2 Corinthians 12:15 says, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” This passage was one I heard over and over again as I served as a Summer Staff member at a camp in Western North Carolina.
I was a counselor at that camp for three summers living, working, sleeping, and eating with a cabin full of girls every week. It was physical, emotionally, and financially hard but it was some of the best times of my life.
Even though I am not able to work there now I still have a small part in the ministry by supporting a Summer Staff member every summer. By God’s grace, I have been able to give for the past 10 summers. Every week the Summer Staffer writes a letter telling about the week and what God has done.
This week my Staffer talked about spending and being spent for her campers. That brought back a flood of memories for me. I remember some of my hardest campers who were running from God. They came to camp hard as a rock and left hard as a rock. I can remember telling them, “You can run from me but you can’t run from God.” I hurt for them and cried when they left. I remember other campers who were tender to the things of God but were going back home to terrible situations. I hurt and cried when they left camp at the end of the week. I was spending and being spent for girls that I only knew for a week.
I am getting closer and closer to becoming a mother. This little child I will be taking care of for the rest of her life in one way or another. I have not enjoyed being pregnant at all. I hate having no energy. I hate not being able to work in the yard like I want to. I am at the point where I am not sleeping very well because I just can’t get comfortable. The contractions are uncomfortable. I have some horrible pain. I have to go to the bathroom quite frequently. All these things are so annoying!
However, reading 2 Corinthians 12:15 made me realized that already I am spending and being spent for my baby. All the physical things I am going through right now is part of being a parent and preparing me for parenthood. Somehow, realizing that all the uncomfortableness I am going through right now is all for my child’s sake makes this a little easier to bear.
Spending and being spent will not end when she is born. Once she enters the world my husband and I will start spending and being spent emotionally and financially. We will be making sacrifices for her education, for her health, and for her spiritual growth. We are called by God as parents to set an example for her. There will be times where we stay up late rocking her because she is sick. There will be times where she falls down and scrapes her knee and we will have to comfort her. I am also sure there will be a time in JR high or High School where her crush snubs her and she thinks it is the end of the world and I will have to tell her and reassure her it is not the end of the world.
There will be times where we stay up late rocking her because she is sick. There will be times where she falls down and scrapes her knee and we will have to comfort her. I am also sure there will be a time in JR high or High School where her crush snubs her and she thinks it is the end of the world and I will have to tell her and reassure her it is not the end of the world.
As a parent, we are called to spend and be spent for our children. Why? Because that is what God has done for us. He poured out His love for us when He sent His son to die on the cross. Jesus died for us even though we rejected him.
As a Christian, there is no room for self-centered parenting. We are called to spend and be spent. We are called to wring ourselves out emotionally, physically, and financially. Not to raise spoiled brats but to raise up the next generation of Christians. The next generation of people who are willing to spend and be spent for others and their own children.