What ‘Keep Your Eyes on Jesus’ Means
You’ve probably heard the phrase “keep your eyes on Jesus” in Christian circles. Its meaning usually varies from one believer to the next, depending on their walk of faith. Our Mom Mentors offer great insights that will help you teach your children what it means.
Q: What does it mean for you day-to-day as a mom to “keep your eyes on Jesus”?
Chere Williams: As a single mom I often find myself falling into the trap of trying to be super mom. Recently I’ve been juggling a hundred balls in the air. Between work, huge volunteer commitments for church and school, taking Anya to dance four times a week, caring for a puppy and keeping a home, I reached my tipping point. It all came to a head when out of the blue I broke down at my daughter’s Grandparent’s Day at school. Luckily my mom was there and God bless her heart she grabbed my hand and began praying for me. I eventually composed myself, but the incident stopped me dead in my tracks, making me evaluate what was going on in my heart.
I realized in my overall daily life I had stopped keeping my eyes upon Jesus and instead was getting entangled into my schedule and the world’s demands. My mom said something that resonated deeply with me, she said to remember that I have a beautiful life. A beautiful life that God gave me to use wisely. In order to do that I have be intentional about keeping my eyes upon Jesus. For me this has meant taking time to pray, to dive into scripture and to turn to Jesus continually throughout the day so that he can guide my steps. Keeping my eyes upon Jesus means me turning away from a world that urges me to do more, be more and doesn’t want me to focus on Jesus but on all the outwardly things. Every day, I’m learning to surrender to God’s agenda and accept that His grace is sufficient enough.
Tiffany Malloy: Keeping my eyes on Jesus looks like turning on worship music when my soul feels tired.
It looks like breathing prayers of “help!” and prayers of “thanks” a gazillion times a day.
It looks like turning to prayer before making a big parenting decision, and it looks like turning to my child to ask forgiveness when I lost my temper.
It looks like Wednesday morning Bible studies and sipping steamy cups of hot tea while I read my Bible and the kids watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
It looks like staying up way too late to read a book that is nourishing to my soul.
It looks like reminding myself that my kids are not my trophies, that they are dearly loved children of God, and that He has created them with a beginning and middle and end in mind that I don’t control.
It looks like remembering that life is not a contest of who has the best birthday parties or whose home is the cutest or who has the most well behaved kids. It looks like remembering the only race I’m in has to do with keeping my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.
Kona Brown: Lately the story of Moses and the burning bush has been top of mind for me as I try to hang on to Christ through the madness, the mundane and the Mondays. We all desire to hear God speak to us, to experience Jesus’ presence with us, and more and more I’ve been challenged by the idea that that doesn’t just happen in our quiet times or church or in few and far between WOW moments, but that God’s voice, Jesus’ presence is always accessible in our day-to-day encounters, if we would only look. CS Lewis said “The present is the only point where time touches eternity”.
In Exodus 3 Moses was doing something über mundane, tending someone else’s flock, when he encountered the burning bush. At that point he made an intentional decision: “I will now turn aside,” he said. If he had been heading to a meeting eyes glued to his smart phone, he might have missed that declaration of the divine in the ordinary, and thereby missed God’s call to him. When I keep looking for my burning bush, strain my divine lens of the ordinary, I find God turning my ordinary into extraordinary, declaring His divine each day and giving it His purpose.
Julie Kieras: I will admit that day-to-day keeping my eyes on Jesus is one of my biggest challenges. Seeing the big picture is no problem, but the busy-ness of life can often distract. With raising two boys and homeschooling, I find I have to plan some quiet time into my day to keep me focused on Jesus. I am working on getting up before the boys to have some reading time, but during the day, I just try to pray over each activity (mostly quietly). I also challenge myself to recall and quote a Bible verses whenever it’s appropriate during our homeschool activities. Even if it’s just a few seconds or minutes, I know that the more I make refocusing my heart on Jesus a practice, the more natural it will become!
Dusty Shell: Keeping my eyes on Jesus means remembering always that every interaction that I have with my children is a direct reflection to them of my own faith and relationship with the Lord. They will discern if I’m genuine in what I’m teaching them and absorb the deep down truths that they see presented in my actions. It’s a humbling, and almost a completely overwhelming focus to have, but one that I believe is paramount in training up my children in the way they should go.
It also means that I remember to always turn to the One who can always be my shoulder to lean on when I’m in the hard trenches of parenthood. The moment I began to feel that I am not enough to raise these children is the moment I clearly see that I need Him to do the job right.
Charissa Kolar: With divine inspiration the apostle Paul writes to the church, “You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally” (1 Corinthians 9:23-25 The Message). These words challenge me to not just try to win my race, but to train so as to win, to be victorious in my Christian life, as wife and mother.
After all, I need stamina for problem solving, strength to persevere, and peace and gentleness instead of haste and impatience.
It’s spiritual disciplines that bring me closer to the life I desire: I attend church, joined a small group bible study, read my bible alone at home, write down what I learn in a journal, and pray or write my prayers. In the car, I refuel by singing along to worship music or listening to a sermon. Also, when I fail I try to own my mistake quickly, repent, and get back on course.
Daily and throughout the week, these practices keep me spiritually healthy so I can run my race.
Susan Heim: I figured out the importance of keeping our eyes on Jesus when our family went through what I call a “dry spell” when it came to our faith. We had grown dissatisfied with the church we were attending, so we quit going and participating in their activities. Periodically, we went to other churches, but none of them felt like “home.” Sure, we still said prayers at meals and bedtime, but it felt like our family had lost its anchor.
I missed our family time at church and the connection we felt when we worshipped together. Recently, we found a church that is easing this ache. We’re going back to services. The kids are going to youth group and game nights. And my son and I even volunteered to work at the church’s pumpkin patch. Best of all, these activities at church throughout the week are reminding us that we need Jesus in our lives daily. We feel more connected with each other as a family, and I am so grateful that our eyes are once again more focused on Jesus.
Audra Haney: Let’s be honest, Motherhood can forcefully hurl even the most organized, got-it-together, superwoman-type lady into what I call “survival mode.”
Keeping your eyes on Jesus will look different in different seasons. Before Norah, my quiet times were just that—QUIET. These days, I have a few Crayola marks on my devotionals and lots of mysterious sticky stuff. I find that keeping my eyes on Jesus is much more about seeing Him than focusing on what I’m doing to earn my “good Christian girl” sticker for the day.
It means looking for him in the every day mundane details. It means sometimes just focusing on one scripture a week. It means talking to Him in the grocery store and driving in my car. It means trusting that He intercedes for me when I’m too weak to pray. Most days, it’s just resting in Him and His love for me, and believing that He robes me in righteousness, and not condemnation. It’s not religion…it’s relationship. So I try to ditch the guilt and relish all the grace, love, and joy He wants to send my way!
Jill Williams: I have a tendency to get overwhelmed and often I want life to be less complex. Being a mom can be very complex, and I have a choice daily regarding to what extent I accept my God-given, mom responsibilities, which range from being an incredible joy to being impossible to bear. And like a bear, I often want to crawl into a cave and sleep entire seasons away. For this reason alone, day-to-day keeping my eyes on Jesus is vital. He is greater than my current reality.
Of all the responsibilities that I feel burdened over in my life on a daily basis, especially as a mom, I must bear the responsibility of trusting him. (And I cannot do this in a vacuum. I have friends, one of them being my husband.) Jesus came to set me free. To live according to His spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline for His glory in concert with Him. He did not remove felt anxiety and the sense of being overwhelmed; if I want control I can have all the anxiety that this world will daily dish up to me. But if I want him, those things have no power in my life. And He truly will be on display in the midst of my chaotic, imperfect, complex and overwhelming days. It’s a vital, day-to-day choice.
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