When my babies were babies, I would hold them and snuggle them as much as time would allow, sometimes feeling bad that no housework was getting done. Now, they wiggle and squirm so much that a snuggle is an often sought out and oh-so-precious occurence. When my babies were babies, I celebrated their every blink, gurgle, and drool as a momentous event. Now, I am daily amazed at the things that come out of their mouths. (The thoughts they have…with their own minds!!) When my babies were babies, we had plenty of time for reading, singing, drooling, etc. (you know, leisurely activities) Now, it is sometimes all I can do to keep up with them. (Did you know that kids never.stop.moving?)
My babies are not all that big, in the world’s sense, as they are 3 and 1.5. But in mama terms, that’s just crazy! (I know you fellow mamas out there can relate!) Where did the time go? When did they become their own little people? I love that they still need and depend on me, but I know there will come a day when they don’t. And that makes me kind of sad. I am trying to prepare myself. It’s not working.
When I begin to have these thoughts, I am reminded of a scripture found in Luke. It’s about Mary and her baby, Jesus. Jesus had just been born and some shepherds had been sent by a chorus of angels to see the Savior in Bethlehem. Scripture says the shepherds were amazed that the scene was just as the angels described and all they told the story to were amazed as well. And then it says:
“But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.”
If we keep reading furthur on in the same chapter, we get a brief glimpse into Jesus’ childhood and a similar account of his mother. Every year His family traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover like the good Jews they were. One year, when Jesus was 12, after the Passover observance was done, His family began to travel home. I’m not exactly sure what their traveling party looked like, but it’s clear it was a large one consisting of relatives, friends and servants, in addition to Jesus’ family, because they travelled a full day before they realized Jesus was missing.
So they returned to Jerusalem to find Him; can you imagine how anxious and scared Mary and Joseph must have been? When they found Him after three days in the temple “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke ), His parents asked Him why he had treated them this way, by staying behind and causing them to worry. Jesus replied rather simply “Why were you searching for Me? Didn’t you know that I had to be in my Father’s house?”(Luke )
The next scripture tells us Mary and Joseph didn’t understand the true meaning of His words, but that Jesus went home with them obediently. And then “His mother kept all these things in her heart.” (Luke ) Although Mary may not have understood the full significance of Jesus’ life and purpose on Earth while He was growing up, she did understand that our time with our children is fleeting. She always took time to soak up the memories made. I love that we know this about her. I love that it was included in scripture.
While my children will inevitably grow up into adults (Lord willing!), their dependence on me will decrease. But I am convinced out influence on them will not. The very verse after where it tells us that Mary again treasured the memories, it says:
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.”
At first glance, that verse may seem a little out of place. But if we think about it, it’s perfect. While it’s perfectly okay to soak up the memories of our children while they are young, it’s vitally important for their soul that they too soak up some memories. It’s our job as parents to impart wisdom to our children. Wisdom of the word of God and of Jesus’ kingdom, of our heavenly home.
While it’s obvious that Jesus wasn’t quite normal in His perfection, it is clear that God knew what He was doing when He chose Mary and Joseph for His Earthly parents. He knew they would do their part by raising Him in the Law of God and imparting wisdom to Him. God too chooses us to be parents to our children by blessing us with them. It is our job to raise them in the ways of the Lord. It is our job to teach them God’s word and to model the life of a Christian for them. If we don’t do it, who will? Our babies will not be babies for long.