As a child, I would to lay in bed at night and wonder why my life was the way it was. I wondered why my parents divorced, my brother died and why we never seemed to have ‘enough’ of anything. I wondered why my Mother was never home and when she was – why she was always leaving.
I really wondered if God existed and if he cared.
I was very self-centered and too caught up in why ‘my life was the way it was’ and not really understanding the beauty of living a selfless life and serving others.
My parents had shared Jesus with me – His love and their desire for me to follow Him, but we never read the Bible, prayed together (for more than a meal) or praised through worship and singing.
I didn’t understand that my parents were being selfless by working hard to provide what we needed. Nor did I understand the selfless life Jesus lived.
As I look back over my life, I see many ways God has brought me to understand His plan for my life. I also see that while my parents were busy ‘surviving’, they were teaching me. I learned many things from both of my parents. One of the many things I learned from my Mother was to keep going – no matter how bad a situation may seem. As an adult, I can pass that long to my own children, but I can share that with them through discipling them and teaching them about God’s sovereignty in our lives.
By teaching them that God is sovereign and has a plan for our lives (even though that plan may sometimes includes hard situations), I am teaching them to serve Him and remain selfless through all circumstances.
Recently, I began reading Hudson Taylor: In Early Years- The Growth of a Soul and I found this quote. It is mentioned early in the book when Amelia Hudson realised that if she continued her studies, her younger sisters would not be able to. So, she made the difficult choice of leaving school to become a governess at Castle Donnington:
“The right thing is not always the easiest; but God has His schools for training, and a life left in His hands will never fail of its highest development here and hereafter.” (Hudson Taylor pg 26)
While Amelia grew up in a home dedicated to knowing God and following Jesus, they still had to make tough decisions. To see how Amelia made this decision at the young age of 16 shows me that it is possible to teach our children to love God and become selfless. It proves to me that we sell our children short when we buy into the idea that as teens they will fall away and have bad attitudes.
God is changing my attitude through helping me understand that my childhood was part of His plan. It wasn’t a perfect childhood according to worldly standards. But, it was a childhood that God had planned for me and now, I can use what I learned and what God is teaching me now to help my children live selfless lives.
As a Mom, I can see more of the bigger picture of my life. Not all of it, but more of it. I can also see how God can and will use any circumstance for His glory. His plans for our lives are so perfect and beyond our understanding of the big picture and how our lives impact people we may never meet.
It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘what’s in it for me mentality’ and ‘why did that have to happen’. But, sitting back and truly knowing this life is not about me, but about serving others and reflecting Christ gives me a beautiful opportunity to teach my children to live selfless lives.
Have you found that to be true, as well?
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