So, this is Family FellowSHIP Friday! It's about your family and my family being a part of the family of God. It's about the FellowSHIP of believers understanding that we're all in this boat together. It's about the family of God choosing to stand together IN CHRIST ALONE.
Maybe you have your hands full with little ones. I certainly understand. This picture is of Steve, me, and our four little ones (ages 1, 3, 5, and 7). Our oldest will soon be 30 years old!
About the time of this picture, it was beginning to sink into my psychic that, "We are not in control of what happens to us!" During this time, I began to realize that rigid rules did not work. I had to understand that, as a mother, I needed to be fair, firm, and consistent. Setting consistent boundaries for my children was imperative. Yet, FLEXIBILITY had to be my constant friend. In fact, one of the most important skills of a parent, I believe, is FLEXIBILITY. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER (since I became a parent) have I ever had even one week go just like I planned it. FLEXIBILITY is a mother's survival skill, especially when said flexibility is coupled with a little bit of humor.
On the other hand, children need to know that forgiveness and consequences are not the same. They need to know, at an early age, that "mommy loves you and forgives you, but a rule is a rule and there are consequences for breaking rules." Then, as a parent you must pray for wisdom as you discern whether or not the rule breaking was...
- an honest mistake, or
- willful defiance
This kind of parenting is not for the faint of heart. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes being fair, firm, and consistent.
Flexibility certainly helps! I don't know what I would do though, as a mother, if I did not hunger and thirst to know, " What Would Jesus Do?" in any given situation. As I have shared with you before, I continue to go back to my ABC's of Jesus to help me to answer the questions of WWJD. Why? Because I want to model Jesus for my children in all of our interactions.
Since Jesus is the "NAME above all names".. since Jesus is who I want to be my sole authority... then, using one or more of my Jesus alphabet's helps me to know that I am standing IN CHRIST ALONE:
A - Advocate with All Authority
B - Bread of life
C - Counselor
D - Deliverer
E - Example
F - Faithful and True
G - Good Shepherd; Graee Giver
H- Humble and Holy One
I - Image of God
J - Judge eternal
K - King of kings
L- Lord! Life! Light! Lion! Lamb!
N- Name above all names
P- Peacemaker who is Pure in heart
Q- Quieter of the wind and waves
R- Rock and Reconciliation
T- Truth Teacher
U- Unspeakable gift
V- Victorious Warrior
W-Way! Word! Wisdom!
X- eXact representation of God
Y- Yahweh (Who is and was and is to come!)
Z- Zion stander
"Christ in you, the hope of glory."