I recently read Brooke McGlothlin’s new book, “Gospel-Centered Mom” which is a call to Christian mothers to refocus on what is most important in parenting. Among other things she discusses how despite what American culture would have us believe, perhaps you and I aren’t supposed to be “enough” for our children, but rather, that parenting our children is meant to compel us to run to Christ, who is enough, and let Him be our Enough… rather than make us enough.
There were a couple thoughts she wrote in her book that really caught my heart and have caused me to want to ponder them more fully. One of which was the idea that our parenting, our family life, our experiences can bring glory to God our Father. For example, she writes
“When a woman’s heart and life belong to God, her decisions aren’t her own. She’s an ambassador for Christ and must, therefore, choose to make decisions that reflect His will, no matter how hard. These choices – her response to the good and the bad things life brings her way – matter to the people around her, most notably her children, who are watching to see if the God she says she loves is really worth serving. Whether she’s dealing with heavy burdens, like divorce or death, or everyday challenges, like the neighbor’s cat using her flower bed as a litter box, a burned dinner, or forgotten homework, someone is watching… we have… been created to bring glory to God.”
She goes on to talk about the Apostle Paul who said of himself
“in 1 Timothy 1:16 that the reason he received the mercy and forgiveness of God was so that in him, through his life story, ‘Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.’ In other words, Paul’s salvation served a purpose beyond his own forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Paul’s coming to Christ and the work God did to change him, mold him, and shape him into a great man of God was to display to the world a divine story in which Paul played a key role. God saved Paul so that through his example other might be drawn to Christ and be saved.”
I’ve been pondering quite a bit this idea that our lives can bring God glory and praise. That the way we follow Jesus in our daily lives can cause others to turn to the God who loves them fiercely. I’ve particularly been drawn to Jesus’ prayer in John 17 (verses 4, 22-23),
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do… I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
If you are anything like me, this can feel weighty. We might feel that we must be perfect followers of Christ, perfect spouses, perfect parents, perfect co-workers, etc. in order to give our Father glory. Who would want to follow our Jesus when they see our failures, character flaws, and weaknesses?
But then my mind turns to 2 Corinthians 12:9 where the Holy Spirit tells Paul
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
To which Paul responds,
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
God gets the glory in our strength and our weakness. Yes, we need to wholeheartedly follow our Savior, but as Brooke discusses in her book, we weren’t meant to be enough (strong enough, perfect enough, etc.). Instead, in our weakness, we were designed to run to God and let HIM be enough. This, in turn, can bring God glory.
But when I think about my life bringing Jesus glory, I wonder how anyone can see Jesus in my life. If I live my life so closed off and introverted, how will my neighbors watch me follow Jesus? If I live my life in pride, only presenting my best side, how will my children see me recognize my weakness and depend on Christ who is my Enough? If I live my life so hurried, how can I live in a relationship well with anyone? And if I live as a sort of Kingdom Gatekeeper, only spending time with those who seem worthy, how will those who truly need Jesus watch me experience the depths of his grace, strength, peace, and restoration, know they can experience these things also?
I want to live my life OPEN for others – my neighbors, my children, fellow parents, etc. – to witness God’s grace in my life so that they might experience it too. That they might taste God’s glory and see that it is good. So good.
I’m honored to be a part of Brooke McGlothlin’s Gospel Centered Mom book tour. This post was inspired by the book which you can learn more about here.
Okay, Parents, you’ve read my ponderings, what do you think? How does it make you “feel” to know that our lives and our families can bring glory to God? Do you let your children see you “interact” with Jesus? To see you serve Him, trust Him, ask His forgiveness, receive His grace? I don’t know about you, but this is definitely an area I need to grow in!
Glorious Father, You are so good. So kind. So loving. You have captured our hearts. Lord, help us follow You… in strength and in weakness. Help us live our lives openly, in relationship with others, that they might see You working in our lives and, in turn, glorify you… that they might choose to follow You. Thank You for the honor and privilege to bring You praise and allow others to see Your work here on Earth. Amen.