Raising Jesus & Parenting a Christian Child Today: Not for the Fainthearted

by Sally Matheny

     Were Mary’s days filled with bliss parenting the perfect Child? Most likely, there were some difficult days raising Jesus. I wonder…

     As a child, did Jesus encounter teasing from other children because he always chose to do the right thing? Did Mary shed quiet tears at night as she mended her little boy’s robe, torn by an angry child earlier that day?
     Did she ever overhear a neighbor wrongly accuse her son? Wanting desperately to run over and defend him, did she sense God calling her to be still? And so, she stopped and she waited. She witnessed how Jesus handled the situation. Why is he allowing our neighbor to insult him so?  
     The mother wanted to lash back at her neighbor. Her son turned the other cheek.
     Were Jesus’ siblings jealous or irritated that he never disobeyed, never lied, and never needed parental discipline? Did Mary have to be ever mindful of how she spoke and treated Jesus in front of the other children, for fear of showing favoritism? 
     Yes, while raising Jesus had to be a wonderous experience, surely some days were difficult.
     Perhaps, during those childhood days, God was somehow preparing Mary’s heart for Jesus’ last days.
     Even with her faithful trust in God’s sovereignty, an unimaginable pain had to sear throughout her body as she heard the nails piercing her son’s flesh to a cross. Only God could uphold Mary as she watched them lift the cross and raise her Jesus.

Today, motherhood is still not an easy task. Tough days lie ahead even for the mother of a Christian child.
     There are times when moms watch their children endure some form of mistreatment because of their faith. Some taunted for choosing to do the right thing, for their obedience to the Lord. Others are excluded, even bullied due to their faith. Parents pray for guidance of when to counsel, when to intervene, and when to be still and wait.    
     Mothers trust God’s sovereignty as their Christian children choose to be salt and light on a secular college campus or when they enlist in the military. Only God’s power sustains mothers as their children surrender to the call of ministry—possibly requiring them to move across the nation, or the other side of the world.    
      Are you in the midst of raising a young child, teaching him the ways of the Lord? Is he learning love and respect in his daily experiences? Is he surrounded by the Truth, especially during these early, tender years of learning?
     Are you pressing through the years with a teen? Teaching her how to show grace and compassion; encouraging her to be ready to share why she believes what she does. Is she seeking godly counsel as she learns how to stand firm in her faith, even if it means standing out? 
    Is your Christian child an adult seeking God’s call in his life? Are you covering him in prayer; supporting him in seeking God’s will and no one else’s?     Mothering is not for the faint-hearted. Living in a sinful world brings challenges and heartaches to all.
     However, along with the gift of parenting a Christian is an inexpressible joy and strength, even in the midst of trials. One cannot fully understand this unless the parent shares the same devotion to Jesus Christ. For with Christ, all things are possible. Life has purpose, and the rewards are eternal.
     Lord, help us reflect Jesus as we raise our children.

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