Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Shepherding, Part Two

At the end of part one, I mentioned Jesus being My Shepherd and how much I need Him to guide me as I care for or shepherd the ones in my care. That immediately brought to mind Psalm 23. Let's read it with a new focus - think about shepherding our little ones as we read the way Our Shepherd cares for us:
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for His name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever."

I notice many of the things I have noticed when I've read this before. There are three things that stand out to me this time, especially in relation to mothering:

He guides me in paths of righteousness. Am I guiding my children in paths of righteousness? What does that mean? A few initial thoughts:

* Teaching them to know the difference between right/wrong.
* Teaching them about Christ; His righteousness.
* Leading them to the Savior; trusting Him to draw them to Himself.
* Modeling Christ to them; living an example for them.
* Guiding their choices so they can learn to make good and God-honoring ones. What to watch, say, wear, read, etc...

Others? What does it mean to you to guide our children in paths of righteousness?

Your rod and your staff they comfort me. I started thinking about the role of the rod and the staff. Of course, I am responsible for effectively and Biblically disciplining my children. It also makes me think of protection - being aware of the surroundings, the Shepherd would need to keep animals away from their sheep.

But, how does this protection and discipline comfort my children? The protection part is easy ~ obviously it is comforting to know someone is watching out for us and will do all they can to keep us safe from harm.

It strikes me that discipline is a way of showing my children how much I love them. I love them so much that I want them to learn what is right, how to make wise choices and learn to follow God. They need to know that if they do something wrong or something dangerous, I will be there to correct them. Not that the correction is pleasant, but the comfort of the love behind it.

Gentleness. This is not mentioned directly in the verses - but the tone is there, the example of our Shepherd is there, gentleness is there. This is a major idea/theme on my heart right now and I want to study it more in depth. Initially, I want my words, attitude, example and my very person to be guided by gentleness, to be permeated with gentleness.

One last thought - as I was reading in my Bible dictionary about shepherds, I read this line, "In Bible times the sheep cared for by shepherds represented wealth." (Holman Bible Dictionary)

That rings true to me as well in relation to our children ~ the little ones I have to care for represent true wealth. Oh, may I treasure these blessings and use them for His glory!

4 comments:

Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

This is so insightful! Thank you so much for sharing this. I am always blessed when I come here.

I pray that you have a great time with family in CO and that others will be able to bless you as you go thru this trial in your life.

Jenn@Spejory said...

Monica,

I just stumbled upon your blog and I am so GLAD I did! Wonderful posts, and I am so on the same page. I have been struggling with my role as a mom lately, too. I have been accused of trying to shelter my children too much and as a result I feel like the past few days I have been letting things slide that I never would have before. I am also becoming more aware that what I TELL them is not nearly so important as what I SHOW them. My attitude is preaching more than my words ever could. Oh my, I didn't mean to pour out my heart when I have only just "met" you. Thanks for being a blessing to me tonight.

Jenn

Hattie said...

Monica,
Even with your heavy heart (I just now read Carrie's post.) you have posted such important lessons. My time for shepherding my own little ones has now past, but your post speaks to my heart and is relavent to me.
Thank you,
Sending you Love & Hugs,
Hattie

Jean Stockdale said...

I am out doing some blog hopping. What a wonderful blog about faith and family.

I am participating in a Bible study I think you might be interested in.

I would like to invite you to join us for an online Bible study for MOMMAS on the book of Ephesians. We are using my (Jean Stockdale) workbook called “High Stepping in Heavenly Places.” The 10-week study will begin Sept.24. A workbook is available with homework for 5 days a weeks. You will also be able to watch a 45-minute weekly video or download a podcast of the message, and then share in an online discussion with other moms. Interested?

Get more details at http://highsteppinginheavenlyplaces.wordpress.com or at blog at http://jeanstockdale.typepad.com. We would love to have you join us! Blessings.