John MacArthur wrote, “The Beatitudes demonstrate that the way to heavenly blessedness is antithetical to the worldly path normally followed in pursuit of happiness.”
Parenting isn’t about feeling good all the time.
Make it that, and you’ll have kids who run the house and don’t understand the word no. Some of my best parenting moments are when I feel the worst, I think. Holding a screaming, flailing 5-year-old who is throwing a temper tantrum—when really I just want to shut her in her room and go eat chocolate cake. Taking a deep breath and explaining to my 3-year-old onemoretime that “I need” is not the way we start sentences to ask for things. Not biting back when my 17-month-old decides to gnaw at my shoulder.
Often parenting is going against my human nature and trying to latch on to my Jesus-nature instead, asking for His power to flood me. Because seriously, there is no way I can do this on my own.
In the Beatitudes, Jesus shows us a flip-flop view of His kingdom versus the world’s. He says, “You’re going to mourn. You’re going to be persecuted. You’re going to need to show mercy and peace and gentleness when you don’t want to. But I am going to bless you for it, and it’s how I am going to work through your life.”
How many times as a parent do you feel mournful? Poor in spirit? Persecuted, even, by your children or other parents? Jesus blesses that.
The Beatitudes are everything I want to be as a parent. Gentle. Peaceful. Merciful. Pure in heart. In my study Bible, MacArthur also writes that “gentleness is supreme self-control empowered by the Spirit.”
I’ve seen a graphic around Facebook lately with a toddler laying on top of his mama on the beach and the words, “You’re never going to be loved like this again.”
Until we see Christ, no one on earth is going to love us with the uninhibited crazy love of a toddler or preschooler. So let’s pour back that love, praying for the Spirit to fill us with mercy, purity of heart, gentleness and peace, not giving up when we are mournful or feel persecuted or want to hide in our rooms and throw stuff at the wall.
In The Message paraphrase, Matthew 5:3 is, “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule.”
Praise God and Amen!
For more inspiring parenting devotionals, check out Jessie’s devotional ebook, Parenting Parables.