I’m Not Raising a Family (The Problem With Short-Sighted Living)

I'm Not Raising a Family (The Problem With Short-Sighted Living)

People are tired, frustrated, bored or discouraged. You can see it, hear it, feel it. What’s more, you might be one of those people. We all are at some point.

And I think I know why:

Because we measure our contentment by today’s work. We live short-sighted lives–living for today or maybe next week, (until our kids are in college?) but not much beyond there. We make near-sighted decisions and near-sighted excuses then wonder why we’re left unfulfilled.

We chase success but significance eludes us. And it’s significance we really want.

The problem with my perspective is that I’m too now-focused, raising my little large family, looking at today’s trouble, today’s messes and today’s frustrations.

There’s one slight change of thinking that drastically changes the way I live–the way I parent and the way I love my husband and the way I love those around me:

What I need to know (and remember) is that I’m not raising a family. I’m raising a nation. There’s a whole generation underneath that spaghetti-smeared face.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” Matthew 28:19

Yes, making disciples includes our children especially, with our sincerest efforts, praying and trusting the Lord, thanking him for the opportunity to raise “godly offspring”, for tender olive shoots around our table, for the children of our youth who will grow up to speak with our enemies in the gates.

Because these our children, our family, will multiply through the coming years, thousands upon thousands, bringing glory and honor to their Creator, or shame and disgrace. We work with all our might to infuse them with the Gospel, to imitate Christ as we walk and disciple them, and to nurture them in the admonition of the Lord. And, we trust with all our might that God’s grace will save them and keep them.

Living beyond today is fleshing out Christ’s command to not collect treasures on earth but in Heaven.

Life. Changer.

And as a mom-of-many, keeping long-term vision sure gives strength to my days.

I love reading about influential people who were born in large families, especially the further down the line they are. It reminds me of the importance of having long-term vision.

I was reading about Zig Ziglar. He was a life-changer, and quite literally a world-changer.

Ziglar was the 10th child of 12 children. (As a side note, his father died when he was 6, his younger sister died shortly after, and his mother was left alone to raise her remaining 11 children.)

In our day, Ziglar probably wouldn’t have been born. That many kids is too much work, money and time. But the world should be so grateful that his mother was willing to do the work, to look ahead, to sacrifice today’s comforts for tomorrow’s blessing.

Not only Ziglar, but we have a host of world-changers who were born after the “acceptable number of children quota” when the work is just too much.

Once upon a time parents had a baby, looked into that baby’s face and saw the future. They knew they were staring at a grave responsibility, but a noble one–a potential human being who would add value to their family, their community and to the world. They were looking into the face of tomorrow–a new generation.

A far-sighted view of life gave children worth, and raising them was an investment rather than a liability. They knew it would be hard, but they weren’t in it for them, for the moment.

There was a time when having children wasn’t about personal fulfillment but about storing up treasures in Heaven and living for something bigger. People lived for the future, all the way into eternity, where Heaven will include every child we bring to the foot of the Cross.

Living like that changed the world.

“Dear God, make me a life-changer.”

“…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

 

 

12 Responses to “I’m Not Raising a Family (The Problem With Short-Sighted Living)”

  1. deborah says:

    A great little encouragement there. Some days, some times, it does get very difficult to live for the eternity when the now is very pressing. Thank you. :o)

  2. Bonnie says:

    Love this. Thank you!

  3. Sheri says:

    This is my biggest struggle and weakness as a mom! Failing to see the big picture. If we could only see the effects far down the road of our little faithful acts of today, maybe we would live with more enthusiasm. Thanks, Kelly. I always enjoy your posts.

  4. 6 arrows says:

    The hustle and bustle of life can surely make it easy sometimes to lose sight of the big picture as we parent our children. But in the quiet of the night, awake with a sick child Saturday night, I had time to ponder the future. To thank God for the blessing of a little girl to minister to, a young one who, Lord willing, will one day grow to adulthood, as some of her siblings now have.

    I can be thankful for that interrupted sleep, tired as I was the next day, that God gave me that quiet time to renew my vision.

    His blessings come in many forms, at all times. Lord, give me eyes to see, and vision for the future.

  5. Natalie says:

    Thank you Kelly!
    A wise “older woman” once told me to also instill this vision into my sons (we have all boys). Talk to them about what kind of men they can be. They need to know that there is a reason we are doing what we are doing.
    Yesterday, I told my boys that if someone offered me a billion dollars for each of them, I would not give them up. Honestly, I would not even send them to public school for any amount of $ because I value the eternal reward of doing what the Lord has called me to do above any earthly “treasure”.
    When my dad was born his siblings were 18 & 20. This would be a very unlikely birth in today’s world. He has 3 children, and 8 grandchildren (so far). It amazes me to think of the impact of one life!

  6. Diane says:

    As the last of 8 children, I also like the stories of later born kids of large families! Thanks for all the writing you do on this topic. Love your blog!

  7. Claudia says:

    Amen, Kelly!

  8. Charity says:

    I’m not sure how I missed this post but I’m so glad I noticed it just now. This. Is. Good. Stuff.

    Thank you Kelly!!

    P.S. You are such a gifted writer. My thoughts never come out quite like they are in my head. You just do wonderfully! 🙂

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