The greatest thing we can do for our children: Living a life of sacrifice

Thursday, March 31, 2016


When it comes to our kids...we all claim that we would do anything for them. Like give our lives for them. We all like to think that we would sacrifice ourselves for those we love the most. But when it comes down to it, how many of us are willing to do those little and big things; those sacrifices that our children need from us daily? i.e. giving up sleep, being willing to be peed, pooped and thrown up on, give up bathroom privacy, give up eating a full meal sitting down, giving them our undivided attention, showing interest in their talents, being present, giving up what we want, so they can get what they need from us etc...etc..

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding and hardest things I have ever experienced in life... all at once. I absolutely love my children and love being a stay at home/ homeschool mom. Though I love it, it doesn't mean it's easy or comes naturally to give myself up day in and day out for my little ones. Some days I want to push them all outside and lock the door so I can have one minute to myself...in quiet. Other days I want to lock them all up in a time machine so they can't grow up.

I had an especially hard day recently. No one listened. There were meltdowns every five minutes and messes galore. I could not get control of my children and it was driving me crazy. I didn't want to do this anymore.  It was too much work.  I was about to go tell my husband that it was just too hard to care for my children AND homeschool them. I obviously wasn't cut out for this. Let's just send them to school. I give up. But I didn't. I went outside while the kids were inside and I cried(literally) out to God. I told him that I needed help and that I didn't know what to do. I opened my Bible and came to this verse.

"He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon  as he hears it , he answers you. And though he gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you , saying, "This is the way, walk in it."  Isaiah 30:19-20

Now I don't usually just open up my Bible and let it fall where may and close my eyes and randomly point my finger at the page to see what God has to say to me. But as I opened my Bible to this chapter my eyes fell to this verse that said exactly what I had just prayed. God did hear me. He was with me and would answer me and help me. And I love that it refers to God as Teacher!

Then I opened up to this amazing book I have been reading by Timothy Keller, "Jesus the King". He was talking about how Jesus had to pay the sacrifice for our sins, not despite God's love but because of God's love. He gives an example of what this love looks like through parenting. How children are in a constant state of dependance on us. If we don't make sacrifices for them in our lives; ultimately they will have to make sacrifices.

 He goes on to say,

"Unfortunately there are plenty of parents who just won't do it. They won't disrupt their lives that much; they won't pour themselves into their children. They won't make the sacrifice. And their kids grow up physically, but they are still children emotionally-- needy, vulnerable and dependant. Think about it this way: You can make the sacrifice or they're going to make the sacrifice. It's them or you. Either you suffer temporarily in a redemptive way or they are going to suffer tragically in a wasteful and destructive way. It's at least partly up to you.

-----All real life changing love is substitutionary sacrifice."

Wow! Talk about God speaking to me! Oh boy was he.  Here I was willing to do anything for my children... just not those things that were hard for me. I didn't want to be uncomfortable. I didn't want to deal with cranky kids and the unending messes they made.  I didn't want to try to stop being cranky myself. I didn't want to try to show more patience or kindness or self-control. I didn't want to try to outlast them and deal with the exhaustion of disciplining them. I wanted to do what came easy. I wanted to give into my flesh. But that would not be a sacrifice and that would not be what is best for my children...and myself.

Our kids don't need us to be the best moms in the world, or cook the best meals, or keep the house cleaner than anyone else, they need us to sacrifice ourselves for them; for their needs. To just be there for them and be willing to give up our comfort so that they can be comfortable and loved.

I want to be clear in saying this in no way means that children should just be doted on and get anything they want; whenever they want and that we should run ourselves into the ground for them and never take care of ourselves. NO!!. I am saying that we need to give them what they need as their parents and to make those sacrifices that are necessary/ that are in their best interest to their well being: Discipline, boundaries, routines, chores, kisses, hugs, love, our undivided attention(for limited amounts of time;), our patience, our support, our help, our praise, our example.

I want us to remember what it means to be parents. I believe much of this world has forgotten what it means to be parents. That we should do whatever it takes to give them our best. Not that our lives should revolve around them but because our lives revolve around Christ  we are willing to put our families above ourselves.

Truly the best thing we could do for our children isn't to save up money for their college or a new car, or a bigger house (though there is nothing wrong with these things), but to be present in their lives; to care so much for them that we do what we can by God's grace to sacrifice ourselves daily for their needs. To make those hard, uncomfortable choices.

The greatest thing we could do for our children is to sacrifice ourselves for them, so that they can see a living example of what Christ did for us.

Of course we can't do this in our own strength but as we cry out to God he will give us the strength to do what we can't!

Do you daily struggle with sacrificing yourself to your children?

Linking up here!


31 comments:

  1. Amen, amen, and amen! Awesome, encouraging post, Rebekah. Very well said.

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    1. God has sure been taking me through the mill but if I can grow and even encourage one person then it was worth it!;) xoxo

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  2. Ah, this is a fabulously awesome post, friend. I so needed this. I've been struggling with just wanting to give up responsibility recently, just craving EASY. I so need God to help. And I loved this:

    "Not that our lives should revolve around them but because our lives revolve around Christ we are willing to put our families above ourselves."

    I loved it all. And what a verse from God. He's got your back {and mine}!

    Hugs x

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  3. I am so glad you were blessed by it! I know! I also struggle so much. I just want to give in, but so thankful for all that God is teaching me through parenting! he is doing such a work in us, though it's definitely not easy;)

    lots of love!

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  4. What a crucial reminder. It's a hard thing to give up our own desires moment by moment, but that chilling Tim Kellar quote really puts it all into perspective. Thank you for sharing this ❤️.

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  5. Oh wow, this post is so many layers of wonderful.

    I love how God directly responded to your cries for help - I've had moments like those and oh man, are they ever treasured!

    I also love what you took away from this. I struggle, we all struggle, and I admit, sometimes I don't sacrifice enough... but at bedtime when I put my head on my pillow, I have a habit of summing up the day. Was it really good or was it bad? Then I focus on how to make the tomorrow better... and the answer to that always is God.

    Thanks for sharing.
    xoxo

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    1. I just realized you shared this at the #SHINEbloghop! Thank you for sharing and inspiring with your words.

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    2. Thanks so much Jennifer. I really treasure your honest opinion and gracious words. I love your nightly ritual. I might steal that;)

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  6. Rebekah, this is so good!! The thing I find my kids need the most from me is time. It's so hard for me to give it to them because I know it's limited. But it is the very thing that fills their little souls with peace and comfort. Stopping what I'm doing to watch their performance of the dance they just made up, accolades on the art work they just drew or watching them show off the roundoff they just perfected... it communicates love! It is so true that we have a choice... we can choose to sacrifice for our kids or not! I homeschooled all 5 for most of their lives. During the day to day struggles I definitely wanted to give up, just like you mentioned. But not once have I regretted the sacrifices I've made for them. My oldest will be 18 next month, and I'm starting to see the fruit of all the sacrifice. I'm so glad I found you at Tuesday Talk. Such a great post! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yes, time is the one thing that seems to be slipping through our fingers. Every time I feel like my kids are keeping me from something else I try to remember that they are what is truly important. Sounds like we have a lot in common! Wow! 18! How rewarding! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I really appreciate your kind words!

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  7. Thank you for sharing this with Mama Shares Monday! I can so relate to pretty much ALL of what you are saying and thank you for sharing your insights and words of wisdom. It is so helpful to read and be encouraged on this journey of motherhood. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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    1. Oh I am so glad we mamas are in this together! I am so blessed that you were encouraged! xoxo

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  8. Yes, yes, yes! Laying these foundations in our children's lives is a sacrificial act -- and a hard one. Thanks for this motivation to keep trucking, Rebekah.

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    1. It's not easy and I don't always make the right choices but I know one day I will look back and be thankful that I made the right sacrifices.

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  9. I know that this post is for moms, but I really think it carries over into any relationship. It's part of dying to self and being a humble servant as Christ was. Lovely to connect with you through the linkup today, Rebekah! :)

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    1. Yes, you are right! We all could use some dying to self no matter what are situation in life!

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  10. I am going to have to check out that book. Sounds wonderful and probably something I need. I do struggle being a parent, and sometimes being consistent. I constantly pray to God for help. To surrender my will to His. I think he gave us kids so we do depend on Him. And I love how He kept speaking to you after you cried out to Him. What an awesome God we serve. And even the desire and will to be a good parent come from Him. So glad we are on this journey together!

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    1. I hope you do, it's one of the best books I have ever read! Yes, God is so faithful. Parenting is not a walk in the park. #thestruggleisreal But have a great refuge and source to lead and guide us! Yes,me too! We need each other:)

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  11. Beautifully said, Rebekah! It is definitely not an easy job, but as you said it so rewarding. I understand the hard days though. Thank you for speaking so honestly on that, and for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week :)

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    1. No it's not! It's not easy to be vulnerable but I know we all need to be honest with ourselves and others! Thanks for hosting and for your always thoughtful words:)

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    1. Thank you! We all need to be challenged:)

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  13. Rebekah, Parenting can be challenging. Your words are insightful that we don't quit because it's hard or it makes us uncomfortable. We complete the task, God promises to show us the fruit of our work (but with parenting sometimes that takes a long time). Thanks for sharing at Mom-to-Mom Monday.

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    1. It's SO hard. SO thankful we are not alone and for this amazing community of moms to encourage us to keep sowing, knowing that someday we will reap if we do not give up!

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  14. This is great inspiration for all of us Mamas! Shared on my FB page :) It's important that new moms especially realize that parenting may not be "glamorous" and may be downright difficult some days...but it is oh, so worth it :)

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    1. Yes, it is worth it!! Or else why else would we do it?;) Thanks so much for sharing Rachael!

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  15. Such an important lesson, and I'm grateful for the reminder, Rebekah... Oh so very glad you shared this at Coffee and Conversation this past week! We'll be featuring it tomorrow :-)
    Have a blessed week, and I hope to see you "over there" again soon!!
    ~PatandCandy.com

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    1. Thank you so much Pat! I need to be reminded of it every day!

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  16. I struggle with this too...I get so overwhelmed by all the noise and the crying and I only have two kids. Who aren't even school age yet! Thanks for the inspiration and wisdom. I appreciate you sharing at the Family Joy Linky Party!

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