This article was originally published in Strong and Courageous Women magazine issue 3. You can subscribe to Strong and Courageous Women here.
We live in a dark world. The moral compass of our culture and country is changing direction. In this dark world, we need to raise up a generation who will be a light in the darkness, just as the moon shines in the darkness of night.
In science this past year, my daughter and I learned about astronomy. The sun, moon, Earth, planets, rotations, revolutions, orbits, and galaxies.
During one of our classes, I was hit with something I have always known, something that is so elementary, but something that impacted me more as a parent than it ever did when I was a student.
The moon does not produce its own light. It reflects the light of the sun. Without the light of the sun, the moon would not shine at all. However, nothing else in space reflects the light of the moon.
And it hit me.
In a manner of speaking, I am the moon.
I cannot produce my own light. My job is to reflect Jesus. And how often do I forget that no one is supposed to reflect me?
Yet, that was a burden I was placing on my children all the time, and sometimes still do.
I would tell them that their behavior reflected the kind of mother I am. I would tell them their behavior was supposed to make me look good.
Now do not get me wrong. I have great kids. They are very good, but they are kids, which means there is always going to be a level of unpredictability involved when we leave the house.
Yes, it’s important for my children to behave in public. The should behave in a manner that is above reproach.
But they are not supposed to reflect me. They are supposed to reflect Jesus. My light is not strong enough, it never will be.
Their behavior is not to bring me glory. It is to glorify their Heavenly Father, not their earthly mother.
Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Our children need to know that as believers in Jesus, our behavior needs to reflect the One who lives in us. We need to shine with kindness, love, obedience, gentleness, and respect for others.
My job is to bring them into the presence of Jesus. The more they are in front of the Son, the brighter their light will shine for Him. The more I bring them into His presence, the more their moral compass will align to His, and the choices they make will reflect Him. The more they stand before Him, the brighter their light will shine in the darkness.
The way the moon shines in the darkness, I want my children to shine in this darkened world.