Yesterday was a milestone for me—I turned the ripe old age of 33. There was a little Penguins of Madagascar action, followed by a grand trip to Costco, and a fun evening with our MarriageCore group at someone’s home. I have managed to cram quite a lot of living into these years, and I am grateful God has allowed me to experience some unique things. Of every gift I have received, none compare to the gift of having children. Before we bolted to action yesterday morning, my boys handed me a small, coral jewelry box. Inside was a charm from James Avery with a note that said “you are navigating our kids well.” The charm? Well, it is a silver compass. While I certainly do not feel I am always navigating our children well, when I look at the compass, I am reminded of several truths I want to share with you, my fellow parents on-the-journey who desire to do this well.
Truth #1: We cannot navigate our children well unless Christ is navigating us.
Can we be honest? When you are a parent, life is busy and the busyness is not always beautiful. But it is beautifully rewarding when done well! How do we do it well when time is fleeting and we are pulled in so many directions? We keep our eye on the prize and focus on the goal. We must maintain our relationship with the Lord. We may not be able to manage our time as seamlessly as one without kids, but we do what we can with what we have and remember that this season of life (hands-on parenting) is short, but it will bear fruit for generations. If you need to get up 30 minutes before the rooster crows in order to spend time in the Word and prayer, then do so. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). He will give you discernment and direction, but you must look at His map (The Bible) and follow the course He has set out for you. Be mindful to make your relationship with the Lord the number one priority in your life so His voice is the loudest one you hear when you are walking through your days.
Truth #2: The Gospel is for all people, in all places.
North. East. South. West. No matter our location, we are not to remain in our Christian huddle. We are called to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Each and every last one of us. We do not get a pass because it is a taxing time with visits to the dentist, soccer games, and youth group. Our children often afford us the opportunity to be a light in the darkness to people we may not encounter otherwise. As Christian parents, we should take advantage of the opportunities right in front of us to share Jesus. If you are nervous about walking through the Romans Road with a stranger (or friend), just focus on sharing your faith and allow God to do the rest. Whether it is for the exhausted parent at the playground or the exasperated worker at Build-A-Bear, this season is prime time to shine your light before men and be that city on a hill to others.
Truth #3: When we use the right devices, we will never wander aimlessly.
The Bible is the authoritative Word of God. It is alive, active, and sharper than a two-edged sword! It is unchanging, constant, and the ultimate source of life for the believer—but it does not open itself. Read His Word, spend time in prayer, and take in solid food from other sources, as well. Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable and speak Truth into your life. After all, “a wise man is he who listens to counsel” (Proverbs 12:15).
I would like to say I am somehow more of the person I would like to be now that I am one year older. But the truth is, all I see are those things I hope to be one year from now. I have a few more gray hairs on my head and a few more lines reminding me of the joys and sorrows this life brings, but I have the same Lord and Savior who faithfully carries me (and you) on to the day of completion (Philippians 1:6). “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see”—I see that I will never be lost, because I have the Word of God as my compass. If I maintain course and walk in the Spirit, I hope the result will be navigating my children well.