A new baby is such a beautiful thing to celebrate! I love baby showers, but always get a little nervous when I am sharing the devotional. This is one that I did not too long ago. Hopefully some of the ideas here will be a help to someone who is asked to do a devotional as well.
*Note: Some of these thoughts are from a message I heard several years ago, I wish I could remember by whom, in order to give proper credit!
Psalm 127:3-5 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
“And what is a quiver full of but arrows? And what are arrows for, but to shoot? So, with the strong arms of prayer, bend back the drawstring and let the arrows fly – all of them, straight at the enemy’s hosts.” -Jim Elliot
Form your arrows straight
Well made arrows fly straight. Straight to the intended target: a world that needs Christ.
Ephesians 6:4 and Proverbs 22:6 are both very familiar verses that remind us of the importance of training our children according to biblical standards. The trends and ideas of the world are constantly changing and there is rarely good advice to follow. I often find myself wishing there was a users manual for my kids. You know the kind with the troubleshooting section: “if you are experiencing this problem, then turn to page 5 and try this…” Well, the Bible is a pretty clear instruction manual, we just forget to use it all to often.
The target: Keep eternity in mind as you parent
-We are disciple makers trying to raise more disciple makers.
2 Timothy 2:2 tells us, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” I believe this verse is referring to our little men and women right under our noses as much as those in our churches that we are discipling. You are a mom now, God has given you your very own disciple, your very own mini-me. Give her/him something worth copying. Because like it or not, they will!
-Be what you want them to be- the key to great parenting starts with us, its not necessarily disciplining correctly, having all the answers, never yelling, etc. those things are great, (not realistic, but great) but every morning I have to wake up and work on me. Am I in the right place spiritually? Have I read my Bible, prayed? (you may have lots of time for these things now, but just you wait:) Am I walking closely with God? Because if I am not, even the best, by the book parenting is not going to work.
-Don’t hold on so tightly to your ideals for your children. Is it so important that he is the best player on the baseball team, or that she has the best grades and gets into the best university? Is our dream for them that they have successful careers and live comfortable lives? I believe God’s definition of success is a little bit different. May they successfully love him and walk closely with him.
“You and I should desire greater things, risk greater things, and sacrifice greater things because we know that GREATER THINGS are yet to come.” (Erin Cushman)
So I say all this to remind you that….
God will give you more than you can handle, there will be days when you think you just can’t do it, especially after number 2, 3 or 4 comes along. Most days I have no idea what I am doing. I wonder how I got here, and I am more than a little scared to know that I am responsible for these four small people God has sent me. But those are the times God uses to make me realize Its Not Me, I cant do it, but he can. You have a very special, important job. This baby is God’s reward, his gift to you. God has chosen you to be his mom, not anyone else, because he knows that in him and through him, you can form a straight arrow, you can cultivate a love for God in his little heart. You can point him to the right target, and you can release him and watch him fly. Pray and Believe God can use your little baby and watch in amazement as he does, to build his kingdom.