(First, I need to give credit where credit is due and thank Leslie Leyland-Fields for her incredible book, Parenting Is Your Highest Calling and 8 Other Myths That Trap Us In Worry and Guilt. I believe this book is a must read for all women and greatly influenced my message on Sunday and the way I view parenting. Buying this book for yourself would be a fantastic gift that you are well deserving of. Oh Leslie, if you read this or ever listen to my sermon, know that I never intended to plagiarize on purpose-- if I did! I love your book so much that its words have become my own.)
Is Parenting Our Highest Calling?
Well if you joined us at Stonebridge on Sunday you will know that my answer to this question is... No.
But hang with me.
Matthew 10:37-39 (New International Reader's Version)
37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. Anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And anyone who does not pick up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 If anyone finds his life, he will lose it. If anyone loses his life because of me, he will find it.
Excerpt from Sunday's message:
The highest call of our lives today is the very same message that was given by Jesus to his disciples thousands of years ago. We are called to Love God... above all else.
As a church culture we remind ourselves often not to make a God out of money, or work or appearances. But our family? It is very easy to worship our family. In fact, I believe that as parents our biggest and never ending temptation is to unseat Jesus from his royal throne and replace him with our family. God calls us to an exclusive love for him that consumes our hearts, souls, minds-- all that we are. We need to heed the words in Exodus: “Do not worship any other God” (Exodus 34:14).
Hear me clearly, I am not telling you to love your family less, I am encouraging you to love God more.
So I spoke these words on Sunday and women all throughout the church nodded their heads. They understood that they want to put God first, even before wonderful and awesome things like their family-- God is WORTHY of being #1 in our lives. And any worship before the worship of God is misplaced.
Then today I got this e-mail from someone in our church:
"...It really hit home because parenting can be so rewarding, but so hard, just like life in general! And just a reminder of needing to put Jesus 1st!!!! Now the trick is just doing that!"
She is right-- now the trick is "just doing that." So this is my hope for community and discussion today-- HOW do we act out in our daily lives making Jesus our first priority? How do we still put Jesus first when our daily tasks are so demanding... when we are chasing children, wiping behinds, making lunch, running errands, cleaning house and changing laundry?
So think about this for a brief moment, hit comment, and let the rest of us know your thoughts. We might as well help one another on this journey, too.
On the journey.
P.S. Several of you have asked me for the verses to the last scripture from my message. It is from a book titled "Hugs for New Moms." It is below:
"When life gets tough, I (Jesus) am your hiding place. I'm near when you call upon Me. Give me all your worries and watch me sustain you. I am victorious. I am your eternal God of Refuge.”
Psalm 32:7: You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 145:18: The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.