Confessions of Rob and Amy
Over the next two months, Rob and Amy Rienow, founders of Visionary Family Ministries, will be contributing to Forest Springs’ blog – focusing specifically on how parents can best spiritually lead their families. Forest Springs will be partnering with Visionary Family Ministries for their first Visionary Family Weekend Away, a three-day family camp, September 30th – October 2nd.
Sadly, in the early years of my (Rob’s) journey as a parent, my heart was not turned toward my children.
Amy and I were married in 1994. During our first 10 years together, I was serving as a youth pastor and we were blessed with four children. Even though I loved my family, my heart was at work. My sense of purpose and calling centered on being a pastor. I was giving my all as a spiritual leader at church, but was spiritually passive at home. I had visions, dreams, and ideas for how I could help all the kids and teens in our church hear the Gospel and learn to follow Jesus…all the kids in the church except for mine.
In 2004, God brought me to a deep place of repentance, and He turned my heart to the ministry of my children. He awakened a sense of passion and purpose in me. He had called me as a Christian to “make disciples,” and that Great Commission calling needed to begin at home with my own family. My heart, for the first time as a parent, was turned toward the mission of doing everything in my power to impress the hearts of my children with a love for God.
When I (Amy) was a young mother of four small children, I faced a similar moment of repentance. Through a wonderful sermon a friend had passed on to me, the Holy Spirit convicted me about how I was choosing to spend the time with my kids on a daily basis. While I was working part-time as a therapist and a teacher, I was blessed to have a lot of stay-at-home time with my kids. Sadly, I realized that much of this time was be- ing spent on fun activities with good friends and family, yet very little of my hours were spent teaching spiritual truths. Do you know how many opportunities there are in a given day to gently share the Gospel with a three-year-old? Answer: a lot! Yet you have to take the precious moments to do it. If a mom is consistently more focused on getting her kids to activities, playing with the right friends, socializing with other mothers, attending mom’s groups and Bible studies, or constantly cooking and cleaning, she will miss many sweet moments for spiritual connection with her children. I have come to realize over my 18 years of mothering, that what I often considered to be bad days were frequently my children’s best days. These were the days of lingering, talking, crying, and laughing together. These were the moments that knit our hearts together.
Rob and Amy
Learn more about the upcoming Visionary Family Weekend Away event at Forest Springs here.