by Staci Eastin
I was sitting with a group of moms, talking about motherhood and kids, when a younger mom spoke up from the corner of the room.
“But, what can you do? I mean, how can you be sure you’re pointing them on the right path? How can you know they’ll follow God?”
We all understood the cry of her heart. All mothers who follow Christ share this burden. The fact that our little ones are sinners — coupled with the reality that we cannot guarantee their salvation — often overwhelms us.
As mothers, we call the shots in so many things. We control mealtimes and TV watching. We can surround our kids with Bible stories and good teaching. It is our responsibility to do these things, to ensure that the seeds of the gospel are planted and watered. But in the end, it’s God who makes things grow. (I Corinthians 3:5-7)
We did our best to remind this young mother of this truth. But a year or so ago, as I was tearfully apologizing to one of my children for a mistake of mine that had brought him hardship, I realized that I really only believed half of this truth.
You see, while I readily acknowledged that only God could save my children, I had come to believe that I could somehow undo any good that God had done.
It was time to apply the whole of the gospel to my children’s lives. The promises of Romans 8:28 and Philippians 1:6 that I so readily run to when it came to the trials of my own life are relevant to my kids’ lives, too. As my children learn to follow God, he uses all things for their good and his glory. As he sets their feet on the path to his truth, he will see it through to the end.
I’m very happy to remind others of this, and I’m certainly glad to cling to it when my own trials come. I would even give it nodding ascent when trials came into my kids’ lives from other people. But what about when it was my mistakes and sin that caused the problem? Does this still apply?
The answer, of course, is yes. When the Bible promises that God can use all things to accomplish his purposes in my kids’ lives, the “all things” certainly includes their mother’s sin. And like the gospel, though it first brings sorrow, it ultimately brings peace and joy.
My children are sinners, and so is their mother. I’m so grateful that God’s grace and mercy are sufficient to overcome all of our sin.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Staci Eastin (@WritingLiving) is the author of The Organized Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Conquering Chaos (Cruciform 2011) and blogs at WritingandLiving.net and Out of the Ordinary. Staci is an avid baseball fan and is known for making nostalgic comments about the 80′s. She also loves serving in the youth group at her church.