One of the hardest concepts for me as a spouse and parent is fighting the temptations of this world to do life (marriage and parenting) the world’s way. I struggle to embrace truth at times because the world is often offended by God’s design and the people pleaser in me wants to make those around me happy. Sadly, I oftentimes do go the way of pleasing others at the expense of being obedient to what I know Truth to be.
Between movies, tv programs and books, the world spends countless amounts of time attempting to paint a picture for us as to what marriage, parenting and family should look like. A portrait that most of the time is far from the way in which God designed any of it to be. The Bible paints a much different picture than the world and throughout my 27 years of married life and 24 years of parenting, I have learned that following God’s design instead of my own or the world’s leads to blessings and joy that this world has yet to offer me.
A few years ago, I listened to a sermon titled Time’s Up (The Summit Church, JD Greear, 11/10/19). I decided I needed the reminder and listened to it again. As the sermon began, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect but it hit the nail on the head for me and where God is trying to take me as a spouse and parent.
I have spent years praying and asking God to reveal Himself to my children the way in which He has revealed Himself to me throughout the years. I want them to know Him the way I do. To experience the joy of walking in His way and living life by His design instead of what the world would offer. To live the “best life”, a life experiencing the goodness and faithfulness of God and not the life (plan) I want or think they should live. God has purposely designed each of them for a part of His story and I desperately want them to know the joy that comes from walking with Him.
As we listened to the sermon yesterday the pastor talked about a conversation that took place between himself and his mom when he decided to have a conversation with her about what God was doing in his life when he was in college. It was a conversation he was nervous to have because he was afraid she would be disappointed in him.
He began by saying, “Mom, I know this is probably really disappointing. I know you must have had this vision of me living close, making a comfortable living, and raising your grandkids in a place where you could see them every day. But I feel like God wants me to go live overseas where people don’t know about Jesus.”
And here was his mom’s response, “J.D., your father and I have been praying for God’s will for you your whole life. And if this is how God wants to use your life, we won’t stand in your way. There’s nothing that would make us prouder than knowing you gave your life back to God for his service. We’ll have all eternity to enjoy the blessings of our family,” she said. “So, if we miss out on some of them down here, that’s ok. We’ll have all eternity for that. We’ve only got a few years to ensure that people’s sons and daughters around the world have a chance to be included in our family.”
Only one life to live… That’s the legacy JD Greear was given by his parents. And he said it was greater than anything else they could have given to him. THAT is the legacy that I want to give to my children! That is who I want to be for them. I want them to know that the eternal destination of those around them are far more important than anything else. That following Jesus and sharing Him with the world is by far, more significant than a full table on Thanksgiving.
JD Greear followed up his story with this: “So, one simple question for you: What legacy are you leaving? What kingdom are you leveraging your resources for?” He said, “You see, there is one thing we CAN’T do there (eternity in heaven) that we can do here: tell people about Jesus.”
That is the message I want my children and the children I love as my own to hear. That is my heart for them. I LOVE being a wife. I LOVE being a mom. But both for me are completely worthless if both of these titles are all about me and my happiness. I want to leave this earth knowing that my husband and children know/knew that following Jesus and leading others to follow Him were the MOST important things.
As JD Greear said in his message, we have all been given a two weeks notice. The death rate is 100%. We never know when our last day will be so we must live as if that day is today.
Our notice has been given. What are we going to do with it? “In that last day, when Jesus returns, the ONLY thing that will matter is whether we were a faithful steward and used our resources for His purpose.”