One year a mother phoebe bird came along, painstakingly built a nest on our porch and then laid four eggs in it. She would go back and forth each day and was constantly fussing about her nest and would spend a good portion of the day sitting on the eggs.
Then one morning, I looked under the nest and found a broken egg. Yet, when I took this picture there were still four eggs on the nest, but one was speckled. What in the world was going on?
As it turns out, a cowbird came along and knocked one of her eggs out of the nest and laid its own. Cowbirds are notorious for this. They will find a nest of eggs, knock one out and after laying an egg will abandon its egg for another bird to hatch. Not the best example of motherhood, is it?
So many times in life, parents do the same thing. They look to the church or school to do the job that they should be doing themselves. If a child misbehaves or gets in trouble in school, then they look to someone else to blame. If their teen falls away from the Lord, the pastor or youth pastor is blamed. If a church doesn't have a youth group they grumble and wonder, "How will my child learn to follow Christ?"
Our job as parents is to train up our own children. It's always nice to have help and youth pastors, pastors and teachers can come alongside us to offer back-up and assistance but the job of teaching and raising children is solidly on the shoulders of the parents.
Parenting is hard work. I cringe when I hear my children interact sometimes because I know that some of the attitudes and words coming out of their mouths have been learned from me. It's not the fault of their teachers or youth pastors. It's a lacking in my parenting style. I cannot blame outside influences when it was my job to instill good habits, attitudes and character.
Don't abandon your children, Moms! Don't look to others to do the job that you should be doing. Do not be like the cowbird that lays its egg and then flies off and ignores the egg that it should have been caring for itself. Plunge into motherhood and do the difficult task of caring for the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of your child.
There is no substitution for parents!