In light of last week's Mother's Day and next month's celebration of Father's Day, I would like this post to be written in honor of my parents (Lanae) and the way their examples and ministry have shaped my outlook and mission in life.
Last week we had the amazing and refreshing experience to meet with their church in Nixon, TX (see pictures below) as they met together again as a whole for the first time in a a couple of months. They had previously been meeting in several small services rather than one.
My parents have been there at this bilingual congregation for almost a year and during that time, I have seen them pour out their hearts and energy to serve, teach, evangelize and love their church and community. I'm so glad God guided them there and He has already worked through them as many new people are being reached, the church is growing, the youth are active, the men are doing leadership classes, my mom has a young girls mentorship get-together once a week, and there is a marriage class for the couples as well as many other beautiful fruits of their efforts to work with people and teach them how to be in a right and flourishing relationship with God and other believers.
They are truly one of my greatest inspirations when I think about how we should live as Christians. They are sincere go-getters when it comes to reaching the lost with the Good News of Jesus and are both bold in their convictions and loving in their actions.
I can enthusiastically attest, as well as all three of my brothers, that my parents have been faithful servants in God's Kingdom all through our childhood years.
I remember my mother caring about the soul of each person she encountered, passing out tracts to cashiers, waiters, etc and being eager to visit with anyone about spiritual things. She looked for those opportunities everywhere! I vividly remember walking into my parents room early in the mornings and finding my dad on his knees in prayer beside the bed and I remember kneeling there to join him at his invitation. I am forever grateful to have been raised with, although imperfect, parents who consistently modeled what it looked like to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
I recognize that many children do not have this kind of inspiring example from their parents. But I also have to have the faith that God has millions of faithful servants all over the world who are doing the best they can to lead their children in God's way and are quietly influencing generations to come!! Many go without recognition or appreciation here on earth, yet our heavenly Father is seeing their every action to intentionally guide their young ones, teens and even adult children to walk with the Father.
Now that I am a parent myself, I recognize that my parenting won't be perfect by any means, but by God's grace, His Word and the beautiful example that I have been shown in my own parents, my husband and I can model what it looks like to follow Christ in the everyday tasks, and to raise up children to walk in the Lord's way. I hope my children will one day be able to say that it was not only taught in the home, but "caught" as we try to be examples that honor the Lord.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise."
This is why I believe that parents are still todays greatest influencers: whether they are intentional about it or not, kids are paying attention to the way mom reacts, what makes her face light up and what draws dads attention and time. Parents hearts should be so devoted and drawn after the things of God that their children have no doubt where their priorities lie. Children have countless influences and access so many things, yet God has given moms and dads the greatest task and ministry to raise their children to know Him. I hope to never take this lightly! May God bless all the parents, including my own who have made and are making such an impact for eternity starting in the hearts of young ones.