Dear Lord, today we honor the vocation of parenting. On a day when our Western culture celebrates mothers, we too recognize the hard work of parenting and the holiness of its nature. We also note the pain that Mother's Day can surface for some, including those who yearn for children, have lost a child, had a hard childhood themselves, or are estranged in a mother-child relationship.
Alongside the church and government, family is one of God’s three ordained structures to promote human flourishing, so the importance of family is clear from the first pages of Scripture to the last. To be able to influence and mold children, about whom Jesus said, "Let them come to me," is an honor and privilege. It can also be a great joy. Parenting - whether biological or adoptive parents or as "spiritual" parents to the young ones in our midst, allows us to reflect God’s honor, his fairness, his creativity, and his nurturing character.
Yet the difficulties and complexities of parenting can overwhelm both us and the children. We are broken. The children are broken. And the world is broken. Our parents messed up. We will mess up. All the while doing the best we can parenting the kids who mess up. We grow weary sometimes. The sleeplessness can seem endless as once wake-up calls from the toddlers cease, the late nights waiting for the teens commence. The conflicts are many - their tantrums and our desire for peace; their mess and our yearning for order, their focus on the present and our obsession with looking to the future, their desire for autonomy and our worship of control.
Lord - as we are your children we know that parenting is a great gift for our growth in Jesus. And as you are the perfect parent and we are very imperfect children, teach us the patience toward the children you give to us. You build us through guiding our children in everyday moments and you teach us we cannot do it alone. Help us to show the humility and repentance of Christ as we long for our children to reflect your character more than ours. And of us to show our need for our Savior as much as we long for them to know their need.
For all of this we give you thanks in Jesus.
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