Tuesday, December 8, 2009

BABY SHOWER DEVOTIONAL: WHAT IS THE CHIEF END OF MOM?

A friend who graciously reviewed my notes for several baby shower devotions suggested I post my outlines on this blog. Seems ideas for baby shower devotions are in demand these days! So, here are my notes for the first baby shower -

WHAT IS THE CHIEF END OF MOM?

Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 1: What is the chief end of man? Answer: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever.
Our ultimate purpose is not to raise perfect children or to have an idyllic family life or to pursue personal promotion and contentment. Our ultimate purpose - the reason we were created - is to glorify God. God is our reference point for everything we do in this life. Embracing God's glory as our reason for being will translate into joyful obedience as we endeavor to complete the work He assigns us. In the face of the startling news of her own pregnancy, Mary says in Luke 1:38, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be as you have said." (I know "joyful" is a difficult word, given some of the circumstances we face in parenting, but the more we embrace our purpose of glorifying God, the more joy we will find in this labor.)

So, what work, what obedience, has God assigned to us as parents and particularly as mothers?

Genesis 17:9 - God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations."

Genesis 18:18-19 - The LORD said, "...Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him. For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice..."

Family is the primary place where children learn about God and godliness. As parents, we must teach our children about God, the truths of Scripture, about Christ and His gospel - and then we must encourage and tutor our children to use that knowledge as the foundation for their lives. * Parents have primary responsibility for the training and nurturing of children - not Sunday school teachers or pastors or the local schools or the government, etc. *

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 - Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 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....

*We are commanded to love the LORD, to meditate on His word - and then right away we are told to teach these things to our children. Teaching our children about God is a fundamental demonstration of love and obedience to our Creator. Love the LORD - teach your children. *

Also, Deut. 4:9 exhorts us not only to teach our children, but to teach our children's children. This is a calling that will last our entire lives!

Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (While this speaks particularly to fathers, as mothers it is our responsibility to help in this labor and to reinforce the instruction of our husbands.)

This is not an easy assignment - the world, the devil, and our own sin nature work against us. We need supernatural power for this work. What is the Power Source for this lifelong labor of obedience to God's command to teach our children?
* God loves us - we are the object of God's amazing grace! (1 John 3:1, Romans 8:35)
* God protects us - He is sovereign over everything, and works everything to our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)
* God's Spirit dwells in us and helps us in our weakness. (Romans 8:26)
* Christ Himself is interceding for us!

Our security and significance are grounded in Christ, not in the world or in unrealistic images of life or in our children or our marriages or our careers. This frees and empowers us to pursue God's glory. Realizing that God's glory is our purpose gives us tremendous stability in the face of emotional extremes, difficult circumstances, and the chaos of childrearing. God's glory - not our own expectations or preferences - is our basis for making decisions and dealing with life circumstances.

Practical Ideas:
* Pray daily for God's wisdom and strength as you seek to mother your children, and that you will know the sufficiency of Christ in this area of your life.
* Pray daily for your husband - try to develop a habit of doing this with your children.
* Try to read at least some Scripture daily.
* Look for opportunities to communicate God's presence, character, and attributes to your children - He's all over creation!
* Use "hard times" as opportunities for prayer and praise - Defy the devil! Develop a habit of thankfulness. Use difficulties to consciously identify with Christ's sacrifice and suffereing (2 Corinthians 12:9 - Paul: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.) Be honest with God and with your children about the struggles of life.

PREACH THE GOSPEL

2 Timothy 4:1-2 - I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

*To yourself as a mom - Even in motherhood, Christ's righteousness is our covering, our security. You can't do this mom job - Christ can, perfectly. Rest in the work that Christ has done and continues to do on your behalf.

*To your children - In disciplining your children, deal with their sinfulness honestly. Explain to them that (fill-in-the-blank) is sin; that God hates sin and cannot even look upon it; that because of sin, they need someone to save them; that God sent Jesus to die to pay for just such sins; that Jesus bore the wrath of God so that we wouldn't have to; that Jesus loves us and is able to help us. PRAY with your children, showing them how to confess their sin and ask for God's forgiveness and Christ's redeeming work in their hearts and lives.

Closing Prayer: Ephesians 3:14-21

19 comments:

Christina said...

Thank you for posting your devotions for a baby shower. My youngest sister is having her first child. She is not a believer. There will only be a few believers in attendance at the shower. I would like to do a devotional that incorporates the gospel message at the same time as not tuning people out immediately. It is great to see devotions that can point me to scripture passages. Thank you again for taking the time to post your notes.

Kristen Rider said...

Teresa Scott recommended I read some of your blogs. I don't know if you remember me from Lindsay's wedding. Anyways, what a blessing to me this blog was. You made Christ look great and encouraged me in my daily life with my children. Thank the Lord for grace that you found time to post this wonderful blog. What a mighty power that is at work within us, the same power that raised Christ from the dead!!

Laura said...

Hi,

I was wondering if I may have permission to basically read this devotional at a shower (giving you the credit of course)?

Thanks!

Camille said...

Hi, Laura -
That would be fine. I'm glad this devotional is something you can use!

Anonymous said...

Camille, thank you for posting your devotional, I would also like to seek your permission to use your devotional at a Baby shower. It is well written and says just what I was thinking. K. Nelson

Camille said...

K. Nelson - Glad this devotional is helpful. Feel free to use it, and thanks for asking!
Camille

Anonymous said...

Hi, This is a wonderful devotional. I was wondering if I could read it at my friends baby shower?

Camille said...

Absolutely - you can use this at your friend's baby shower! I hope that it proves to be helpful and encouraging.

Thanks for asking!
Camille

Adriane said...

I am hosting a baby shower for a mom of 10 and have been looking for a devo that will speak to her heart. I came across this devotional and think it would be perfect! May I use it with your permission? Thanks and God bless!

Camille said...

Hi, Adriane! Absolutely, feel free to use this devotional outline - I hope it will be a blessing to you and to this mom-of-ten!
Camille

Denise Lesondak said...

You don't know me, but I have been asked to do a devotional for a baby shower at our church, and one of the ladies in charge pointed me to your wonderful devotional. May I please use it with your permission? Thank you so much. God bless you!

Camille said...

Hi, Denise!
Thanks for asking! Absolutely, feel free to use this devotional. I hope it blesses those gathered at the baby shower. :)
Camille

Denise Lesondak said...

Thank you!!

thesebeautifulashes said...

I found this as I am presenting my first devotion to a first time mom I don't know. I hope that you will also allow me to share the great fundamental truths here. I have taken some time to check out your other posts and I love your honesty, integrity and the stubborn clinging you portray to the gospel. All done with a sense of humor! May God continue to use you to encourage others!

Camille said...

I'm glad you've enjoyed the blog and pray the baby shower devotional will be helpful and encouraging. Thanks for the encouragement you have given me!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I don't know you but I am also giving a devotional. I usually do my own but I came across yours and really liked it! May I use it tomorrow!
Thanks, Deb

Camille said...

Hi, Deb!
Absolutely - feel free to use the devotional, and I hope ya'll have an awesome baby shower!
Camille

HMPhillips said...

This is great! I love that you tied in the catechism! So thankful that there are people like you who can put encouragement for new (and current!)moms in to words so wonderfully. It certainly isn't my forte! I am hopeful that you won't mind if I share your words at a baby shower that I am throwing for a friend of mine? Both she and I would be thankful to not have to listen to something I would have to come up with on my own! =)

Camille said...

Absolutely - feel free to use this devotional, HMPhillips! I hope ya'll have a fun and edifying baby shower!