A Prayer for the Parents of Littles
By Ashley Moore
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.” – Psalm 127:3-5, ESV
It took longer than we expected to grow our family. In our desperation, we reached out to godly friends and asked if they would pray for us. I still remember the night a family friend prayed Psalm 127:3-5 over me and my husband. And the Lord answered by giving us three kids in the three years that followed. Suddenly, I was both amazed at God’s provision and overwhelmed by these three little rewards from God!
If you have little children, do you find it easy to relate to the following?
If you are anything like me, you probably feel guilty over all your conflicting emotions when it comes to your children. On one hand, you realize the blessing of a family and this season with littles, and on the other hand, the struggle of caregiving and providing for your children non-stop is real!
To this, I offer two truths in hopes of comforting you in this season of stewarding tiny image-bearers. The first speaks to parents in the infant stage. Remember, this is only a season, and it will eventually change. I am not suggesting it will get easier, but each stage will present unique challenges and benefits. Change offers a reprieve and a second wind in your parenting.
Secondly, your children will never satisfy you as God does–children are poor substitutes for God’s love. I don’t offer this nugget to condemn you, but to give you permission and space to feel less than super joyful in all the hard moments of fussiness, sleepless nights, or constant diaper duty. True joy is found in Christ alone, so it makes sense that every moment with your children isn’t pure bliss.
We can be kind to ourselves when we feel restless in the little years. Our struggles don’t negate God’s Word. Our conflicting emotions in parenting our littles only serve to illuminate the truth. This is one way our children are a blessing because they push us to depend on God more and more. Our children will both make us rejoice in the highest of highs, and worship through tears in the hard moments. Because of this, we can thank God for the heritage He has given us in our children.
We thank you for the gift of children. They are a miracle from you, and we acknowledge and praise you for that! Lord, we thank you for entrusting us with the great honor of raising a new generation of people who will love and serve you. But Lord, you know how hard these little years are. You see us drowning in the to-do list and you know when we feel guilty for not being more thankful for all our many blessings. But you still love us, and you love our children.
Thank you for how our love for these kids gives us a tiny, though an imperfect, glimpse of your love toward us. And thank you that our disappointment, discontentment, and lack of fulfillment in parenting drive us back to you–our true source of joy! Lord, thank you that you use our brokenness and imperfections in parenting for our good and your glory! You use it all, and we praise you for that. Thank you for both the seen and unseen ways our children are a blessing and heritage from you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Getty/MoMo-Productions
Ashley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge Magazine, Guideposts, Crosswalk, The Secret Place, enLIVEn, The Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn’t writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.
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