When are you due? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this question over the past 9 months I would have amassed a small fortune by now. For the record, I’d be willing to part with this fortune if someone could accurately assist me in determining the day and time this baby will arrive!

At 38 weeks pregnant, this child is quite literally all I can think about. I feel the physical weight of my unborn with each step and movement of my body. I consider each decision I make throughout the day, from what I put in my mouth, to what activities I engage in, with the health of this little one in the back of my mind.

There are times when I feel an overwhelming sense of excitement as to what’s ahead, times when the weight of responsibility is heavy on my shoulders, and still times when I feel completely at awe as to the miracle that is taking place within my body. Generally, these feelings leave me overcome with gratitude that the Lord has blessed and entrusted my husband and me with the life of this child.

As I walked out of the Chapel last Sunday, I felt a similar mix of emotions after listening to Pastor Marcus Bieschke’s sermon. On the drive home there was a mixture of excitement in thinking about how my husband and I will be able to influence and shape the life of this child, but it was accompanied with the responsibility that comes with becoming a parent.

I am certain that I am not the first mother-to-be who has grappled with these feelings. New parents are inundated with countless decisions before their child even enters the world and even more-so after. It is easy to get caught up in researching vaccine schedules, medical interventions, parenting styles…the list goes on and on, but I have a feeling Jesus is more concerned with how we influence our children daily than whether we use cloth or disposable diapers.

I am grateful that on Sunday we were presented with a practical, God-centered approach to parenting and the family unit. I will not attempt to rewrite Marcus’ sermon, but I would encourage you to listen to it on our YouTube page if you missed it (https://youtu.be/8Mmhc9KWvuQ).

In retrospect, Marcus encouraged us to interact with our children and families in much of the same way that Jesus desires to interact with and influence us. There are distinct times when Jesus takes on the role of teacher, friend, counselor, and coach. We need Jesus’ influence in our lives in each of these areas to be healthy, well-rounded Christians who know how to navigate all of the twists and turns of life.

Which version of Jesus do you most regularly ascribe to – teacher, friend, counselor, or coach? I would like to challenge you this week to seek out Jesus in a new way. Allow Him in as a friend and counselor if you usually look to Him as a teacher. Seek out His wisdom if you usually go to Him as a counselor. I can assure you that He will meet you in this place and reveal Himself in new and exciting ways. His influence will begin to permeate your life in areas you never imagined.

While you’re at it, why not apply the same principles to your relationships with family and friends. You may be pleasantly surprised at the transformation that takes place.