Thursday, July 27, 2006

Parenting Rewards

Do you every have those days when you wished the "reward" of parenting were a little more "hands on"?

In elementary school we were rewarded with gold stars. In high school our hard work achieved A's and B's. Even in our jobs, our "harvest" consists of bi-monthly paychecks, vacation time, and bonuses at Christmas.

Yet what happens when our rewards for doing good as moms and dads seem to fall behind schedule? The paycheck never stretches far enough, and there is no red-penned "Good Work!" shimmering from atop a parenting progress report. We grow weary and discouraged.

We want a gold star!

The fact of the matter is, our reward for doing good isn't a matter "if", but "when." "For at the proper time we will reap a harvest," we read. And just what is proper?

- Personal. Your time to shine as a parent isn't your friends' time, and vise versa. It's impossible to compare how God works in one life, verses how he works in another.

- Relational. The proper time for your harvest is interconnected with God's plan for others (i.e. your children). Interconnected rewards result from interrelated lives.

- Out of Sight. The harvest we reap isn't always visible, but it is often "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." (Ephesians 3:20)

- Permanent. While we may reap the benefit of small harvests here on earth, our ultimate reward of our parenting is eternal life for our children--a gift that can never be snatch away.

- Exact. Our God who designed the intricate and complex universe knows the precise time for you to reap your harvest as a parent.

- Resolved. The "when" is determined and is waiting in God's hands. Now, it's your job to set your jaw in determination and continue on!

Let your imagine run wild for a moment. What is the ultimate harvest you can imagine concerning your good work as a parent? In what ways do you need to persevere to reach this goal? (Please comment, I want to hear!)

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)

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