Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 054 Parenting His Purpose
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #054 – Parenting His Purpose
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
A few days ago I was working on the podcast, but stopped and began listening with a smile when I heard my daughters giggling together over something in the kitchen. Their carefree laughter brought such joy to my spirit.
It brought to mind how God must feel each time we eagerly seek His presence and take joy in learning more of Him. Just as the girls were authentically sharing moments together, God wants us to invite Him to share both large and small memories with Him.
Our Heavenly Father created us for special fellowship together.
Since the fall of creation, this world we live in has been warped and broken. Our spirits have been yearning to reconnect with God in the intimate ways He designed for us. The Good Father created us on purpose with a purpose.
As we know, before Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they shared a very unique and special relationship with God that carried privileges we have never experienced.
1. Adam and Eve were privileged to walk and talk with God daily.
2. Adam and Eve saw God through the pure lens God desired. They were not confused or misled by sin, as it had not yet entered their lives.
3. Adam and Eve lived with a richness and fullness that God intended for their spirits and minds, unaffected by our now-fallen world.
After disobeying God, sin damaged and severed their perfect relationship with God. The intimate bond and communion Adam and Eve shared with God was destroyed. After they chose to believe Satan, and made choices that tore them from God’s perfection, their knowledge and understanding of God became twisted. Although they once walked with God in abundant life, they now hid in the shadows of their once peaceful world, as death entered their world and altered their existence.
Our lives are now positioned on what occurred through Adam and Eve’s choice and what the world became after the Fall. Every man and woman has been separated from God, we are not wise to the truths of God, and we are each condemned to not only a physical death, but a spiritual death as well.
Thankfully, because of Jesus, we have a Redeemer and Rescuer who has brought us back into a beautiful fellowship with God. We don’t have to live alienated from God, ignorant of God, condemned to death, or without hope or purpose.
So why do so many Christians who rejoice in the fact that they are saved through Jesus and proclaim to love the Lord neglect to live a lifestyle that focuses on eternity with a heart and mindset like Jesus?
Why don’t we teach our children to live with a mindset and purpose that is set for eternity and raise them for Jesus?
Because, just like Jesus said in Luke 23:34a, “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
Just as Satan’s words to Eve contained partial truth (although it was twisted), the devil uses the same tactics with us today. Satan tempts humans by appealing to our desires.
Often, mothers want so much for their children that we forget how very little they really need.
We are so busy trying to do and get all we can for them. All they really need is a firm foundation set on Jesus and a life that seeks and reflects Him.
The same truth applies to us. Our life should not be defined by how much our children have or what they do. Stop trying to present them with the best or the most and commit to loving them as God calls. Help them build a firm and solid foundation on Jesus. God will equip and lead you to give them what they truly need and He will also surprise you with blessings beyond as you follow Him with a joyous and honoring heart.
As a woman who has raised two sets of family over a span of forty-two years, I’ve watched fads come and go, and I’ve seen the way current culture affects home and family. I’ve experienced the consistency of a firm foundation settled on Jesus, as well as life without much thought to Him.
No strategy, no amount of love or attention, no hope, no plans, no relationship with a human, nothing carries the value and hope that a maturing relationship with God through Jesus holds.
When we live a life connected to Jesus, it builds a lifeline between our children and the Lord.
Philippians 3:8 says, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”
If we really believe that verse, why don’t we live like it?
Why don’t we ensure that our children know Jesus and teach them that nothing in this life lasts, nothing matters but a firm foundation built on Him?
Do you understand what the word foundation means in relation to our child and his relationship with and dependency on Christ? Really take a few moments to soak in the importance of the word and meaning. A life built on the foundation of Jesus will have a life-affirming, truthful basis for a belief system, stability, support, and a life patterned after the Authority and Creator.
For a year I have written podcasts set to build our relationships with God through maturing our walk with Jesus. Without Him, this world has no hope, no peace, and cannot offer love or understanding. Look at the way our culture continues to change and the effects it has on us, let alone our children. Media, shows, books, magazines, fashion, education, celebrities, and superstars all desensitize our precious children and we are to blame, as we ignorantly or lazily let it continue.
Many kids grow up wanting fame at the cost of anything, including morals, reputation, relationships, and life. Instead of humbly following the Lord, they follow strangers who lead them far away from where a true believer and follower of Christ should be. Our children have time for phones and social media, but make no time to invest in growing and deepening a walk with Jesus. We have ourselves to blame if we have not allowed Christ to rule our life and modeled Him humbly and purely to them daily. Most of the time, our children pattern themselves and their life choices after what they see us do.
I hope that if you are listening to this podcast you are either already maturing your walk with Jesus through an intentional, continuous basis or that you are very interested in doing so. I have known Jesus for 39 years. My walk with Him has not been perfect, but Jesus has never left my side.
It is my honor, and frankly my duty, as I know where God is calling me, to teach you what God has shown to me, as well as to lead you straight to Him through the practical ways I’ve shared over the last year.
Heavy on my heart at this time, as I know God has laid it there, is the knowledge that He is calling me to walk with you in the way our children are raised. Am I saying I have all of the perfect answers to raising children? Absolutely not! But I know Who does and how to guide you to Him. I have seen the truth of God’s word come true over and over again.
Everything in the Bible is truth and God is not mocked. We do reap what we sow.
Our children are affected by what we believe and the actions we choose.
As you raise and provide for your precious children, be certain of what you believe and stand for, how you represent Jesus, and what you model for your children.
I’m going to list questions that each of us should regularly remember to ask ourselves and evaluate honestly. These are vitally important, not only for us, but for those around us, especially for the children God entrusted to our care.
1. What do I believe?
Do I know my beliefs and how they affect my eternity?
Have I thought about how they shape the eternity of those around me?
If I am a believer in Jesus, it is imperative that I am clear in these areas and striving to grow in Him daily and make Him clearly known to my children.
2. Is it apparent that I am a Christian?
What does that word mean to me?
Have I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior?
How do I represent Christ each day?
Do I say one thing and do another?
Am I consistent in my attitude and heartitude, making my maturing relationship with Jesus loving and evident?
3. What are my children learning?
Do they know Jesus as Savior?
Are they lovingly and intentionally maturing their walk with God through Jesus each day or are they Christians in name or claim only?
Do I see fruits of the spirit continuously ripening in them?
4. Am I actively helping my children grow in Jesus daily or expecting the church or someone else to help them grow in maturity?
How are they seeing me intentionally grow my walk with Christ?
What kind of relationship do they see?
Am I making Jesus known to them in real and personal ways?
Do I regularly model and mentor them in Jesus in a loving and godly way?
Let’s think back to the points I made at the beginning of this podcast when I discussed Adam and Eve in the garden.
1. Adam and Eve were able to walk and talk with God daily. As mothers who believe in Jesus, it should be our deepest desire to see our children walk and talk with God daily.
2. Adam and Eve saw God through the pure lens God desired. They were not confused or misled by sin, as it had not yet entered their lives. We should desire that our children know the word of God and His love through Jesus so that they are not confused by sin and are not attracted to what this world shoves at them.
3. Adam and Eve lived with a richness and fullness that God intended for their spirits and minds, unaffected by our now-fallen world. Godly parenting looks for ways to fill the minds of our children with the fullness of joy God intends for them and looks for ways to help our children mature and shine fruits of the Spirit.
4. Adam and Eve looked forward to spending time with God. Getting to know the Lord should not be a chore or something we barely make time for. Our relationship with God should be a priority so that it becomes one for our children.
How can we, as humans, fill these demanding roles? Only through the power and presence of Jesus in our life.
Parenting is hard. I think of our loving Heavenly Father, who always stands ready to carry us. God never leaves our side.
If you are a parent, grandparent, or person of influence over a child’s life, I urge you to acknowledge that there is nothing more important you can do for the one you love than to allow God to work through you to form their soul and eternal relationship with Him.
God did not pick you because you have it all together. He is allowing your influence on His child, because God trusts that you will allow Him to work through you.
When I became a mother at the age of 18, I did not have a relationship with Christ. I thought I was so mature for my age, and I was to a point. But as Jeremiah 9:23 says, “This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches.”
Likewise, Proverbs 3:13 says, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.”
And listen to this wisdom from Job 28:28, which says, “And this is what he says to all humanity: ‘The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.”
One of my favorites is Luke 2:52, which says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”
How blessed we (and our children) are if God can proclaim that our children are growing in favor with Him!
It is up to each one of us to have such a close, honoring, and obedient relationship with the Lord that we must equip our children to develop deep and wide-spread roots of faith.
When the storms of life come, and they will, our children will be able to withstand the trials of life because the soil they embed their life in is rich and their roots are straining to the depth and width strong faith requires.
Trees with weak root systems and poorly cultivated soil will weaken and “hollow-out” as life attacks them. Storms and winds, pestilence and disease are strong when the tree is not lovingly watched over and provided for. When the root system of a tree is not carefully guarded, the tree fails to thrive and often dies. In contrast, a healthy root system can even sprout new trees when the above ground part of the tree is burned.
It is imperative for our children to have strong faith roots in order for them to know, honor, follow, and shine Jesus. We are the gardener, working directly for the Master to ensure that His trees are raised to bloom healthy and strong in and through Him. Life in this world will not prepare our children for a lifetime of following Jesus and living a rich life blessed with the fruits of following Him.
As the mothers entrusted to protect, nurture, and train God’s precious child, we must grasp the weight of the holy work our Heavenly Father God has allowed us to participate in.
Jesus is our strength and guide. In order to properly guard and counsel our children, it is imperative that we are attuned to Him through a close and maturing walk ourselves. We live in a world that is in direct opposition to what God desires for and requires of us.
An example of this comes to mind when I think of how our schools have taught a warped science that excludes God and religion. How can you teach a subject without including the author of that subject? Science and religion are not separate. Educators use textbooks that teach subjects without divine inspiration from the author of creation, and they are unable to speak His word or truths in school. Our children are victims, living without wisdom or values from God and striving for the emptiness of this world system, which will never fulfill them.
Mothers, it is imperative that we take a stand. One day each of us will stand before God and be held accountable for the way we influenced His children. Your future relationship with your child and their eternal future depends on the decisions and priorities you establish and adhere to right now.
As you may know, I homeschool. It has made a critical difference in my ability to reach my children for the Lord. An education at home has allowed me the benefit of studying and understanding my children at a depth I would not have been privileged to observe and discover if I sent them away for hours to go to school elsewhere each day. I see the character and attitudes of my girls clearly and honestly, and the same is true in reverse. They see the passion I have for Jesus, and my loving desire and reasons for them to know, honor, love, and obey Him. My children are receiving an education based on morals and integrity taught from God’s Holy Word and learning the basis for what we hold to be standards for right and wrong. Character formation is a difficult, but worthy and holy task. I am blessed to work at it at great lengths daily in our time together.
I have also raised children through the public school system. I also know many Christians who have. I pray that each of us will trust God to provide and guide, and not make decisions based out of fear or ignorance. Allow Him to choose where and how your child will be educated, but understand that the decision will influence how much “clean up work” you will be involved in. Many children have been raised through the public school system or private schools and they have stayed true to the faith taught by diligent parents, however, I know it is becoming more and more difficult to combat the lies and unbiblical actions thrust at our children every day for years.
When I was a young mother and a new Christian, I foolishly believed that the church was where my children learned about God. I thought that if they know I loved Jesus and we went to church each week, that they would be raised as followers of Jesus. How naïve! This world, school systems, peers, social media, strangers, and others have much access to the ones we love most and we must have a plan in place to teach them the truths and joys God desires for them. God provides freedom from this world, not restriction. He bestows grace, not condemnation. Teach the truth because it is absolutely certain that others are filling your children with deceit.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for lovingly entrusting your precious, specially-crafted children into our hands. I pray we have the mindset you desire to raise them and lovingly teach them of You. Help us to perfect our walk with you more and more daily, mentoring the way for our children to have an even stronger walk with You. May each generation become stronger and deeper in faith and reach many as You work through them. Show us the way You desire us to love and teach each unique child you have allowed us. Make it clear where we need to change and grow in You ourselves, and may we admit our mistakes and change our course. May we shine You so well that our children cannot turn away. In Your precious name we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this episode. The Live With Eternal Perspective podcast is currently linked to terrihitt.com, where you can access the episodes housed in one convenient location, as well as receive access to blog posts, transcripts, and additional resources designed to mature your walk with Christ and equip you to raise or influence children with love and purpose through Him. If you would like another episode specifically about parenting children, you may like listening to “Equipping Children,” Episode #7 of the Live With Eternal Perspective podcast.
I pray you intentionally continue to draw nearer to Jesus and cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up and find new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.