Here’s one for the parents. I thought I might share why we decided to call this series little one anothering.
We know parenting is scary. There are so many big emotions involved- joy, fear, sadness, fatigue, guilt, anxiety and we are not even scratching the surface. The days feel long but the years fly by. Parenting is demanding, challenging, rewarding, and sometimes it can feel like you’re at it alone. Sometimes, all we can do is to proverbially “keep calm and carry on”. On some days, the calm disappears… and we just carry on.
But all Christian parents can tap on a superpower called the church family, who are committed to walking in faith together with you. Families who are like you can help, but so can singles in your CG, friends you know from the Seniors group, your kids’ leaders at Planet Faith. We are all God’s providence- to be walking in faith together through the wonderful calling to which you are called to as parents. 🙂 As we have been seeing what a wonderful thing it is to be one-anothering, we decided to call this little one anothering (you can thank Sean Yeo from 1030 Congre who came up with it!)
Just as we come alongside one another and walk together, we come alongside our little ones and walk at the pace of their strides. But the thing about walking is that we don’t want to be aimlessly walking. So here’s one big thing we want to talk about today. Where are we walking to? Let’s work on this together. I thought something that might help us is to meditate on Psalm 127:3-5.
v4 says that children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. Arrows work best when there is a target. I wonder what’s our target? What is your parenting target? I want to encourage us to aim far– not to get past today, not this school term, not even until Christmas or until PSLE. Let’s look farther. Imagine our kids at 18. What do you hope will define their relationship with Jesus? What do you desire their relationship with God’s word and God’s people to be like? I hope you have a picture in mind.
Now with that picture in mind, we have a target. That’s the tough part. Now, we want to fix our aim and think about all the ways we can be encouraging the right trajectory. We have a responsibility under God to be discipling them. If we desire that they love God’s word at 18, what are we doing now to feed that appetite? If we want our children to know how to choose Jesus instead of the world at 18, how are we putting in place those categories in an age-appropriate way now? If we want our kids to enjoy church community at 18, how are we investing in those friendships now? If we want them to have gospel-centred lives in university and National Service, is our home today a model to learn from?
Finally, remember getting the arrow on the dartboard is a matter of not just the target, the trajectory but also persevering in training. 3000 hours. That’s how much time researchers say that the average parent has with a child every year. These years are God’s gift to you to grow with your child in faith, together. Make them count.
As I end, I wanted to remind us even as we consider what our target is as parents, to keep in mind Psalm 127:1, that unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain, so let’s keep praying that God works in our children, captivating their hearts and maturing their minds for a lifelong love of Jesus.