I Love Them, But They Are Not My Identity

By Stacey

Our experience in dealing with Zoey’s teacher at school has been almost comical. There have been very few people in my life who cringe when they see me, but now that I have become “the mother of Kaden/Makyra/Elias/ Zoey” I find that I am no longer judged solely by my own attitudes and behaviors. The unfortunate result recently is that Zoey’s disobedience at school has led to much cringing and confrontation by her teacher.

For example this teacher said something to the effect of, “Our classroom is not like your home. Zoey cannot do whatever she wants here.” To this we scratched our heads and thought that we must have misunderstood the French or something. This may be the first time anyone has accused us of being too lenient with our kids. We have heard that we are too strict more times that we can count.

She also told me that I “need to tell my daughter ‘No,’” as if she has never heard that word. Does she really think I do not tell my children “No”? And a couple days ago, the teacher reminded me that I needed to explain that during nap time she must hold still and not talk. I could not help but the look at this teacher and, while nodding, laugh inside knowing that every single day we go over with her Romans 13 about submitting to God’s authorities in her life, which includes holding still and being quiet during nap time. 

Unfortunately, all of these rebukes culminated in the teacher deciding that Zoey is no longer welcome to come to her school during nap-time in the afternoons. Did my daughter get expelled from pre-school nap time? This is extremely disappointing to us as we have class in the afternoons and now one of us has to watch Zoey instead of going to class.

Through all of this unwelcome drama, we found a few biblical truths particularly encouraging and we thought we would share them with you:

God Sees Everything

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” Proverbs 15:3. 

The Lord sees when I am faithful as a parent and the Lord sees when I fail. The Lord sees when my children follow after wisdom and he sees when they harden their hearts to it. While we need to be open to the counsel of others, ultimately God is the only one who is all-seeing. He is the only one who knows not only our words to our children in our home but also the thoughts in our hearts. He sees the patient, faithful, praying parent and he sees the hard-hearted child. Others cannot, but he can.   The assumptions of others are limited by what they can see, but thankfully the Lord does not have that restriction.

God Delights in the Faithful

“Those who act faithfully are his delight” Proverbs 12:22.

The Lord’s opinion of me as a parent is not contingent up on the behavior of my children. Yes, there is a correlation between the behavior of a child and the way he/she is parented, but it is not a perfect correlation. Instead, the Lord delights in the day-in/day-out faithfulness of Christian parents, whether or not the children are faithful. The lack of obedience in a child does not diminish God’s delight in the faithfulness of the parent.  God is not more pleased with the parents of compliant children then he is with the parents of rebellious children, so long as both are faithful .

There is a Coming Final Judgment

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” Romans 2:6-8.

Right now, people associate me with my children, but soon our family will stand before King Jesus independent of one anotherand each give account of our lives. Each of us will give an account for what we did with the truth we received. To those of us who lived lives of faith and patiently sought to do good, there will be eternal life. To those who did whatever they wanted and did not obey the Word of God there will be an eternity of wrath. Right now families are all grouped together and people can make assumptions based on who is a part of what family. Someday soon, King Jesus will separate families forever based on what each individual did and how they responded to the Gospel. 

My Identity and Future Are Secure

God approves of me because I have an intercessor in Heaven who reminds the Father that my sins in parenting have already been paid for. And I have an all-seeing Father in Heaven who sees every toilsome hour spent in service to my family and promises to reward me. I have powerful tools like the Word of God and prayer that have been proven to change the hearts of the hardest sinners. I have a Father who listens to my prayers for my children and responds.  I have a house that Jesus is preparing for me. I have an eternity of joy awaiting me. I have brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the world with whom I will spend eternity.

So yes, it is disappointing that Zoey is disobeying her teachers at school and our hearts are grieved for her sin. And in the end, while we are a little anxious about our French, we accept the fact that Zoey clearly does need more correction from her parents right now and so we simply need to stay home with her and do our job. 

Nevertheless, I am accountable for my life and she is accountable for hers.  Regardless of the actions and choices of my children, I have an identity, a joy, and a future that is sure.  My identity is “servant of Jesus” first and forever.  Second and only for a moment I am “the mother of Kaden/Makyra/Elias/Zoey.”


Author: David M. Hare

Dave is a husband, father of four Africans, and is currently helping the Kwakum people do Oral Bible Storying and Bible translation in Cameroon, Africa.