God’s Parenting Us In Our Parenting
By: Shauna Wallace
Enjoying a quiet getaway morning at a favorite hotel with my husband, I had just tweeted this quote from Andrew Murray’s book called Absolute Surrender:
“Some of us want God 2 give us a little help while we do our best, instead of…say: ‘I can do nothing. God must and will do all.’” A. Murray
Literally, the curser on “Tweet” was still hot when heart issues at home exploded over my iPhone. Do you ever get those calls?
“Can you please talk to so-and-so?!?!?! She’s not doing what she’s supposed to do.”
So I get the accused on the phone to address the situation, only to find her accuser is being mean.
“So-and-so is just so mean to me. I can’t do this, mom, I just can’t!”
As my fantasy of an endless quiet time outside on the patio in the cool morning air dissipated, I…
…surrendered. To the Lord, and to the fact that my responsibility to teach and train my children follows me everywhere I go, even to the hotel room that’s supposed to be my sanctuary for a few days.
Parenting is hard as it is, but in this case, it was extra challenging because I was not a direct witness to the offenses driving the conflict. Even when we are there to see it, how do we weed our way through the marsh of parenting multiple wicked hearts who are convinced they are the victim, their sin doesn’t compare to their siblings’ and therefore isn’t relevant, and by golly, at whatever tender age they are, they know best how the situation needs to be addressed (and somehow it always involves punishing everyone but them!)? Add our own flesh to the mix, and it can quickly be disastrous.
In the conversation that followed, the Holy Spirit confirmed to me the truth of her words: She can’t. But He can, and so He gave me the words to teach and train her about our flesh and the truth of just how impossible it is for us to do the impossible. And He gave me the words to emphasize the truth of who He is and that it is possible for Him.
We talked for quite a while. She vented. She cried. She repeated her complaints. She insisted she couldn’t do what I was telling her to do. And the Holy Spirit kept giving me His words to say. His truth to impart. His strength to stand firm. His courage to do the hard thing.
And even though she did a lot of talking, she listened. We started to pray together when the other sister took the phone to launch her own campaign of complaints. The call was interrupted yet again, and I found myself slumped in a chair telling God: “I just can’t do this.”
And He said, “You’re right. You can’t, but I can.”
The very words I had just spoken to my daughter.
So I sat and just prayed.
“Lord, thank You for Your forgiveness for all of our sins. Please, Father, by Your lovingkindness, influence our hearts and turn us to Jesus and His ways. I can’t do this, but You can. Thank you.”
I could have been mad that they interrupted my fantasy morning, but I wasn’t. It’s my job, even when I’m not there. When they’re 13. When they’re 17. When they’re 21. When they’re 26. I could have been bitter at the inconvenience. Of course that’s what my flesh wanted! But like I told my hurting daughter, I’m sure in the flesh Jesus didn’t want to be spat on, humiliated, beaten to the point of being unrecognizable, hung on a cross, and suffocated to death. Literally. But He did, because He lived His Father’s will and trusted Him completely. He lived in absolute surrender.
For me, for my children, and really, for all of us, it boils down to surrendering to God in total belief: do we really believe God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do? Do we believe our condition is as hopeless, helpless, and wicked as He says it is without Jesus and His salvation by grace through faith? Regardless of age, do we trust that God sees everything and will deal with it all? Do we trust Him to see what’s unfair and convict others who have wronged us? Even if they never feel conviction or seek reconciliation, do we still trust God? Do we give Him room to avenge injustice or do we get in His way in our attempts to get justice of our own?
Do we believe?
It’s a lesson for us, and it’s a lesson for our children.
How do we get there? We must know God’s word. We must know what He says about Himself, about us, and about His will.
Just before the call came, I had been in God’s truth, even if it was just two paragraphs of a book teaching about Mark 10:27:
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
God had just been speaking to me about the very thing I would need to impart to my children. It’s the reality of Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
As moms, if God’s word isn’t in our hearts, if we’re not reading it, studying it, pondering it daily, then in the moments when we desperately need His wisdom, we won’t have His truth upon which to draw. I am continually amazed at how immediate my need is for the truth in which He instructs me.
And I am continually amazed at how immediate He works.
Whatever it was that interrupted my prayer time with the one daughter was resolved and she called me back. We got to finish praying, and her exact words were: “Thank you, mama.” Then as I wrapped up this post, several texts arrived to my phone back-to-back:
From the one daughter who wasn’t even in the midst of the morning’s drama: “I’m sorry about all the issues, mother. I’ll try to help everyone get along so you can have some peace.”
From the other daughter who was a player in the drama: “So-and-so and I had a civil conversation and worked things out.”
His grace – His lovingkindness to influence hearts – was already at work.
Yes, when we believe God, He really is who He says He is and really will do what He says He will do. We have the part He gives us as moms, and sometimes that’s to do our part and then trust and give Him room to work.
An inspirational writer, teacher, and speaker, Shauna Wallace burns with passion to see women experience the fullness of God’s grace, faithfulness, peace, joy, protection, and provision by becoming wholly His. Finding hope and life in God’s word motivates her to help other women discover God’s power to transform lives.
Transparent and real, she opens her life and heart to encourage others. She and her husband, James, serve their church, community, and clients of their custom home building business. As a homeschooling stay-at-home mother of four, Shauna treasures the privilege of being James’ helpmate and training her children in the ways of the Lord. Check Out Shauna’s Blog Here!