The Emotions Of Being Called By God
In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!" (NIV) Luke 1:42
You are called by God. While Mary received a very specific calling in Luke 1: 46-55, God has a calling and a plan for everyone’s lives. Helping our kids discern God’s calling is one of the greatest adventures that we as parents can take. Dealing with the emotions that come with those callings can also be one of the greatest challenges.
Think of the emotions that Mary must have experienced when the angel, Gabriel, told her that she would give birth to the Messiah. What emotions might your kids experience when God calls them?
- Fear - God’s calling can be a scary thing. Mary faced some difficult conversations with Joseph and her family. She would go through incredible changes as she stepped into the unknown of God’s call. Likewise, our kids might feel afraid when God’s calling means risking rejection, ridicule, hard work, or uncomfortable situations. Acknowledge their fear. Talk to them and use the Scriptures to encourage them that God will always go with them wherever and whatever he calls them to.
- Joy - Mary began her song with exclamations of joy in her song to God for choosing her for such an incredible calling. Being chosen by God to fulfill his purpose is an amazing experience. Celebrate with your children as they receive God’s calling on their lives.
- Humility - Mary was humbled to be chosen by God. She understood that this calling wasn’t just about her; it fulfilled many prophecies for a world in need of redemption. Your child should also feel humbled by God’s call. Acknowledge the largeness of their calling and the humility that it will take to put God first. Remind them that God will give them the gifts necessary to fulfill his calling on their lives.
- Sadness - We might guess that at some point Mary realized her calling by God would mean that she would miss out on many of the milestones and experiences she’d been looking forward to as a young Jewish woman in her place and time. She may have felt some sadness about that. As her song indicates, she would come to understand over time what Jesus would do to fulfill God’s calling. God’s call for your child to go through one open door might mean another door that they’d hoped to go through is closed. Sit with them and listen to their sadness. Mourn with them and help them to continue to listen to God in their lives.
God’s calling on our children is something that we can help them pay attention to as we walk alongside them. Sharing what God has called you to in your own life makes for great conversations to have with your kids. It will give them a greater insight into your life and will help them as they discern God’s call on their lives.
Want to dig deeper? Check out Family Fire's article Parenting Lessons from Mary, the Mother of Jesus