Parenting and shepherding are very similar, aren’t they?
Both are 24/7 – 365 days a year.
Both include feeding, nurturing, guiding and guarding.
Both can get awfully lonely.
Our first stop is with Ray Vander Laan and a group of seekers to the grazing fields of Palestine.
Aren’t you touched to hear that our Shepherd gives us what we need moment by moment?
We easily find this true within our lives, huh?
He may encourage us in the morning with a direct impression from His Word, but by mid-afternoon, we are running again to Him needing reassurance and peace.
Our Shepherd gives us just what we need at the moment of our need.
If our Father leads us in this way, shouldn’t we parent using this same model?
When my girls were home, there were so many mornings that my first waking thought was: “I can’t do today”.
I may have been too tired or too busy – too unmotivated or the funds were just too low.
But by the end of the day, through strength or through weakness, the day passed and we had made memories.
Raising children overseas, I was often struck with the bareness of the experience that seemed to lie ahead of them. I would bemoan what “real American” children had in terms of opportunities, sporting events, and time with grandparents. Indeed, I saw the pastureland I had to offer my children as dry and rocky.
I was like a sheep trying to force my neck through the barbed wire in order to get a mouthful of grass from the other side of the fence.
Yet, in retrospect, I see that the nutritional needs of my little lambs were best met in the very location in which we had been asked to graze.
All that they needed according to life and godliness was furnished for them right where they grew up.
Has the Shepherd led you to your current pasture?
If your answer is yes, then both the opportunities and limitations surrounding you will provide abundant green pastures needed for those under your care.
Look at what you do have available, rather than focusing on what is not.
The basketball coach may not be what you had hoped for your little star, but the Lord may be leading him to get involved in student government.
Or could it be that the barrenness of their situation is teaching them far more important spiritual lessons like patience, kindness and endurance?
The Father is far more interested in how we deal with what we are given than the amount that we can stockpile.
Graze freely where you are and your children will learn to do the same.
Stop and moment and thank Him for the limitations in your situation.
Now, ask HIm to provide you with just what your children need at the very time they need it.
What does that look like today?