how to shepherd those kids in our “flock”

By November 16, 2012General, Get Inspired

This post is written by our monthly contributor, Lara Williams.

 

 

I don’t know who coined the phrase, but mothering really does feel like herding cats at times. Can I get a witness. So whether to sheep or cats…or kids, we as moms shepherd a flock. I think that’s why Peter’s words from 1 Peter 5 ministered so deeply to me this week.

Let’s look at how we as moms are called to shepherd our kids. Because I need all the help I can get. Amen?

 

 

To lay the backdrop, shepherding means tending or feeding…NOT controlling. Ahem. Seriously. In my fleshly natural self, I like to control my kids. In fact if I’m really honest, I’m an outstanding mother until they don’t do what I want them to do. That’s when things can fall apart. Recovering control-freak in the hi-zouse.

Peter isn’t calling us to control them. Take a deep breath. He’s instructing on how to shepherd — how to tend to the souls of others. He says we’re to “take oversight.”

You know what that means? It means we “look diligently” at others. It means we’re all there in conversations. It means we look them in the eyes when they talk, rather than at the screen of our phone. It means we think about the things they are saying — no matter how immature the words may be. And it means we pray to see what’s hovering behind their words, so we can minister to the heart.

But then he tells us how. This is where it gets good (and super convicting, so I dare you to keep reading.) This is where he addresses our own heart as the shepherd.

He says to shepherd willingly, eagerly, and as an example of God’s love. Girls, I’ll be the first to admit that there are certain days (and times of the month) where I am not shepherding very eagerly. Or willingly. And it pains me to admit it because God always looks at our heart.

He isn’t looking for us to be good do-ers. He’s looking for us to be restful be-ers. (Not beers, but be-ers.) To be intimate with Him allowing Him and His love to overflow onto those around us. That’s the place of blessing for everyone involved.

Three things for when we’re struggling to shepherd our little flock.

 

  1. Confess our sin and declare our neediness for God to do this mother thing through us. He isn’t looking for independent agents. He’s looking for those who depend and trust His empowering. Confess and declare.
  2.  

  3. Renew our minds towards our kids! This. Is. SO. Key! In fact this should be circled and highlighted and taped to our foreheads. Because if I’m painfully honest, when my shepherding isn’t so lovely my heart is filled with negative, critical thoughts about my kids or about motherhood.
  4.  

    As moms we’re desperate for a renewed mind. So a few key thoughts I like to think upon to renew my own mind in those not-so-lovely-moments are:

    • These kids aren’t mine. They’re God’s! He is working His will in and through them. He is unfolding a beautiful plan. (Jeremiah 29:11)
    • We are ALL in process. God began a good work in them and He will faithfully bring it to completion. (Phil. 1:6)
    • Remember how long it took me to get to where I am in my own faith. They are children. Give them time to learn how to depend on Him to fight their battles.
    • Father, show me how to reflect your love right now in this moment.(John 13:34-35)
    • Lord, I pray for _______________________. I see weakness in this area so I ask on her behalf that You by Your power make it a place of greatest strength in her life. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

     

  5. Rest in His matchless grace. We’re going to fail as parents. We aren’t the ones that ultimately “save” our children. God is the One who draws them to Himself. And He does it in spite of us. That’s what makes His grace so amazing.

We as moms are shepherds. And I know, like me, you want to shepherd well. So hands in and on three we say, “Yes!” to God’s commission. 1-2-3, “YES!”

 
How does thinking on your motherhood role as “shepherding” encourage or challenge you?
What encouraged you this week from (the last week of!) the Kept study?

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Comments

6 Comments

  • Avatar Gina says:

    Thank you for this encouragement. It’s so easy to get discouraged, particularly during seasons when our little sheep seem bent on straying.

    • Avatar lara says:

      Girl, I totally know what you mean about little sheep being bent on straying. Running the race of faith beside you, sister. Praying we have His vision for their little souls.

  • I didn’t connect with being overseers of the flock as mothers until reading your post! Thank you!
    For me, verse 7 has been a strong one, and hard to remember because I have LOTS of anxiety. But the verses surrounding it jumped out to me: humble yourself (first? Before casting anxiety I have to remember my place!) and then, be self-controlled and alert because of the enemy. My enemy entices me to anger, to judgement of others, to forgetfulness. Resist him!! by standing firm in the faith, by remembering the others around the world struggling (to be wife, mother, teacher for God) as I do.
    Thanks for a chance to share my heart.

  • […] Through another blog (Inspired to Action), I was encouraged to read this scripture through a “Mommy lens” and I don’t […]

  • Avatar Joyce says:

    All great reminders that I need to read. Having that definition of shepherding makes a huge difference in how we shepherd. LOL at be-er, beer. :p

  • Avatar Tehila says:

    Shepherding is a wonderful way to look at parenting. It gives such a gentle picture of leading them with love and reminds me of one of my favourite verses in Scripture: He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:

    “He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isaiah 40:11).

    When I’m struggling to shepherd my children, I know that the source of my struggle is that I am straggling along far behind my Shepherd. It is when I draw closer to Him, and draw from the well of His grace and wisdom, that I am able, with His help to lead my little ones!