Parent conversations: What is vocation? How does it apply to parenting?

Parent conversations: What is vocation? How does it apply to parenting?

As a parent, it’s easy to get mired down in the day-to-day routines and the mundane details and forget that what we are doing is an important honor. One of my favorite visuals comes from Holy Hen House. It’s a coffee mug that has the word Housework crossed out and replaced by the phrase Kingdom work. That’s a real attitude shift and turns the focus from self-pity and “I have to” to honor and “I get to.” Michael Berg shares more examples like this to remind us that being a parent is a vocation and that all Christians have the opportunity to serve in many vocations—and to support others as they serve in their vocations. That might look different amongst individual families, but the motivation to serve in love is the tie that binds us.

— Nicole Balza

THE WORD VOCATION means calling. It is when God calls a Christian to a neighbor relationship. Everybody has multiple stations in life (e.g., mother or accountant). Those stations become callings when the Christian is called to serve a neighbor in that station. There is always a call from God and always a neighbor to serve.

Think of Paul’s words to the Ephesians, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (2:8-10). Not only are sinners saved by grace, but we also are used by God to love the world. We are free from the impossible burden of pleasing God and free for loving our neighbor. If we are so secure in the love of Christ that we do not have to do anything to please him, what are we to do with all of our time and energy? Love!

As parents we are placed into a divine equation: God’s love through us to our children. God wants our children to be adored, educated, loved, disciplined, and encouraged, and he uses us for this divine task. He chooses us to carry out good deeds he planned in advance. It is our highest honor. In all of our vocations (church member, citizen, our day-to-day occupation), we are lifted to a high degree. There is nothing below us. All tasks are above us because they are God’s work. Martin Luther famously said that the angels rejoice in heaven when a father changes a dirty diaper. Of course they do. Changing diapers is God’s work.

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Authors: Multiple authors
Volume 108, Number 6
Issue: June 2021

Nicole Balza
Latest posts by Nicole Balza (see all)
Michael J. Berg
Latest posts by Michael J. Berg (see all)

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