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4 Reasons Parenting Is Holy Work

4 Reasons Parenting Is Holy Work

The day-to-day work of parenthood can grow mundane and even tiresome. There are always toys piled up around the house, forever waiting to be picked up again. Dishes that need to be moved from the sink to the dishwasher back to the cabinets only to be dirtied immediately all over again. Noise that doesn’t subside. The cries of joy and of need start during the early morning hours and continue until past bedtime. Parenthood – in every season – comes with many challenges.

I am here to remind you and me that even when it all can feel heavy, messy, tiring, and chaotic, this is holy work.

Your home is holy ground that God uses to build up the next generation. He also uses this space to grow and refine us as parents! There is nothing that tests our ability to be “slow to anger” (James 1:19) than when we are telling our child to please follow our directions for what feels like the millionth time in a row. If we are honest, we all have moments where we fail at this job but there is so much grace given by our children. They continue to love us and our job is to keep showing up to the job, every day.

There is no mistake so big that stops us from being Mom or Dad. You are invaluable to your child. As an adoptive mom, I am keenly aware that my son's birth Mom has a huge part in his story. I never want him or her to feel like she doesn’t matter. There is space for us all in his life and I am forever grateful for the woman that selflessly carried my perfect son into this world. First families, adoptive parents, estranged parents, broken parents, the best ever parents…all of us play a vital role in the lives of the children we are connected to.

My constant question is how do I show up with my best self for this job? Sometimes motherhood can drain the life out of me. In other moments, motherhood inspires me and fills me with joy! Often, I teeter between these extremes several times during a single day.

How do I recognize and honor my need for rest? For God’s grace and strength? How do I balance being present with being productive? What am I modeling for my children? Do they see Christ alive in me? How do I handle the moments they fail? Or when I fail them? These are the questions that keep me up at night!

The answers I cling to come from God’s Word. He reminds me that in the joy, sorrow, failure, and uncertainty my home is His. He reminds me I am on a holy journey that stretches me and teaches me every day. Here are some biblical truths that encourage my weariness:

1. God's strength is made perfect through my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

When I want to list all the ways I am ill-equipped to be the kind of Mom I want to be or when I am tempted to compare my parenthood to others, I am reminded that God shows up and fills in the gaps for me.

This Holy Work is done well when I partner with the Holy Spirit in order to draw on God’s strength to sustain me in moments of loss and brokenness. I need his help to have the strength to apologize when I lose my temper in front of my kids. I need his peace when my kids face trials of any kind. I need his wisdom to help me find a balance between investing in my well-being and also being a present and engaged parent.

2. We are entrusted with the job of caring for His fearfully and wonderfully made creatures (Psalm 139:14).

The wonder of parenthood is so self-evident at the start. Watch any new Mom and Dad dote on their precious bundle of joy! Every cue, cry, smile, and snuggle is magic.

When we get into the tougher seasons of this work we can lose sight of the beauty that has been divinely knit into our children. Jesus knows when all three of my big kids are fighting with each other over even the tiniest issue, I forget how precious these people are in the eyes of God.

Sometimes we have to pray these scriptures over our children to remind us that they are full of God’s creativity. We also need reminders that they are ultimately his and while we want to worry over every step they take, God is ultimately their keeper. Other times we need to purposefully slow down our days, so we have space to enjoy who they are. When I feel rushed, hearing about every single tiny detail of how Minecraft works from my 10-year-old, feels hard. When I sit with him at bedtime to pause, read, and pray it’s then I can savor hearing how elaborately his mind maps out the world around him.

3. Our home is where our values are caught by the next generation (Psalm 78:4-6).

The place we reside is holy ground because it’s where our children see us live out the gospel truth through the story of our lives. Think of an infant, they learn by what they see, feel, and hear. This is their primary method of taking in the world around them. This doesn’t change too much as we grow. Our children are observing what we say, what we do, and what we teach. The home is the backdrop for the place where most of the learning takes place in our children’s lives for their young years. The environment we create in our homes is so important.

As a mom that spends most of her time at home, I’ll be honest and say that many days it’s hard to feel like changing diapers and teaching the ABCs is holy work. Yet, it is! Even if you work full time away from your kids, the place they come back to is their safe place. Home is where the story of our lives together unfolds.

Pray over your home, over your kids’ rooms, pray as you start the day, and when you go to bed. Pray that God will give you the eyes to see his beauty and grace alive in your home. Pray that your kids will see the values that guide you and will make them your own. Pray that God would protect your home so it can be a safe, trauma-free space. Pray for God’s forgiveness to abound in your home when you all fail one another.

4. God’s grace is sufficient for your every need (Philippians 4:19).

He has given you the children you were designed to parent. When we lean into him, he is faithful to guide us. Even when trauma and loss touch our homes, God is in the business of restoring back to life broken things. Find your Village that will support you as you seek healing and restoration in your home. His grace is enough for you!

Keep up this good work. God has chosen our homes as the place to do the most crucial work of shaping and molding the next generation. The days are long but the years together are short. Take a deep breath and lean into loving your people well.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/digitalskillet 

Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.