit today to sign up for her monthly publication full of encouragement for moms.

Words of Wisdom

How much influence do you have on following generations? We know the children and youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Will they benefit from our encouragement, advice and example, or are we leading them astray?

We hope our lives make a positive difference in those we touch. God, in His grace, can remove our blunders. Those of us in the golden years’ category look back to the influence of role models who spoke into our lives. Their contributions helped to shape us into the people we are today.         

The Bible describes King Solomon as a man of great wisdom and understanding. He received those spiritual gifts as answers to prayer. (2 Chronicles 1:7-12) God blessed him with much more, because his request for wisdom showed a loving heart; he desired to lead others fairly. Solomon could not boast of his high IQ as his source of discernment; God is the giver of all good gifts. (James 1:17)

Solomon did not reign with arrogance or pride; he looked back over his shoulder. “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old (Proverbs 23:22 NAS).” Yes, King David and Bathsheba left their loving marks on their son, Solomon.

“Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her rejoice who gave birth to you (Proverbs 23:25 NAS).” King Solomon honored his parents and instructed us to heed his words. He urged us to listen to our fathers. He listened to his father, King David.

 “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, he will reject you forever (1Chronicles 28:9 NAS).”  

I believe David imbedded words of wisdom into the mind of his son, Solomon. When God asked him what He should give, the obvious choice of wisdom outweighed selfish desires. Are we that quick to choose God’s best gifts, or do we waste time with penny candy?

Overcoming a Fractured Past

They say where you come from impacts who you are as a person every day.  So, as a parent, what if you came from a home where you didn’t have the best of parents?  You may not have had the best examples yourself, of what and how to be a loving parent. 
 
It can be far too easy to remember the bad and negative stuff than it can be to remember the good. As much as a challenge that is, it’s important that you don’t sift out that good part of your life growing up just because the bad may be so overwhelming.
 
No person is perfect. No parent is perfect. Your parents probably made loads of mistakes while raising you. Some may have even delegated the raising of you to someone else and that could have really hurt you, or it could have been the best blessing in your life possible.  Whatever your situation, don’t allow Satan to define your heritage for you. Don’t let him define you!  Your parents’ weaknesses and strongholds don’t have to be yours.  Strive to embrace whatever good you can remember about your childhood and let those thoughts, memories, and feelings reside in your heart.  You can’t erase your past altogether. If you try, you will only be denying yourself an important piece of who you are. You can heal your heart for your families’ health and sake and then set about defining who you want to be as a person and as a parent.
 
Your children may ask you about your past. Children are naturally curious and they want to know everything there is to know about family and where they come from.  You will have to decide ahead of time, how you want to tackle these questions. Simply waving them aside won’t squelch them… for they will come again.  If you take the time to deal with your past with the Lord ahead of time, maybe you can be prepared to be honest about the ugly stuff while still finding something good and positive to share about your history.  You can be such a great example of finding something good in the bad – and you can change the color and perspective that your children have of their heritage.
 
Today is the day you can make a change and a difference.  God tells us that if we follow Him and are faithful and obedient children, that He can bless a whole generation following us! What a beautiful goal.
 
You are who you are – whether or not you wish your growing-up-years could have been different. And God can take those hurtful and painful feelings and memories, and turn them around inside of you. He can use them and use you in a way that only God can do. If you try to erase everything, you may be shutting out powerful ministry opportunities that God may have in mind for your life.
 
No one ever said that parents have to know it all. We are all still learning as we go. So as you learn how to take the good from your past, filter out the bad, and incorporate a positive heritage and environment for your family – know that God is right there with you – cheering you on every step of the way.

~ You can view words from Dionna’s heart each week at her blog – http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com

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