You may or may not have heard my own story of starting a family. The thing is—my husband and I got pregnant on our honeymoon. Surprised? Yes, we were!
The two of us had no experience with babies. We didn't have baby brothers or sisters, we'd never babysat anyone under the age of 3, and if someone asked us, "Do you want to hold the baby?" we'd put our hands behind us and back away, stammering, "Uh ... no thanks!"
So there was no one really less prepared to start a family than we were.
I suppose that's why I read everything there was to read about parenting—especially the Bible. And do you know what I found out?
Even if you're surprised by parenthood, or even if you can't see right now how it's all going to turn out, God has a vision and a plan for your family.
Here's how I know:
—There is a plan, and He knows what it is! Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." No matter what's happening in your family right now, God's not surprised or freaked out about it. He's also not worried about raising kids in this day and age. He knows you, and He knows your kids—He's put you together in the same family on purpose, and He's working His plan. Believe it!
—Your children are a blessing. Psalm 127:3-5 says that children are a gift from the Lord, that the fruit of the womb is a reward—that you're blessed if you have a quiver full of them! If you've been a parent for a while, you know that isn't obvious every single day. But it will help you if you determine to think as God does about your children. They are a gift to you—they are your reward. I can tell you, now that my children are in their late 20s, serving God with all their hearts, that it's true. If you raise them the way God says to, they'll be nothing but blessings to you. And it turns out that if you raise great kids, people think you're great! Just a part of the reward.
—His Word is your guide. Psalm 119:105 says, "Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." The path of your family's life (you and your kids') isn't clear to you right now, but you have something that lights the way: God's Word. The future is a mystery to us, but God's Word guides us through it. Kids do come with an instruction manual; it's the Word of God. He's been raising children a long time. He knows how to do it. When you keep your eyes on the Word and live by it, you'll know the way. He always has your answer.
—You're anointed to be the parent. In Luke 4:18a, Jesus said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me." Let me ask you—where is the Spirit of the Lord today? He's in you! That means He has anointed you. And if you're a parent, He's anointed you to be the parent! He put your family together, and anointed and equipped you for each other. It really helped me to realize—and it wouldn't hurt you to repeat it to yourself daily—"I'm anointed to be the parent!" Aren't you glad we're not doing this job all alone? God is helping us!
Karen Jensen Salisbury has been in ministry over 30 years. Formerly a lead pastor, then an instructor at Rhema Bible College, she is currently an itinerant minister and author of several books. Connect with her on her website, karenjensen.org, and on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
This article originally appeared at karenjensen.org.
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