First Comes God, Then Comes Joy
[Rev. 4:11] “Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created."
[Psalm 33:1,21] Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
A Christian’s chief goal in life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Therefore, the key to a blessed family life begins and ends with this primary truth.
My sons, Torre and Michael were ages 3 and 1. Torre was sweet and compliant, making me believe that I could truly be nominated mother of the year. When Michael came along, he was so sweet and so unbelievably impulsive and disobedient, it quickly humbled me and brought me to beg God for any possible wisdom in parenting, and enough mercy just to get me through the next 5 minutes! Suddenly, my views on parenting seemed feeble at best and my confidence as a mother vanished like the hot steam rising from my constantly refilled cup of coffee! I was exhausted, baffled, and suddenly finding myself wondering why God had trusted me with motherhood! I knew I would be lost in "the experts" vast theories and personal convictions if I did not seek out completely biblical instruction in parenting. So I resisted all the highly recommended secular parenting books and advice, and began to search the Bible for my answers, finding applicable truths on a daily basis. It also helped greatly that there was a parade of godly, theologians who had marched this road ahead of me, writing biblically sound books on Christian parenting. Though I had not been an avid reader in the past, I now found myself almost inhaling the biblical advice of God's Word and these Truth-driven parenting authors. Three decades later, with 3 precious children established in their adult lives, I am blessed and overcome by the grace God lavished on me in order to direct my path as the mother of these children. Trust me! I did not do this perfectly! But, as I look back at all the ups and downs, the most direct and effective piece of advice was and still is… this: Glorify God and enjoy Him forever. I believe I said this at least daily, if not many times daily.
As you begin this day of parenting, start with your Bible. Make the effort to know God more. Ask Him to help you understand who He is in all His majesty, His authority, His ownership over you and your family, and His ability to accomplish His plan for your lives. Let that sink in, and then consider how you can glorify and truly enjoy Him in your day through acts and attitudes of gratitude, appreciation, submission, and joy. Go as far as making a plan of action for you and your littles. Biblical parenting is not about a system, or a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s about your heart and the heart of your children as you look to your humble Savior and trust Him with His Word and His ways for your parenting. Your prayer for this will begin that process. He will honor your hearts desire to make Him the focus of your day, above all else including your children. You are likely to see an immediate change in how you approach and respond to your little ones. How you direct them in love, and how you take sheer joy in the position of motherhood, as a product of your position as His highly esteemed and treasured child.
Lord, you are our Creator. You love me, and You love my/Your children even more than I do. I will praise you and thank you for your faithfulness and grace! I will spend my day focused on you, with an attitude of joy and praise despite any of my circumstances, because of your glory, honor and power! I trust you with the ups and downs. I will trust all the details of my day to You, because I trust in Your holy name!
Lord, may I glorify You and enjoy you forever!
By Sharon Cannavo