How does a shepherd lead his sheep?
Building trust and gently leading them home.
Protecting their every step along the way.
The shepherd’s physical presence leads by example.
How are you leading your family?
Gently leading by example? Loving them for who they are?
Providing a restful haven in a world full of chaos?
Or are you demanding they follow you.
Prodding with a giant stick, forcing them to obey your agenda.
Sometimes it’s not so dramatically obvious.
Your temper, your reactions, how you cope with life.
The grace with which you embrace life is what they see or don’t see.
Do I want to be like you, they ask.
Are your beliefs something I want to hold dear as well, they ponder.
You are an example of God to your children.
He uses you to reach them.
God’s mercy and love must flow from your lips and hands.
God disciplines us as well, but His motives are pure.
His ways are perfect.
As human parents, we make mistakes.
We fail our children on a regular basis.
Do we try our best? Usually.
But unless we ask God to fill us with His parenting wisdom, we will rely on our own strength, which, I can tell you, is faulty.
I desperately want my children to seek the face of God.
To know Him personally.
Because they see God through me, I must reign in my own self, in order for God’s light to shine through.
I must allow God to use me for His purpose – to parent His children.
Comes down to watching my lips, my hands, my eyes.
I must be like a shepherd leading his sheep home to safety.
Not demanding one thing while acting like another.
And as we ask God to pour Himself into us and our families, our children will take root and those roots will produce fruit for years to come.
Might not see it for awhile, but it will come.
And it will be very good.