Don’t ask me why I do these things. (My therapist would probably have an explanation). And when it comes to my history of overcomplicating things, parenting is no exception.
I remember, when my kids were little, being so anxious about getting everything just right. I wanted (and still want) them to walk with Christ more than anything, so I got busy overcomplicating….
I read a plethora of Christian parenting books… which left me feeling like a failure.
I started daily devotionals with my toddlers… which left me frustrated.
I tried to monitor everything they watched and did with perfect precision… and it left me fatigued.
My Bible told me that Jesus’ yoke was easy and His burden was light (Mt. 11:30), but that truth didn’t line up with my experience of feeling like a chronically frustrated, fatigued, failing Christian parent.
Maybe, under the surface, you’ve been feeling the same tension. Maybe you, too, are exhausted from constant striving and overcomplicating.
How do we raise children who grow to love and follow Christ organically, without all the fuss?
In Paul’s latter letters, we meet Timothy, a young faith-filled minister. While we don’t learn much about his personal life, we do get a glimpse of how Timothy came to a personal relationship with God. Paul writes, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5).
At some point (possibly on one of Paul’s earlier journeys to Lystra) Lois and Eunice had put their faith in Christ. But they didn’t just relegate Jesus to Sundays, or their quiet times— their faith was deep and genuine, so much so that the outer working of it infiltrated every area of their lives.
The power of a mom’s or grandmother’s influence cannot be overstated. Their example had such an impact on the young man that Timothy grew to know and follow Jesus himself. Their living faith lived on in him.
While there’s no way to guarantee salvation for our own children, we can be “salt and light” to them by living out a genuine (unfeigned) faith. The pressure is off, friends— we don’t have to be anxious, strive, and overcomplicate.
As moms, our job is to remain rooted in Christ, and let the fruit attract others. A life overflowing with the presence and goodness of God is simply irresistible.
How do we live out sincere faith? Here are a few examples of what that looks like in my life:
Today, ask God to reveal any anxiety you’re carrying about your children, and any ways you may be overcomplicating. Release your kids to the Lord, knowing He loves them and has good plans for them.
While devotionals and parenting books are good tools, we don’t have to stress and strive. Our kids don’t need our perfection, they need us to show them what living faith looks like.
Memory Verse: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
Devotionals by Author
All Abby McDonald Alexa Gearhart Angi Morrison Anna Bearden Anne Say Audra Powers Breanna Faith Spearman Brenna Kurz Brittany Marlow Caroline Hultgren Courtney Filippin Dana Schaefer Danielle Biddy Debbie Burns Heather Kenny Jannetta Cox Jessica Parker Jess Ridgeway Joan Lavori Katelyn Wilson Katie Gibson Kelly Orlowski Kerri Barfield Keryn Stokes Kristen Williamson Laura Pendley Lindsay McNeely Lonette Baity Martha Rudolph Nancy Ehlinger Renee Robinson Saretta Wells Tara McGill Taylor Watkins Tierney Nashleanas Wendy Gerdes