Almost 10 years ago, my husband Bill and I had the opportunity to tour Israel with a group from our church. The only catch was that we would have to leave our 3 young children behind for 12 days! As a Bible student, I had always wanted to travel to Israel. I had to take advantage of the opportunity to go! I had to trust God, that He would take care of our children while we were overseas. So we packed up and left our 7, 5, and 3 year old in the care of my parents, with occasional relief from family friends!
It was overwhelming to fly so many thousands of miles away from the ones I loved. I kept on praying for their protection and security while we were gone. I know for a fact that I missed them more than they missed me!
At one point during our trip, we visited the church of the ascention. We stood on the holy ground, believed to be the point where Jesus went up to heaven, after promising the gift of the Holy Spirit. This especially struck me
john 16:7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
After the ascension, the disciples waited in Jerusalem to receive power from on high (Acts 1:4-5) This speaks of the Spirit’s ministry of empowering believers for service. This is like a mighty rushing wind that can be harnessed to help us do work. As wind is harnessed for power; so the Spirit gives us life and empowers us for service.
The incredibly awesome feeling that I had when I was at the mount of the Ascension was this: I was amazed and in awe over the fact that I could stand in Israel, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and at the same time, I knew that the Holy Spirit was with my children 7,468 miles away as the crow flies. The presence of the Holy Spirit with me, and especially with our children way back home in Arizona, brought me a tremendous amount of peace and rest as a momma.
It is a blessing that in Christ, we are not on this mothering journey alone; we have a constant companion in the Comforter, Helper, The Holy Spirit.
God’s greatest kindness to us is Jesus!
God gave us his son
(covering our sin)
restoring us to relationship with Him
He gave us his Spirit, to be with us, in us…
to live His life through us…
This is the mystery of God’s kindness that lives in us.
The Bible says that Jesus is the Kindness and Love of God! Titus 3:4
God takes Kindness very seriously!
Proverbs 3:3 states: Do not let Kindness and Truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart
God’s plan is for the kindness of Jesus to be shown in our lives.
When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we serve Him and put our hope in Him, and this motivates us to labor and strive. It helps us to serve others in the light of that hope of eternal life.
1 Timothy 4: 7-10 gives us a good picture of what it looks like to be a woman after God’s heart, parenting your children with His kindness:
“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.”
John MacArthur comments on 1 Timothy 4:7-10
Working to the point of exhaustion and suffering rejection and persecution are acceptable because believers understand they are doing God’s work—which is the work of salvation. That makes it worth all of the sacrifices.
As we learn to depend on God and walk in the power and help and love of the Holy Spirit, we will become the Kind parents that God wants us to be.
I am reading a book called Abba’s Child, by Brennan Manning. I believe that there are some concepts that He shares that bring insight to the topic of parenting with Kindness. Brennan talks about Allowing God to nurture us—-He also reminds us that we need to understand that God takes great delight in caring for us!
I am especially fond of this quote: “we will never be successful as parents to our children until we are successful at being children to our Heavenly Father.”
How are we doing at being God’s daughter? Do we allow God to nurture us? To hold us in his arms and cover us with his love?
When we have been nurtured by God with love and tenderness, we will know how to minister love and tenderness to our children! Isn’t it amazing How God’s love for us is the perfect foundation for our love for our children?
Romans 2:5 from the Message Bible says: God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness, he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life change.
God is asking each one of us to walk with Him and listen to His voice, and be ready to respond when He shows our hearts how we should be parenting in a different way.