Representing God the Father

Since Jeshuah was born, I have a whole new appreciation for parents of all ages, with any number of children.  I was a nanny for four years before my own little one came along.  I cared for numerous infants, toddlers, and older children.  I felt equipped and prepared to care for my own child.

But the instant Jeshuah was born, I was overwhelmed with the weight of my responsibility to this child as his parent.  The difference between babysitting a baby and mothering a baby is astronomical!  God has entrusted Jeshuah’s life into my hands, and I was overwhelmed by the weight of this burden.  The Lord has been refining my mindset on this issue, gradually removing some of the anxiety and lack of trust in His ultimate care for Jeshuah, but I still bear the realization that Jehsuah is mine to care for, which is as it should be.

I have been dwelling on how we as parents represent God the Father to our children.  Our children will form their understanding of how God is by how they see us act.  This can be an accurate (though flawed) representation of God or an inaccurate one.  How does an accurate representation look, practically?

One of my parenting philosophies, and I know people disagree on this, is that babies need to learn to soothe themselves to sleep.  I have struggled with insomnia for as long as I can remember.  I have an incredibly difficult time falling and staying asleep, and if conditions are not exactly so, I have no hope of falling asleep, no matter how exhausted I am.  It’s been extremely frustrating for me, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone!

This is only one of the reasons why I agree with the self-soothing philosophy.  I don’t want my little one to have the same handicaps I have when it comes to sleep. I don’t want him to have to be dependent on nursing to sleep, rocking to sleep, the lighting being just right, or a certain sound being present or not present.  I believe it serves babies better to allow them to learn to fall asleep without sleep props.  They will ultimately have an easier time sleeping, and parents won’t be as stressed out, tiptoeing out of the room or yelling at people for ringing the doorbell.

But listening to your baby cry is agonizing!  The first couple of days we started letting Jeshuah cry it out, I sat on the couch and cried myself! The only thing that kept me from going in to him was knowing that he will be so much better for learning this, and believing that he is capable of falling asleep on his own.  (For the record, he usually only cries for 5 minutes before drifting off to sleep now, and sometimes he doesn’t cry at all!).

Another truth that helped is the realization that God does not always instantly gratify our desires.  Yes, he comforts and loves and cares for us, and I do that for Jeshuah on a regular basis.  But sometimes he stands “far off” and allows us to cry.  Sometimes he is silent when we call out to him.  Stephen found this verse this morning, and I feel that it drives this point home.  Psalm 10:1 says, “Why, O Lord, do you stand far away? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?”.

There are times as parents that we will not give our children what they desire, because we know what is better for them than they know for themselves.  There are times that God does this for us as well.  And yet He has never really left us; He never forsakes us.  I have never really left Jeshuah, I simply know that it is ultimately better for him to fall asleep on his own than to be dependent on me to help him sleep.

So we represent Father in many other ways than simply meeting our child’s needs and instantly gratifying their desires.  Sometimes we represent Him by disciplining our little ones.  Sometimes we represent Him by encouraging them to wait a bit before they get what they need.  Other times we model Him by soothing and cuddling our crying little one.  But always we should represent Him by loving our children enough to sacrifice our very lives for them.  And that is a heavy responsibility.  May I live up to it!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Well said Sweetie! You are an Excellent Wife and Mom!

    Reply

  2. You are doing so awesome friend! I know that I don’t see the ins and outs of your daily duties as ‘Mom’ but it is evident through the beautiful theology that you hold concerning the parenting techniques you mentioned above. Way to go girl! I call that gospel powered parenting ;o) Jonathan and I are so glad to have you and Stephen as friends, to learn the whole parenting call along with you! Thanks be to God for friendship and the encouragement we receive from your example 🙂

    Reply

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