As our middle two children, one after another, chose to run down a path of selfishness, rage, anger, tirades, and fits, I was becoming overwhelmed! Now add to that, a five month-old, who for whatever reason, decided that today would be a good day for an unsettled schedule (cue the crying!) AND the oldest, under the weather, after high-fevers and nearly fainting in our bathroom in the middle of the night, looked like a steamroller ran over him…..needless to say, it was an UGLY morning. Oh! Forgot to mention, the in-laws are visiting…which is awesome…but adds a flavor of CHANGE to the morning/day. With all this chaos
Amidst all the chaos…here’s what Father God spoke into my heart……
“Lesley, be their John, not their Jesus.”
I am so motivated toward the concept of “be their Jesus” because I’m a christian, right? I love Jesus, he loves them, I love them, they will love Jesus. Did you catch that, they WILL, WILL, WILL, love Jesus! I will make darn sure of it! Because I love Jesus, I will be SURE, my children love him too! To the point that I will drag them into the river Jordan, demand that they confess their sins, shove them down into the deep waters, and expect the glorious sounds of angels and the voice of God, speaking the awesome words, “This is my son(s), with whom I am well pleased….and look at their amazing mother, soaking wet, breathing deep, and filled with so much….worry, stress, anxiety, and burden.” Great picture, huh?
As I drove at a slightly energized pace this morning to get our preschooler to school without being late, it came to me, by the Grace of God, that I’m trying too hard to be Jesus for my children. I try to be him by saving their souls. How do I try to save their souls? By trying very hard to be sure they never sin (do wrong). When they do wrong, I try REALLY hard to be the one to convince them that they are wrong and they need to apologize. Does this ring true for anyone else?
You see, John the Baptist was different from Jesus. He didn’t bring salvation, he paved the way for salvation. He didn’t claim to be all-powerful, he pointed to “one more powerful than I.” John didn’t forgive sins, but he took people to the water, to prepare them for REAL forgiveness. John the Baptist knew he could wash people in water, but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit.
You see, as a parent, it is our job to point our children to Jesus. Just like John did. We are to help “prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him (Jesus)” into the hearts of our children. Just as John did for those in the “whole Judean countryside.” We are to make it clear to our children, we are not their Jesus, we are their John.
There are days when I look like John too! Hair disheveled, haven’t showered in days, clothes of…animal hair and only eating locusts and wild honey. That could be an exaggeration but truthfully, don’t we as moms and dads sometimes feel and look like we are CRAZY! John the Baptist looked crazy and his message was this, “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.”
make it clear to our children, we are not their Jesus, we are their John.
Let’s look crazy as parents and preach the same message to our kids. There is One that already came, one whose sandals we can not walk, one who saved the world through death on a cross, One who is the Son of God. Dear child, I bathe you in water but He, He will immerse you in the Holy Spirit. Child, I will tell you that I am not Him, I am not your Savior, I am not your healer, I am not your protector, I can not always be with you, I will not be able to take your sins to the grave, and I will not be able to give you Heaven for your home….BUT I know who will.
Moms and Dads, try on John’s clothes this week, eat a little honey and be thankful you haven’t showered in days, you are pointing your children toward the Savior of the World.If you have time, read Matthew 3, Mark 1:1-11, Luke 3:1-22, and John 1:19-28 for a refresher on John. I pray the Lord will reveal even more to you as you dig into the Word.