Generation Cedar

Dear Kelly,

You have a highly specialized job as your children’s mother; you get the privilege of transferring, teaching, imparting and eternally shaping the lives of the people that have been given to you for just that purpose. In one sense, this is remarkable news. In another, it’s rather terrifying.

Terrifying because the transferring, teaching, imparting and eternally shaping is done primarily through the life you live.

They don’t learn what you tell them you want them to learn; they learn to become WHAT YOU ARE. *Being* is the most important thing you’ll do as a mother. Being what you want them to be, being the person you say loves Jesus, being generous to others, being a godly wife, being a kind woman, being genuine.

Or not…

You can tell them they should “be kindly affectioned” and “prefer one another.” But unless you are BEING kindly affectioned, preferring others over yourself, they will only learn to be a hypocrite.

You can tell them what a godly wife is supposed to be–the virtue, the tongue governed by kindness, the crown to her husband–but they’ll mostly grow up to be the kind of wife you are BEING.

You can tell them about God’s grace and forgiveness, how His mercy covers you because you can’t always BE what you need to be, but unless you reflect that mercy and grace in the inhaling and exhaling of a day, they will not truly learn its depth.

And this being, it is constant, with no reprieve. Which is, in fact, the heart of the matter: that you are always transferringย who you are to your children and so it matters who you are–who you are becoming, far more than it matters what you mean to teach them.

So the answer? You seek Him and pursue Him hard with a reckless abandon of all else. You love Him wholly, follow Him completely and make it your only desire in life to become more and more like Him.

Then you will raise children who become what you wish for them to become.

“…for โ€œโ€˜In him we live and move and have our being;” Acts 17:28

21 Responses

  1. Thank you, Kelly…so true. Example is so important, especially as the kids grow older. They’re not fooled by inconsistencies between what you say and how you live.

    Many thanks for this truly convicting post.

  2. Such a convicting post–thank you! I think this is one of the reasons we see rebellion in teens ๐Ÿ™ We can preach to them and give them Vision Forum books like there’s no tomorrow, but if we are not *sincere* and truly practicing what we say, they eventually realize it and want no part of it ๐Ÿ™ May the Lord give us the grace to live it consistently and without hypocrisy before them!

    Your posts are always a blessing ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. My poor children! I feel so ashamed of some of the things I tell them and I do not really mean. I just loose control when I feel overwhelmed or tired or… (you name it). Then I have to tell them that I am sorry and that i do not really think what i said, and ask for forgiveness. What are they going to learn? Are they going to loose the control too?

    1. Carolina,

      You are not alone (why do you think I wrote a letter to myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

      God’s grace is so big and the very act of your seeing your need to ask forgiveness is a means by which He teaches your children humility and the repentance–traits every Christian must learn and can best learn through seeing it lived out.

      Remain transparent…(I’m speaking to myself here too.) Constantly bathe in His Word and seek to grow.

    2. Your kids are blessed to have a mom like you, Carolina, who asks for their forgiveness after an offense. They see your humanity, yes, but they also see your brokenness and humility in your response afterward. Not every child grows up in a home with parents who are willing to admit their faults. You are doing the right thing!

      The enemy loves to keep our sins ever before us. Counteract that with the Word: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1) And Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.”

      Tomorrow is a new day, and God’s mercy and grace is available to us each day. Blessings to you, Carolina!

  4. This is so true. It has taken me a long time to finally get to be facing a direction I can feel right about. As a lone parent especially, I haven’t been a shining example but I am getting it better and doing better, with the grace of God that He has so generously showered on me.

    @Carolina Jackson: Asking for forgiveness when you do something lousy is part of what you teach kids too, so I also try to go as quickly as possible to let them know I am sorry. None of us will be perfect and that’s not the point. Acknowledging failings is so very important in life and kids need to learn that it is not weak to do so. My 5 year-old even came with me and sat in the pew when I went to confession last week. Somehow she knows how to spell confession. o_O

  5. This is inspiring, in an intimidating sort-of-way… ๐Ÿ™‚
    We have this wonderful poem framed on our wall, titled,
    “Children learn what you live”. It’s so entirely true.
    God help us all to be better parents (or aunt, in my case;) ).

  6. So true. I was reminded of the quote by Emerson “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say”. Ahem. Yes, something to remember as we go ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Thank you so much for this! I have been so convicted lately that I cannot possibly BE the mother that I need to BE if I don’t make myself BE with HIM! ๐Ÿ™‚ If God’s Word is implanted into my heart and I’m daily drinking from the springs of eternal life, it WILL come forth through my thoughts, words and actions! And when it doesn’t come forth because I’ve allowed my feelings or circumstances to reign, I get the chance to show the need for the gospel by seeking forgiveness from my children and husband! Being a mother doesn’t mean we’ve reached any sort of finality in our walk with Christ – in so many ways we’re walking this journey with our children! And living under God’s grace means we show humility when we sin by seeking forgiveness and our children too will learn to do the same!

    Thank you for your encouraging blog!

  8. Hi! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thanks!

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