Anyone who knows me well is probably thinking, “What does she know about productive parenting?”
Or productive anything for that matter.
Which is exactly why I can write this post.
If there’s anything I know about, it’s being unproductive.
Don’t start defending me. There’s no need. I’m really not beating myself up. I’m just stating a fact here.
Lots of days I don’t get much accomplished.
The laundry’s left unfolded.
I forget to thaw the meat.
Emails go unanswered.
Blog posts aren’t published.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
I may be busy, but I’m not always productive.
It can be frustrating because I really do try.
What’s more frustrating is when it isn’t just the tasks that don’t get taken care of.
When I don’t listen to my kids well enough.
When my husband feels like my focus is on everything and everyone else.
When I stay so busy I simply don’t serve.
When my need to feel productive is more important than my purpose.
It’s times like those when my priorities need to be…well…prioritized.
Because I can have a completely clean house that does not feel like a home.
I can cook delicious food but forget about fellowship.
I can fire off answers to every email without stopping to care about the people I’m sending them to.
And, I might feel productive, but I’ve forgotten the purpose.
You see, as a mom and as a Christian, I want to do more than check things off a list.
I want to produce something.
It’s called fruit.
And, I can’t do it alone.
John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.”
You see, that’s the key to productive parenting. It’s Jesus.
If we remain in him, we will bear much fruit. It will be more than meals and managing. There will be meaning.
Without him, it’s not just that we won’t bear fruit. We’ll be incapable of any accomplishment.
Oh, we can still tick every box on the to-do list.
We can serve up what the world sees as success.
But the meaning will be missing, and the legacy won’t be lasting.
As parents, we’re not only interested in today or even tomorrow. We hope for a harvest in heaven.
We need fruit that lasts, and that’s exactly what Christ promises.
He said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” (John 15:16)
Oh, that I can claim this promise on the days when the only thing I get right is holding on tight to a child whose heart is hurting, or when we stop working just to spend time in wonder with the little minds in our midst. That I would remember this when I wander from His word and neglect time to be near him. Oh, that he will help me be faithful so that he can also make me fruitful!