Thursday, October 01, 2009

Shepherding, Part Three

While I am still catching up - here is part three in my thoughts about shepherding my children. Part one is here and part two is here.

My natural thought after studying Psalm 23 and its applications in shepherding my children is to ask, "How?"

It is not all that hard to make the observations from Scripture - but now to apply it to my daily life is a bit harder.

I remember that I am both a sheep under the Chief Shepherd and a shepherd over the little children God has placed in my care. So, my very first job must be to submit to the leadership and authority over me.

Time with the Shepherd. Starting my day out by studying His Word, learning all I can about Him. I cannot imitate someone I do not know. I must make a very real and diligent effort at learning His example so I can live it.

Following the Shepherd. Psalm 23 says that He leads me, He guides me, He provides for me. I must follow Him so that He can lead me ~ for when I am following Him, He is leading and guiding me. Therefore, He is really the one leading and guiding my children along with me.

Remembering my goal. My goal is to please God, to do what He has called me to do with willingness, an eagerness to serve and without selfish ambition. This will require my complete dependence on God for I know that I cannot accomplish this goal without His help and strength.

Thinking of the sheep. Being in a position of authority and leadership requires me to think about what is best for those in my care. Am I praying for them? Am I seeking God on specific areas of need in their lives? Am I seeking Him in how I care for and lead them?

Leading gently. As our Shepherd models for us, yelling at a sheep probably does very little good. Learning they things they respond to, a Shepherd would return them to the fold or even carry them back. A spirit of gentleness must permeate my whole being as one who leads others to Christ.

Being an example. I must live with discipline so that I am diligently striving to be a living example to my children. Just because I am tired physically and tired of the continuous repetition from day to day, I must be diligent in setting these weaknesses aside and acting, speaking, living the way I want them to and in a way that points them to Christ.

Sheep wander. Accepting the fact that the children God has placed in our home are like little sheep who wander off. They will do things I think are foolish as they are learning and growing. I cannot expect them to be mature at a tender age, but must allow them to be children and to learn through experiencing things. God has placed me there to teach, guide and train them along the way ~ I must have a gracious attitude in the fact that they are not little grown-ups, they are children and they are going to do things I don't like. Then, I must bring them back to the sheep fold and to the Shepherd by the way I train them through the experience.

I am reminded again, that most of these things are training issues in my own heart and life. Training myself to turn to the Shepherd when I don't know the way, listening for His voice and following it. I must allow Him to re-train the things in me that do not fit His goals and plans for me and be humble and gentle in receiving His guidance and disciplined in following it.



Sheri said...

"I am reminded again, that most of these things are training issues in my own heart.." So true. And, oh how I praise our loving, patient Father for shepharding His "big girls" too!

carriecaribou said...

You may be interested in reading a book called "Scouting the Divine" by Margaret Feinberg. I heard her speak about it and a big part of the book is her living with a Shepherdess and learning about that theme in the Bible. She also spends time studying a vineyard, bees and honey, and farming and harvesting, all with a view to how God used those themes in the Bible. The talk was wonderful and I just purchased the book but haven't read it yet.

I so appreciate reading your blog, and your heart for God and your family that I hear behind it. It is in an encouragement to me!

asnipofgoodness said...

good stuff Monica, really good stuff! thanks for sharing! So true that you can not try to emulate someone you do not know!

Angelia in TX said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful insight and this is the kind of mother culture I long to be shared with me. I am glad this Godly insight is there to enrich me this time in my life. Smiles, Angelia

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

My first thought was from the verse, "he gently leads those that have young".
I looked up the actual verse found in Isaiah 40, and it's verse 11. The rest of the verse is so wonderful.

Thanks for this post. So helpful. I often sit and chat with one of my girlfriends and this is a verse/reminder that she often will share with me - when I get feeling so overwhelmed, etc.

I love and so appreciate your time spent and sharing your heart and thoughts on this with "me"/us other Moms out there.

You have read the book - Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, I suppose? Great Book!!

Wendi said...

" complete dependence on God for I know that I cannot accomplish this goal without His help and strength."

What a great reminder! When I lose sight of this and try to be in control, oh the mess it makes.

La Familia Garcia said...

I've been reminded of this more now since having my 3rd child! But it is soo hard to "remember the goal." But, When I do, it makes parenting so much easier! Thanks for sharing!

Natural Mama said...

wonderful devotion--I needed to hear! Thanks for listening to God's voice and blogging about what He would have you to say.

Anonymous said...

True! So True! It seems like a lot of my meaningful conversations this summer with my high school sons are, "Are you taking it to God. Are you finding out what He wants you to do. You can say your a Christian, but unless you are in relationship with the one who created the plan for your life, you aren't living your life Chrisitan" I think I could tape that message and play it over and over and over. It's like I am the Liason between uppermanagement and lower management. I need to keep connected to the guy up top, and I need to keep lower management on the team, with additional training in company protocol, and foster a heart for the company mission. Whew! It can be a frustrating job. You put the message in wonderfully simple, down-to-earth, I-can-do-it terms. Thank you!