Would you parent your child any different if you knew that they were going to carry the future Messiah?
I have been impacted by reading the various accounts in the Bible of children who did great things. Children who changed their world. Their parents were raising world changers. I want to raise world changers, which I am sure, you do as well.
A few weeks ago, I began this series by looking at Josiah who became a King at age 8. With this series, I am looking at what we can glean about how these children were raised to be world changers. I want to see what changes I can make in my parenting so that I can help my children influence their world.
Today’s blog is on Mary, the mother of Jesus, from Luke chapters 1 and 2.
Mary (the mother of Jesus) – Family history:
The Bible does not tell us who Mary’s ancestors were. On the other hand, we read in Matthew 1 the genealogy of Jesus through Joseph. Interestingly, Mary is mentioned in this genealogy of Jesus, along with only four other women, one of those not even called by her name. This is very significant because each of these women’s names were tainted. Matthew was highlighting that God can redeem everyone, no matter what your past. The story of Christ is the story of grace. Mary became pregnant out of wedlock (albeit by the Holy Spirit). The other four women mentioned in the genealogy are Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba).
Tamar’s (Genesis 38) first husband died because he was an evil man, so the Lord took his life. Tamar’s brother-in-law was meant to then marry her and give her a male heir, but Onan refused to get her pregnant. This was a vile act according to the Lord, so the Lord also took his life. The father-in-law neglected his duty and caused an injustice to occur to Tamar. After years of waiting, Tamar took matters into her own hands and had her revenge by disguising herself as a prostitute to have sex with him and fell pregnant. Talk about an unhealthy family!!
Rahab (Joshua 1 & 2) was a prostitute, a Canaanite and a liar. But she is described in the Bible by being a person of great faith (Hebrews 11:31).
Ruth (Ruth 1-4) is a Moabite – a pagan nation that was an enemy of Israel. Ruth was widowed and childless. Thus, she was regarded as being socially crippled. She showed love to her mother-in-law and stuck fiercely by her side. She then postured herself by a rich relative’s bed and later married him.
Uriah’s wife (Bathsheba) was a widow who was pregnant by another man. In 2 Samuel 11, we see how King David issued a command for Bathsheba to come and sleep with him. Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah who was away fighting in a war. She is known just as Uriah’s wife.
Then we have Mary, a young virgin who became pregnant out of wedlock.
All women who were hurting and longing for redemption and grace.
The comforting and exciting take-away for me from this is that we are never beyond redemption. There is always hope. Jesus can turn the most absurd and ghastliest situation around.
Never give up on your kids. Never give up on the amazing future God has for your kids.
Mary and her character:
- A servant of God.
Can you imagine saying “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled” immediately after you were just told that you would become pregnant with the Messiah. This was Mary’s pure and faithful response as a servant of God.
- Said yes to God wholeheartedly.
Not only did Mary say yes to God, but she yielded herself fully. Her whole body was required.
Unshaken by the cares of the world. Trusts God despite the circumstances.
- Confident & courageous.
She is filled with the Spirit and believes that God can do what He promises. Mary does not focus on the what-if’s or the doubts.
- Able to praise God.
Mary breaks into an amazing song of praise to God. She knew God and his character as evidenced by her song. Despite her circumstances, she believed God and His Word.
Mary did not sway in what she believed. She stuck the course. It would not have been easy being pregnant and unmarried, but Mary was resilient.
Ready and willing to sacrifice her life and future plans completely for the greater good of mankind and for the sake of Christ. Mary chose to believe immediately.
- Genuine relationships.
Mary sought out Elizabeth, like a mentor. Elizabeth spoke encouragement and affirmation into Mary’s life and blessed her.
Principles in regard to raising world changers:
- Age is irrelevant to God.
God can use you no matter your age.
- The importance of the Bible as the Word of God.
Reading the Bible aloud and memorising Scripture are important. Mary knew enough of the Word of God to ponder and meditate on it.
- Ready to serve God and trust Him no matter what the circumstance.
When was the last time that you modelled this? When do you not put God first and what is this communicating to your children? How obedient and quick to serve are you to what God is asking of you?
- Not shaken by the cares of the world.
Mary was able to line up the Word of God with her current circumstance and believe in the face of extreme public humiliation. Do you model this with your family?
- Willing to explore possibilities.
When Mary first encountered the angel, she was troubled and perplexed, but she inquired. She asked questions. She explored. When our children don’t understand something, how do they react? What is their response to change and transition?
- Mary was courageous.
How do you encourage courage in your family? Do you model courage? What was the last courageous thing you did? Have you shared that with your children?
- Other godly influences and mentors.
Mary immediately set out in haste to visit Elizabeth, requiring a journey of several days. Elizabeth responded beautifully to Mary and encouraged and affirmed her. Who do your children look to in times of trouble or change? Who do they seek out? What lengths are they prepared to go to connect with the ‘right’ people who will sow into their life? Who do your children have that can speak hope and confidence into them in the midst of uncertainty and mystery?
- Our family history does not have to determine our future.
It is so exciting that our past does not have to determine our future. There is hope, grace and redemption for everyone. How do you communicate this amazing principle to your children? How do you live this principle out in your walk?
- Praise God at all times.
Is praising God a frequent occurrence in your household? What about when things have not worked out as you expected? How do you deal with that with your children?
As I re-read what I had written above, I realised the great importance of our attitude as the parent. The importance of our words and what we say. Do we encourage our children to explore possibilities? Do we encourage them to seek answers or do we just provide them the solution? Do we practice brain-storming with them? Do we exhibit grace and freedom? Do we continually take them back to the Word of God for life’s principles?
I would love to hear your comments on the principles you glean from Mary’s life and applying it to raising your children to be world changers.