How easy it is to fall into this trap of weakened resolve. When you are free from onlookers, it tends to reveal where your priorities are. My husband and I were acknowledging that our parenting was showing signs of diminished diligence because there seemed to be no accountability.
There is a verse in Nehemiah that spoke powerfully to both of us as we were praying over the need to “stick to it” even in the midst of the mundane. Nehemiah 4:23 states,
“So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each kept his weapon at his right hand.”
In this account, Nehemiah and the nation of Israel were under attack as they tried to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. The city walls had been in shambles for many years while the enemies of God mocked and pilfered. The attacks were constant and the rhetoric of the foes daunting.
As the crew of workers commenced on their 52-day project, all knew the stakes were high. God’s name and glory were in question and there was no room for ease and rest. The clear calling of God to complete this project had to be met with a determined zeal to see it through. To lay down their weapons, or even take time for a change of clothes was not in keeping with the reality of their purpose.
Parenting fits this scenario in a powerful way. Even when our lives are in vacation mode, our parenting can’t be. God’s glory and name are at stake in the lives of our children. They are His creation. Their lives are the picture of a walled city fortified by His Word and His working. Our task is to lay brick upon brick, precept upon precept. The work can never take a rest even when midnight approaches. The enemy is mocking our efforts with His accusations of failure and fear. Satan lurks about looking for a simple moment of carefree and weakened purpose. His adversarial agenda longs for any break in the work we know is clearly God’s will and plan.
This type of mindset can be very wearisome. We can feel overwhelmed at the prospect and not at all fit for the task. “After all, I am not a bricklayer Lord,” is what our heart is crying out. Maybe we have been at it for a bit and are in the middle of the teens or even twenties and beyond and we have witnessed some of the work that we thought had been cement turn into waste for a time. Or possibly you are just starting out and see the years ahead in a prism of worry and tired thoughts.
Then we see a rehearsing of all that God had seen them through. Their rebellion and stubborn will right alongside their victories and accomplishments. In verse 33 we read these words,
The answer to both of these perspectives is found in the testimony of Nehemiah 9. In this chapter we see the nation of Israel responding to the Word of the Lord that had not been read corporately for many years. As their ears hear it, both conviction and repentance are the response.
“Yet You have been righteous in all that has come upon us, You have dealt faithfully and we have acted wickedly.”
There will be days when the losses will outweigh the gains in our parenting journey. Many times we will see our failings and catch a glimpse of our weapons placed on a shelf instead of in our hands. But we are not faithful in and of ourselves. Just like a nation who found their city broken and breached because of their self-will and disobedience, our children may at times appear to resemble a confused and conflicted pile of rubble. But God will do what He promises because He can do nothing but. He is faithful to complete the work He starts. It doesn’t all rest on me. Thankfully it rests on His faithfulness. My only requirement is humble diligence to repent, resolve, and pick my weapon back up.
There is no time like today to wield the weapon of the Word and the watchful eye of The Holy Spirit in the lives of our children. Even though summer days bring a much-needed reprieve from the hustle and bustle, the call to parenting never affords that way of thinking.
After my husband and I studied this out, we called a Rossiterville family forum. We delivered the new proclamation of a renewed desire to hold to the lines God has placed in His Word as it pertains to obedience and submission. Lazy summer days are here to be enjoyed, but laziness in parenting has no place in our lives. Here is to building a home, brick by brick, precept upon precept, sword in hand, and eyes fixed on the adversary.
What parenting challenges have you faced during the pandemic?
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