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I need to confess that this whole parenting thing has left me feeling discouraged lately.  I bet many of you have felt the same way at any given time.  I wanted to share something that the Lord has used to encourage me, and I pray He encourages you with it as well.

I’m doing a study through She Reads Truth on the Sermon on the Mount.  As I was reading through the passage in Matthew, I noticed a lot of “You have heard (insert law here)… But I tell you (insert instruction from Christ here).”  I underlined each of those phrases and wondered at the significance of their repetition.

In the Sermon on the Mount, we see Christ dismantle the way of the Pharisees.  We see Him make clear that there is no way we could ever fulfill the requirements of the law.  Our hearts are sinful, and we will sin.  This is a truth.  Katie Stoddard writes this is the devotional I read…”Jesus greatly raised the bar of expectation on how His followers are meant to behave in regard to anger, purity, divorce, honesty, generosity, and love.  Christ was showing that God requires righteousness that surpassed even that of the scribes and Pharisees.  Who can possible live up to this standard?  No person other than Jesus Christ, of course.  And so Jesus calls us to aim higher, but also realize our need for His mercy and grace.”

Our kids cannot measure up to God’s standard, and neither can we.  But praise God for the work of Christ! So, let’s not be surprised when our kids mess up.  I’m preaching this to myself, even as I type! Our kids are simply learning.  They are not an interruption to our lives, but one of the greatest callings we could ever be given.  Soldier on with me, mommas (and daddy’s too, if any of you read this).

Let’s love our kids through their mistakes-the seemingly small and the embarrassingly large.  Let’s remember it’s not about us, but all about the redemptive work of Christ in all of this.  We are ambassadors of Christ! 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

Paul Tripp says this in his book, Parenting…“The ambassador doesn’t have any authority in and of himself. He has authority only because he represents a king who has authority. Here’s God’s amazing plan. He makes his invisible authority visible by sending visible authority figures as his representatives. This means that every time you exercise authority in the lives of your children, it must be a beautiful picture of the authority of God. In the lives of your children, you are the look of God’s face, you are the touch of his hand, and you are the tone of his voice. You must never exercise authority in an angry, impatient way. You must never exercise authority in an abusive way. You must never exercise authority in a selfish way. Why? Because you have been put into your position as parent to display before your children how beautiful, wise, patient, guiding, protective, rescuing, and forgiving God’s authority is.”

Today, know I am praying for you and yours.  Pray for ours too?  We’ll get through it all together with the help and grace of Jesus leading us on.