7 Things My Children Have Taught Me about God

  • Brenda Rodgers
7 Things My Children Have Taught Me about God

I'll never forget looking down at my daughter for the first time. The midwife quickly wrapped her in a blanket and plopped her in my arms. She cried and I whispered, "Hi, I'm your mommy." She was mine—a dream come true and terrifying at the same time. Nine months got real in mere seconds.

I'm one of those women who had dreamed of becoming a mommy since I was a little girl. I imagined how I would take care of my babies and what I'd teach them.

As a teacher, it was natural for me to impart wisdom to my children, and I welcomed the challenge. What I didn't expect, however, was my children teaching me. God can use many methods to refine a person into His likeness. For me, though, motherhood and marriage have brought the most refinement.

Here are seven things my children have taught me about God.

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1. He is a miracle-maker.

1. He is a miracle-maker.

During my first pregnancy, I enjoyed blissful ignorance. I didn't know what all could go wrong, so I didn't worry about any of it. The possibility that at the end of nine months I wouldn't hold a perfect baby in my arms didn't cross my mind.

Then my second pregnancy came along. That is when it hit me. I delivered a healthy baby with no complications during childbirth. However, I found myself surprised that so many babies are born healthy.

All of it coming together, from the organs and bones and pumping of blood to the fingers and toes, ear lobes and lips—the making of a baby is a miracle. So much can go wrong and yet the majority of the time it doesn't.

Looking at my two daughters, I see that God is a God of miracles. Each life is a miracle. Even if that life isn't "perfect" by the world's standards, it is perfect by God's standards. He is a miracle-maker because He is a soul-maker.

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2. He is sovereign.

2. He is sovereign.

As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I want to get motherhood right. Or I should say, I want to get it perfect. And by getting it perfect I mean that I want my children to turn out perfectly.

But early on I realized that I can't control my children into perfection. I can't think for them, I can't make them do what I say, and I can't make them into who I want them to be. I could be a perfect mom (yes, I know that's not possible, but just for discussion’s sake), and yet my children could still grow up to be nothing like I hoped.

This realization has taught me that God is sovereign over my children's lives. He has a plan for their lives that is separate from what I may desire. Yes, God wants to use me in their lives, of course, but their faithfulness or lack of it does not hang on the branch of my perfectionism.

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3. He is patient.

3. He is patient.

"I've told you a hundred times not to hit your sister when you're angry with her! What is it going to take?" Every time these exasperated words leave my mouth, a pang of conviction pricks my heart. I hear God saying the same words back to me. What is it going to take for me to learn the lessons He's been trying to teach me for years?

In my exasperation, my children have taught me that they need the same patience shown to them that God shows to me. Life's biggest lessons, like how to handle anger appropriately, take long-suffering and endurance. When I show patience to my children, I am teaching them that God is patient, and He will be patient with them too.

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4. He is writing a bigger story.

4. He is writing a bigger story.

When you're a little girl and you imagine one day being a mommy, you might think about all the fun it's going to be—the clothes, bottles, diapers, and cradle. When you marry and imagine having a baby, you may romanticize it even more—the nursery, birthday parties, and first lessons.

It's easy to get caught up in the superficial things and forget that there's more to it than all of this. Before I had my children, I didn't think about my legacy. I didn't think about my grandchildren or great-grandchildren. However, now, when I look into my children's eyes, I realize that the present is a glimpse into the future.

God is writing a bigger story. The monotonous "day-in and day-outs" of life are laying foundational bricks to support it.

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5. He is full of grace.

5. He is full of grace.

"You're the best mommy in the whole world!" When my daughter says these words, they are honey to my ears. However, I often wonder to myself if she remembers that I yelled at her two hours earlier or that I didn't pay enough attention to her the day before. How can she think I'm a good mommy? I'm so much harder on myself than she is on me.

These moments remind me of God's grace. Just like my daughter doesn't hold on to my sin, dwelling on how I wronged her, God doesn't either. When I apologize to my daughter, she forgives me, moves on, and remembers the good I do for her. The same is true for God. When I repent of my sin, he too forgives me, moves on, and focuses on His righteousness within me.

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6. He only wants our hearts.

6. He only wants our hearts.

Since my children were toddlers, I taught them to apologize when they wronged someone. But they weren't allowed to just say, "Sorry!" in a sarcastic tone. Instead, I trained them to say something like, "I'm sorry for [offense], will you please forgive me?"

It didn't take long, however, for this to backfire on me. They began saying it fast and by memory without evidence of a contrite heart. As you can imagine, this made me even more irritated.

The behavior became secondary to the fact that what I wanted more than polite, well-groomed lip service was a heart that broke over sin. I wanted my children to realize that they are sinners so that they could see their need for a Savior.

God is the same way. He is not interested in my striving for perfection on the outside. He wants a heart that yearns for His grace and mercy on the inside.

It pains me when I see my children's hearts not aligned with God's. This has taught me how God must feel when my heart is not aligned with His.

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7. He created a world of order.

7. He created a world of order.

Watching my children learn fascinates me. And what fascinates me even more is how much they learn without being taught. I didn't teach my girls to like princesses, play with dolls, or enjoy dress-up; nor did I teach them to climb trees, run fast, or jump in rain puddles. I didn't teach them to be shy or to be bold, to talk to strangers or to be afraid of them, to have a calm disposition or to have an energetic one.

When I realized that my children's interests were innate, some according to their gender and some individual to them, it solidified in me that God is a God of order. He created a world in which people operate in ways that compliment other people. Each person has gifts, skills, and interests to benefit the kingdom of God as a whole.

Because God is a God of order, it's wise for me to encourage that order as I raise my children. But as much as I have tried to teach my children about God, they have taught me just as much. I am grateful for their lessons, and my hope is that I remain humble so that I can continue to learn from them.

Brenda Headshot Brenda Rodgers considers herself a “recovering single” after years as a single woman chasing after marriage instead of chasing after Jesus. Now her passion is to mentor young women to live purposefully and grow in their relationship with God and others. Brenda has been married for five years to a heart transplant hero and is the mom of a toddler girl miracle. She is also the author of the eBook Fall for Him: 25 Challenges from a Recovering Single. You can also read more on Brenda’s blog, www.TripleBraidedLife.com and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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At iBelieve.com, we strive to offer authentic and real life stories for women in all stages of life. Being a mom can be one of the most rewarding yet most challenging time in a woman's life. Find timely advice for raising your children to love God and follow a Biblical worldview while escaping for moments of mommy encouragement and refreshment! Whether you’re a mom of 1 or 10, single mom or step mom, we want to supply you with the tools you need to be an effective example of God’s love and grace in your home!