I’m Your Follower!
“I’m your follower!” said my preschooler in a sing-song voice as she tagged along at my heels. I smiled at her candor, enjoying her company.
Then the profound truth of those words began to settle into my soul.
My follower. My shadow. A nearly inseparable part of my being during this life season. She watches me and is continually learning from me (as are her older siblings).
Our children are, quite literally, our followers. Like little disciples, they instinctively look to us to be examples, teachers and leaders.
What a privilege! We have the opportunity of introducing them to Jesus, of living out the gospel and modeling faith in daily life.
And yet, what a sobering responsibility. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it strikes fear in my heart. What if I get it wrong? What about all those times I fall short of being the perfect parent I long to be?
In such moments of worry and doubt, it’s vital that we speak truth to our souls.
- God chose you.
No one else on this planet has been given your particular job. These kids – they are yours, entrusted to your care by our all-wise Father God.
- Weakness is okay.
It’s not perfect parents (if there were such people) who raise Jesus-loving kids. It’s needy parents modeling the path to maturity – through ups and downs, continually looking to Jesus as our source and strength. Our kids learn to relate to God as they watch us walk with Him.
When they see us pray, they learn that God welcomes and responds to the heart of faith.
When they observe us loving His Word, they discover that It is something to be treasured.
When they hear us ask forgiveness after we fail, they understand how to respond to their own shortcomings.
- It’s simpler than we make it.
While rules are essential and it’s our job to teach our kids right from wrong, Jesus reminds us that God’s requirements can be summed up in this way – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength [and] love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
Love God. Love people. Everything else, in parenting and all of life, is peripheral.
- We are followers, too.
“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). Jesus is our example, as well as our source of wisdom, strength, endurance and everything else we need on our parenting journey. As we follow Him, our kids can learn to do the same.
Moms and Dads, our influence in our kids’ lives is irreplaceable. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in our homes each and every day. He has called us to this remarkable role, and He’s with us every step along the way.
By: Meredith Mills currently resides in the South with her family of five, though she calls Northern California home. She is passionate about sharing the relentless love of God and encouraging others to walk deeply with Him. She blogs at www.DazzledByTheSon.wordpress.com.
Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.