Armchair QB - [Spiritual] Parenthood

Today's message was on parenting. I knew this before I went. I am one of those nerds who likes to read the passage ahead of time and meditate on it so that I can be ready for the Sunday morning message. Like I said, nerd.

But knowing what the topic was, I almost didn't show up at church. You see, I have no children at home. My son is already 23. (Where did the time go?) And honestly, we weren't great parents. We did the best we could with what we had, but I wish we had done many things better. For one, I wish that we had been followers of Jesus in his childhood, not his teen years. We probably would have been better parents.

All those regrets and disappointments didn't make me eager to listen to a message about parenting.

Praying about this passage yesterday, and more accurately about my heart's annoyance, I realized that I am still important in the lives of many kids. I am not their parent, but I have come to be a spiritual mother, or spiritual aunt. They may not be of my flesh, but they are of my heart.

As we sit around campfires and pottery tables and living rooms, spiritual parents ask questions that these children and young adults may hear differently from us than from their parents. We don't discipline them, but we help them to learn discipline.  We encourage and support.  We help them grow in wisdom that leads to action.  We challenge them.  We have late night texting sessions.  We get dunked in (well, out of) canoes.  We share secrets.  We meet for coffee.  We are co-conspirators and co-laborers.  As spiritual parents, we pray.  We keep their names and paths at the throne.  And we pray for you, too, the parents of these dear kids. 

Parenting is difficult.  Grace can seem exhausting.  Sibling squabbles and teen eye rolling can take its toll on a parent.  God seems to place us in community where we can share burdens, and struggles. You truly aren't in this alone. I love your children and am honored to walk with them, and you.  Thank you for allowing me into their lives.


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