As I was reading in Exodus, I had the privilege of eavesdropping on a conversation between the Lord and Moses and I heard the Lord say the most spectacular thing to his friend. He said, “. . . because I am pleased with you. . .” (Exodus 33:17).
That got me dialoguing with the Lord myself. I thought,
“Lord, I want you to say that about me. I want you to be pleased with me. I know that you love me, but I want you to be able to say that you are pleased with me.”
All of a sudden, I was reminded of Jesus’ baptism, and I sensed the Holy Spirit whispering these words over me, “This is my beloved daughter. With her, I am well pleased.”
I responded in my heart,
“Okay, I understand Lord. Because I am in Christ and His Spirit lives in me, I do please you. But, there’s this yearning deep inside me; not to earn your love or pleasure, but to bless you, to thrill you, to please you.”
When I was a little girl my mom loved watching Star Trek. One Christmas, my sisters and I pooled our money together and cut an order form out of a mail ad and sent it in with the money to order a complete set of Star Trek coffee mugs. One for each member of the crew and one with the Starship, Enterprise, on it. I was so excited when they arrived in the mail, and even more excited when my mom unwrapped them on Christmas morning. Those mugs didn’t earn me her favor or make her love me any more. And without them, she loved me just the same. But buying them blessed her and was a joy and delight to me because I loved her so much and wanted to pour out my love on her.
“That’s what I want to do for you, Jesus! What can I do to please you like that?”
Again, a familiar Bible scene came to mind immediately. There she was, that woman, breaking her alabaster jar and pouring her expensive perfume on Jesus. Next came a verse.
Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.”
“That’s it, Lord! My alabaster jar to break and pour out at your feet is me! My life lived for your kingdom purposes. That will bless you. That will thrill you. That will please you.”
If ever a calling required one to be a living sacrifice, I think parenting would fit the bill. Raising children to know and love God and to fulfill His purposes in their generation is not for sissies. It takes guts and grit. It calls for everything you’ve got and then even more of what you don’t have and what only Christ can give. But, dearest parents, it is one of the ways we mortals can please our glorious God this side of eternity. If you have ever wanted to please the Lord; not because you have to, and not to try and earn his favor or love, but because you just want to, this is a divine set of coffee mugs that your Heavenly Father would love to unwrap.
Be willing to lay it all down. Parenting for the Kingdom isn’t easy, but it is a thrill and delight that we have the privilege of entering into and offering up. When you’re changing a dirty diaper, when you’re helping solve an algebra problem, when you’re waddling around pregnant and tired, when you’re up late talking through issues with a teen; in all these moments know that you are pleasing your Savior.
Gracious God and Father, give us the desire to be a living sacrifice in the way we parent. Take great pleasure in watching us in our homes. We live for you.