I have always believed that before parenting role sits on our shoulders, God first parented the children. Our role is to co parent with him, to bring up these children to accomplish the role He created them for. I have been reading “sacred Parenting “by Gary Thomas. In this book, he shares experiences of how parenting his children has brought him closer to God and how the children have taught him to relate better with God. At one point, he shares of how his wife had challenges adjusting to motherhood. At this point she drew inspiration from her discovery that welcoming this child into the world is the very act so highly regarded by Jesus at the judgement in Mathew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me”.
Gary Thomas says,
Who gets hungrier than a newly awakened baby eagerly searching out the mothers breasts? Who is more naked than a recently born child? Who is more a stranger than an infant who comes into the world knowing no one? Who gets sick more often than a little one, who seems inclined towards infections, diaper rash, and colic?
When a mother welcomes a child into the world, feeding her, giving her drink and clothing her and holding her when she gets sick (and at least for most first borns, boiling the pacifier when it drops to the floor and rushing her to the emergency room when her temperatures soars) she is doing exactly what Jesus tells us will be most rewarded in heaven.
“But how can caring for your own child result in heavenly reward? Some might ask, “surely Jesus dint mean that did he?” People who ask such questions don’t understand that the children we raise, ultimately speaking, are not really ours. God creates each child and he has such deep passionate love for every boy and girl that he never misses a single life event in their life. “I tell you the truth, whatever you do to the least of these brothers of mine, you have done to me”(Mathew 25:40).
Mothers and fathers, when you give your tiny infant a bath, you are washing God’s baby. Pause a moment in your busy day and look up to heaven. When you minister to the youngster, can you imagine God smiling down on you? When you fix that hungry six year old a peanut butter sandwich, you are feeding one of God’s children. Listen carefully; you may hear God laughing in pleasure. When you hug an adolescent whom others have teased mercilessly at school, you are comforting God’s teenager. Are those God’s tears dampening your shoulder?
In the process of caring and loving, you bring God great pleasure. At that very moment you become his provision, his comfort, and his passion. Learn to swim in that joy and you will never look at parenting in the same way again.
You could have rejected this child. You could have spurned the demands on your time, your resources and your emotional well being. But instead, you accepted this child, through great pain you gave birth to this child, and even with greater pain you make daily sacrifices to love this child. Your heavenly father doesn’t miss a second of this sacrifice. He sees it all. He cries with you, he laughs with you and he takes great joy in the good work you are doing.
Whether we are parents or not, we have incredible opportunities to participate in this passion that God has for children. I am sure God is present in the sanctuary of a church, because Jesus says that wherever two or three are gathered in His name, He is there. But if we really want to live in the presence of God, we may want to hang out at the playground, Sunday school and nursery. There is no way God is missing what is going on there.”
I just wanted to share this excerpt from this book with all the mothers out there. So that they may know, whether the child is unborn or not, whether the child is a boy or a girl, whether the mother is a single parent or not, our heavenly father looks at you with pleasure as you walk through the journey of parenting that child God blessed you with. Every time you struggle for that child, to feed, to find the right caregiver, to build his esteem, to do all that parenting calls you to do, look at that child, imagine God saying, well done my faithful servant, for a job well done.