For everyone who replied to Martha’s recent post, “Promises for Our Children,” and asked for more, the Message of the Month for June just went out and it is a treasure trove of hope for discouraged parents! A Worthy Heritage for Our Children is not to be missed by anyone with children. But what about the childless, like me? I received a deeper, heavenly perspective on my life, new insight into the heritage passed down to me, and the first glimmers of interest in my own legacy. I can’t quite take in the riches that the Spirit is revealing through this message, but one thing struck me powerfully: even though I am completely alone, my life is about more than just me.
Heritage and Having Children
I sometimes struggle to see the world beyond my lifespan, because I don’t have the motivation to do so sleeping under my roof, eating my food, and burbling in my ear. If you have children, and you care about them at all, you no longer make decisions for yourself alone. You aren’t the only life in the mix and that truth cannot be denied. Based only on my observations, the dynamic of having children takes the edge off people’s selfishness. Doesn’t remove it, mind you! Just dulls the immediate inclination a bit. I think that helps temper decisions, particularly if your perspective naturally extends beyond your own life and into your children’s.
I think one of the hidden gifts of parenthood is being judged all day, every day, by small ignorant beings that matter to you. How is that a gift? Motivation! You are motivated to live a more loving life for the sake of your kids. Your need and failure where they are concerned will drive you deeper into the arms of God. Parents often run this gift into the wall of idolatry, but motivation is needed and much welcomed in everything we do. And kids make excellent motivators.
Heritage without Children
I love the solitude of my life but it isn’t an easy thing. We live to be loved and to love, and when we’re alone, all the ways we don’t really love ourselves can make themselves known. Loudly. And when that happens to me, it’s as if the very walls of my life close in and it gets hard to remember that my life matters in any way outside of myself. Everything feels petty and small and incredibly mortal. That nagging feeling of insignificance and disconnectedness drives me straight to Jesus’ feet in abject need. Certainly I’ve struggled to imagine having a spiritual heritage to pass on when there’s no one to pass it on to, that I can see anyways. But Martha’s message really changed that for me. I have a deeper understanding of spiritual fruit now.
“You may look like a failure but be a spiritual success. You may appear to accomplish nothing in your life yet be laying up mountains of fruit. Let God tell you what your legacy is.”
Martha Kilpatrick, A Worthy Heritage for Our Children
My life is eternal because I am owned by the Eternal Father. I have a true sense of accomplishment only when I am in His will and a part of His purpose. I am not motivated into deeper relationship with the Lord in the same way as those who are not alone, but I am motivated to seek Him. On the surface, my life is a solitary thing, of interest to few people outside of myself. But because I matter to God, as one of His children, my life is part of the most epic story in the universe. I’m a vessel for Jesus Christ and He is my heritage.