Thursday, January 24, 2013

Where Does Family Ministry Fit In The Big Picture?

Photo:  Microsoft Images

 Let's explore some big questions about Family Ministry.
  • What is the role of Family Ministry? 
  • Where does it fit into the overall theme of the Bible?  
  • What does Family Ministry have to do with God's plan for the world?  
  • How does Family Ministry relate to the Great Commission of the church?
  • How can the church be more effective in missions, small group ministry, and children's ministry?
  • Is Family Ministry anything more than just the newest trend in the Christian community?
  • Does Family Ministry apply to singles or people who are not parents?

These questions and many more are answered in Dr. Rob Rienow's FREE audio presentation The Essential Role of the Family for World Evangelism.

Click on the link above to listen today.  Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Photo:  Microsoft Images

Thursday, January 3, 2013

God's Love for My Children

This is the final post in a 5-part series about perfectionism.  Previous entries can be found here:

                        How Do I Measure Up As A Christian Mother?
                        The Slippery Slope of Perfectionism
                        The Source of My Perfectionism
                        The Remedy for My Perfectionism

Photo:  Microsoft Images
This series has been about my own personal struggle with the discouragement.  II Corinthians 10:12 tell us, these comparisons amongst ourselves are unwise.  Even with this knowledge, I slip into the habit of de-valuing my parenting efforts when I compare myself with others or with my own fantasy of the ideal Christian mother.  I have come face-to-face with the reality that this hinders God's plan for my family--the exact opposite of my good intentions.

As I consider the effects of my own perfectionism, I realize the importance of trusting God to my parenting.  The underlying question I have to ask myself is this:  Do I underestimate God's love for my children?  I call them "my" children.  But truly they are His children whom He has so graciously entrusted into my care.  In turn, I need to trust and rely on Him.  He knows what He is doing--even when I can't see the end result or the steps to get there.

 I've collected some scriptures describing God's boundless love for my children:

Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.  
          - Psalm 103:13

 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. 
          - Psalm 139:13-16

Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
          - Isaiah 49:15

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?
          - Luke 11:13

My eyes should be riveted on my Savior (Heb. 12:2).  Keeping my attention focused on Him involves turning my sights away from myself and my shortcomings.  Years ago, I heard a talk by Linda Anderson, Founder of Mom to Mom ministries, speak to a group of mothers.  What she said has stuck with me for years: "We're not called to be Jesus to our children.  We're called to point them to Jesus."  Let's cast off the burden of perfectionism.  Let's replace it with:

Photo:  Microsoft Images
 Trust in His plan

Trust in His methods

Trust in His ability to overcome

Trust in His love for us (imperfect though we are) & our children.

Let's trust in the promise contained in Proverbs 3:5-6 and be encouraged by it:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not rely on your own insight.
 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.