“17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. ….. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. ….. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.” Exodus 18:17-23
Although this passage is actually about Moses, it spoke to me as a parent. The instruction was to teach God’s ways. Moses was to disciple others that they might share in the work. Is that not what we do as parents? We do the work of teaching in hopes that our children are no longer dependent but independent, able to serve others.
I want to encourage you in the midst of training up your children, that it’s worth it and will bear fruit in the future. Doing it alone will lead to wearing yourselves out. Lean on the Lord and His strength and lean on His people – the church. Together we will raise up children who will then be able to serve others.
After many years I am beginning to see this fruit, in having older daughters who are capable of doing so much. They are able to take care of their little brothers, and they are even discipling the neighbors. In fact, my daughters are cooking dinner while I sit at my computer. I can’t do it all. I need not feel guilty to have my children help.
Instead of spending all our energy on solving all our kids problems or doing everything for them, our goal is to disciple them – train them – teach them. Then, we can stand the strain and we (parents and children) will be satisfied in the process.
So, what do you do if you are in the middle of raising up little ones? What if you don’t have anyone to help you? The kids are little or sick or unable to help with the chores? Then, don’t try to do it all. Prioritize on what’s important. This season will pass. Rely on the Lord for strength. Focus on the teaching and training. It will bear fruit. Don’t try to meet all your life goals in this season of life. Trying to do it all will lead to burn out.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, ” 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”