Today my sweet Knoxy boy is 2 months old. I just can’t believe it, y’all. Time really does fly, and I am soaking in every second I can. I am so overwhelmed by how much my love continues to grow for this little man I have only actually known for a couple of months. I have thought a lot about what all I get to teach Knox as I raise him. I can’t wait to take him on dates with mommy, or for when he will say his first words (“mama” of course), how I will handle certain conversations, how I will discipline, and -most importantly- how I will raise up a man of God. Our prayer for Knox since he was in my belly has been that he would have thick skin, a tender heart, and love Jesus a lot. But I have got to admit that it’s a lot easier to speak those concepts over your kid when they’re still inside of you and completely untouched by the world. Let’s face it, having a kid is a whole lot easier when they are in the safety of your belly. How am I actually going to teach Knox to have thick skin and love Jesus a whole lot?
A couple weeks ago Paul and I got to stand before our church family for baby dedications. This was our time to commit to raising up Knox in a home that puts the Bible before everything else. What it means to “dedicate our baby” is to recognize the gift he was to us and that nothing in this world is actually ours. It’s an act of obedience to say before our church and, most importantly, to God that we know Knox is ultimately His. He’s not mine. Every good and perfect gift is from above- a reflection of God’s love for us (James 1:17-18). S0 even my son, who I carried inside of me and sacrificed my whole body to for 9 months, isn’t mine. I feed him, I clothe him, I give him what he needs to stay alive. But, Knox isn’t mine.
My humanity makes saying that so hard it almost hurts. But, it’s the truth.
Knox Chandler is the Lord’s. I get to be used to pull out the best in him, encourage him, teach him to love others by how I imitate the Lord’s limitless love, how to be gracious because God is gracious to us, how to appreciate people who look different than him, to be compassionate, to be selfless, to be bold, to be courageous… As Knox’s mom, I get to play a role in creating an environment that allows for the best Knox, how God designed him to be in the fullest, to flourish.
My spirit reminds me that saying Knox isn’t mine is also the greatest relief.
Not one is perfect but Jesus, as the Bible says. I fall short of the glory of God daily, hourly, by the second. But, if I seek first Christ and my relationship with him, then his grace and goodness will extend into Knox because Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross made the way for me. Like every other area of my life that I need the life and work of Jesus on the cross to cover my imperfections, it also covers my inability to be all that Knox needs me to be. I don’t have to nail it. Praise the Lord for that, right?
Because Knox isn’t mine, I don’t have to nail this crazy thing called parenting.
I can breath again.
‘But me—who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand. As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. God, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God, that you care nothing for the surface—you want us, our true selves—and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly—what a joy! O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts set firmly in you. And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building The Temple for which I have provided.’ 1 Chronicles: 14-19 (MSG)
Dang, this verse is so freeing. Everything I have comes from above, and in my time on earth my job is to simply give glory to God with everything I have been given. Without recognizing where every good and perfect gift comes from, I am merely a wanderer without purpose. Everything I am given to build my home for worship- in my personal case this is my husband, my son, and everything we have to our names- is not even mine to worship God with without God giving it to me to worship him with in the first place. You following me?
God doesn’t care about the surface, what I look like or what I “produce”. He cares about my inner most being. And then, by giving my whole heart to the Lord and dedicating everything I do to his glory being made known, by my example others will know the love of God and live in obedience, too. I.e. how I live for the Lord will directly effect the things I want so desperately for Knox to know and be- thick skin, a tender heart, and to love Jesus a lot.
Knox isn’t mine. He is the Lord’s to work out and bring the best out of. He is a gift to me that by living for the Lord in my own life will grow and flourish more than he ever would if I tried to bring the best out in him on my own. It feels backwards to say Knox isn’t mine until I remember it is in fact the most liberating truth I can live by as a parent.
Happy two months, love bug. If you’re a mommy figuring this parenting thing out- remind yourself daily that your job is to give glory to God in all things and love him above all else. The rest works itself out. It’s that simple. You will fail… at a lot of things in life. Your parenting will not be perfect. But, praise God for a perfect savior who covers all our imperfections.