There is a verse in Psalms that says, "Children are an heritage of the Lord." I'd never deeply pondered it. I just thought it was a nice way of saying that God grows His family by blessing us with children.
But then I considered the significance of the word "heritage." And I considered how the verse doesn't say that my child is my heritage. My child, in fact, is part of the Lord's heritage. Placed in my care for a time indefinite. To raise her to know that her heritage, her belonging is of and in the Lord.
At first I thought this was very intimidating. Like having to hold someone's wedding rings and not only keep myself from losing them but to remember to bring them to the wedding on the right day. Only in this case, I am holding the life of a soul and need to make sure not to lose her and make sure she makes it into God's kingdom when that roll is called up yonder, y'all.
But then I considered that if my daughter is the Lord's own family, then He wants nothing more than to see her in Heaven. He will fight for her precious soul! He will strengthen me and give me everything I need if I only ask. I find such comfort and freedom in this! And yet, the more encouraged I am by this message, the more I so clearly see when I falter, when I am quick to forget that I am tending to the Lord's heritage and serving another master...
As my daughter approaches the "Training Twos," it is so clear to me how *everything* I do or fail to do influences her. I see how easy it is to be quick to anger STOP TRYING TO SIT ON MY HEAD; IT IS NOT AN OTTOMAN and slow to enforce discipline IF YOU STOP TANTRUMMING, THIS CUPCAKE CAN BE YOURS. This has been a physically challenging week with Baby Girl, and I almost cannot believe that I am not the one going to sleep at night in the crib with my pacifier and Curious George because I feel like such a big ween.
So I try to read things that will embolden me as a parent rather than the usual misery loves company. Here's a sampling:
"In their important work parents must ask and receive divine aid. Even if the character, habits, and practices of parents have been cast in an inferior mold, if the lessons given them in childhood and youth have led to an unhappy development of character, they need not despair. The converting power of God can transform inherited and cultivated tendencies; for the religion of Jesus is uplifting. 'Born again' means a transformation, a new birth in Christ Jesus.Let us instruct our children in the teachings of the word. If you will call, the Lord will answer you. He will say, Here I am; what would you have Me do for you? Heaven is linked with earth that every soul may be enabled to fulfill His mission. The Lord loves these children. He wants them brought up with an understanding of their high calling."
- Ellen G. White