"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." -Psalm 127This morning I was disgussing this passage with my dear husband, when he gave me a whole new perspective on this beloved Psalm of mine. On the heels of the MomHeart Conference this weekend, and what my friend, Jennifer, spoke about there (and later blogged), he approached this Psalm with a new outlook.
Allow me for a moment to divulge.
The first two verses (the first paragraph above) eludes to the Lord building the family, watching and protecting it. When we, as mothers, have a mentality that we MUST do all these things to keep it running smoothly, we enslave ourselves to a mentality of 'sacrifice'. "Oh this mothering thing is so hard... and I'm not any good at it... I try to keep my house clean, but my children are always coming behind me leaving messes... I try to keep the laundry up, but someone is always changing their outfit... I try to teach my children, but they just don't seem to be getting it!... I don't think I'm cut out to be a great mom..." And so goes all the lies the enemy wants us to believe and wallow in. We have to release ourselves from the bondage this mentality can create. We have to give ourselves grace, knowing we're human. Yes, we strive to live our lives wholly unto the Lord each day... but try as we may, we just won't be perfect... at least not everyday! ;-)
We must renew our thinking and take on the attitude of the last three verses (the second paragraph above). We need to see motherhood as a gift and a blessing... our children are our heritage- enjoy them! We are blessed with a reward we can take to heaven with us. Yes, motherhood is hard work- no question about it!- but what we work for on a daily basis has ETERNAL value, Ladies!! Let us not labor in vain.
A few notes I took away from Sally on 'opening your child's heart with grace':
- My job, as a mother, is not just to teach my children the facts of life. Rather it's to light a fire in their hearts!
- I can't make my children righteous, holy, or godly, but I can show them, by example, what those characteristics look like.
- I am the Bible my children are reading now.
- The key to opening my child's heart is a loving relationship.
- A relationship always requires patience, time, and work.
- Yes, I will have to correct my children... but do it in love!
- I have to take time to listen to them when they're little so they will WANT to listen to me when they're older.
- To be a heartshaping mom, I have to embrace Jesus, and learn to be Jesus in my home.
Just like training a baby to feed himself is messy and watching them learn to walk on their own can cause some pain, preparing my children to stand strong in the midst of battle and weild their sword with great strength and precision will sometimes look messy and be painful... but I might as well enjoy it at each season of their lives! Afterall, someone is going to train them for life whether I do it or not. It just so happens that God thought I was the perfect one for the job! :)
And God blessed you with your children because He thought YOU were the best one for the job, too.