Many years ago when my children were playing about my feet, I wrote in my journal, “The desire of my heart is that my children live happy and full lives.” I thought of all the ways in which they could be nurtured so that they would have wings one day. I could encourage them, help them develop their talents, discipline them and pray for them. Then I realized one of the most important things I could do for my children was to model a happy and full life. In many regards, this last idea seemed like the most challenging of all the ideas I had that day.
As my children would need help on their journeys, I too have needed Someone to nurture me. There is a scripture that holds the answer: “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for whom the Lord will call” (Acts 2:38-39).
We are able to live out the best-possible legacy for our children because, as Christians, our sins have been forgiven! Our past sins can be the weight we pull behind us. Thinking on them can result in unhappiness. And as we have been forgiven, we are to forgive. If we don’t forgive those injustices that have been committed against us, that will become the weight we pull. We are forgiven and we are enabled by God to forgive. This then becomes the undergriding for a happy life with wings.
The second sentence tells us by entering in, we receive the Holy Spirit. He is the One who nurtures us. The Holy Spirit spoke to me that day when, after writing the journal entry, I realized the importance of modeling a happy and full life for my children. The work of the Holy Spirit refines our thinking, sifting out all those lies that make for unhappiness. He also helps us develop our spiritual gifts. Then our children can see a mom who is happy as she uses her talents for the benefit of others (Matthew 25:14-30).
Lastly, the above scripture directly links us with our children, for the scripture says: “The promise is for you and your children…” The promises God has given to us are more readily realized in the lives of our children when they are able to witness them in a mom who has embraced them. We cannot fake happiness; our children are great detectors of anything fake. We will never be perfect moms. (To project ourselves in such a way is to create another kind of burden!) But by the day-to-day, slow-and-steady work of the Lord in our lives, we can be moms who are able to give our children apron strings when they are needed, and who are then able to give them wings when the time comes. They can be confident in their ability to grow wings because their mom has a pair.
~ A.R. Cecil