I’ve heard it said that in our culture today, it’s not a matter of if your child will encounter pornography, but a matter of when. In other words, the pervasiveness of these toxic images have made porn an almost omnipresent tempter that seeks the attention of everyone, even very small children. In a post-Genesis 3 world where sin is always crouching at the door (Genesis 4:7), God’s grace to my children can include my own prudent and diligent work in guarding and preparing them for the possibility of these “bad pictures.”
If I had known that the little baby--whose sleeplessness often tested my patience--would grow up to pray for my rest, I would have maintained more joy on those weary nights. But I didn’t know; and there’s been many other moments of impatience and failure as a mom in my daughter’s young life. But love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
Melissa Kruger is the Women's Ministry Coordinator at Uptown Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her husband, Michael Kruger, is the president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. She is the author of Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood. Melissa presented a workshop, of the same title, at the 2017 Gospel Coalition National Conference.
The central thesis of her talk was this: Read God's Word! More important than feeding our kids organic meals or securing their spot at the best school is a mother's personal commitment to the study of Scripture. I was encouraged by Melissa's challenge and hope you find her words helpful as you walk with God in your season of motherhood. See LINK to audio.
If my husband and I reduce the Gospel to mere obedience, we tempt our natural “law-keeper” with the false gospel of moralism. She could easily “act” like a church-going Christian without true repentance of sin and trust in Christ’s active obedience on her behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our prayer for her is salvation, not just "good behavior." A saving faith in Christ is far more than being “a good person” who treats others well and believes there’s a God.
On the other hand, if we excuse (and even praise) the bold autonomy of our youngest as “budding leadership,” we dangle the false gospel of self-fulfillment in her eyes and encourage a “best life now” mentality. We love her determination and cleverness...but we want more for her than that. Our prayer is for godly wisdom and boldness that comes from the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7).
My first day watching porn was also my last. I was nine when an adult neighbor took me to a house where several of her friends were gathered. The men and women came knowing the agenda—to watch hours of pornographic videos. I was placed on a man’s lap, and the tapes were played. At one point, my neighbor asked if I “felt” anything. I said no, and the group laughed.
I remember the day now as the end of something immeasurably precious—the gift of being innocent and unashamed. I’ve often mourned for my nine-year-old self, her soul plundered and her naiveté stripped. I grieve for her and fear for my two small daughters. What images (and God forbid, touches) might be lurking, waiting to take their innocence? God help us.
Read the full article at Christianity Today.
I'm thankful to the Reformed African American Network for their re-post of my 2014 article, Parental Failures and the Gospel. The beginning paragraphs follow and the full post can be found here. Always grateful for your read!
I could begin this post with countless descriptions of my parental failures. Moments when anger got the best of me; times when a little patience would have made all the difference; or just plain insecurities in making the right decisions for my children at every moment and at every stage of their development.
You might agree that feelings of inadequacy are common to parents; whether relatively new like me or seasoned with experience, we feel the weight of the responsibility and the immensity of the task. But in some ways, feelings of inadequacy can be a blessing!
My church selected three women to answer three questions this past Mother's Day. The questions follow below and my answers are heard in the video above. Motherhood is a high and blessed calling. May the LORD give you the grace to glorify Him in that role!
1) What do you love most about being a mother?
2) In what ways has your own mother influenced your mothering?
3) Why is the role of a mother so important?
Most parents dream great dreams for their children. It’s only natural I suppose. But what if your child comes through miraculous means? What if his birth is personally announced by God? What if that child is dedicated to the LORD from the womb and is declared a future savior of your people? What hopes does a mother cherish then? I don’t refer here to the Lord Jesus but to Samson, Israel’s Judge.
We know well the dangers of careless technology usage. I don’t need to over-stress the possible addiction to devices, exposure to pornography, and just wasted time and missed opportunities for family engagement. These are perilous times for children and parents. God forbid then that we impulsively treat our devices as “go-to babysitters” when pressured for time.
I love my children easily and naturally and of course there is nothing wrong with that. But I also have a heart that is desperately idolatrous and prone to leave the God I love. Whenever I place my full satisfaction in something created, whenever I wholly delight my mind in something made, whenever I wrap my value and identity in someone or something apart from Christ, I have molded an idol. And sadly, these self-made gods are easily made; evidence of the residual effects of sin that dwell even in the justified heart (Romans 7:14-25).
I often feel inadequate as a parent and I thank God for it! For it drives me to lower my head, bend my knees and seek His perfect strength in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). The blessing is not in the weakness or inadequacy itself but in the humility it offers that draws me nearer to God for help--which then increases my dependence and confidence in the One who works in me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow!
I have decided to choose my kids over Facebook. In reality the choice isn't just about Facebook but the many trivial distractions that take my focus away from my children. Picture the scene for a moment – it might be familiar to you – I’m sitting in the playroom of our home, my soon-to-be three-year-old is playing with her kitchen set and my seven-month-old is chewing on some toy nearby. I’m physically present with them but my attention is given to the 12 inch computer screen in front of me.
I love the book of Deuteronomy. Not necessarily for its copious detail but for the concept behind the book. Deuteronomy is essentially one big study hall. Moses is the teacher and the children of Israel are the students. The wilderness east of the Jordan River is their classroom. And there they assemble to review God’s expectation of them before conquering the Promised Land.