I asked myself ‘what to write on Mother’s Day’? If you’re like me you may not even get a chance to read this blurb because your mothering duties leave little time for the luxury of reading something that isn’t a home reader, school information letter or bedtime story!
I am therefore going to use the opportunity to encourage you and, God willing, help us recognise how God wants us to bring up the children we’ve been blessed with. We were reminded in last week’s message that raising children is more than ‘raising nice kids’ it’s about raising up young people that know and love Jesus! How do we do that?
I will share with you some practical ways I believe we can raise children who will, by the Grace of God, know and love Jesus. Admittedly I am in the early stages of mothering my children are 6, 4 and 2. I have much to learn and many, many years of parenting to go. What I will share is from older Godly women, scripture and my (short) experience.
Mentor: Paul explains mentoring simply as “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). When my first child was a baby I sought out a woman who had older children, who was Godly and who I thought would be a good mentor for me. I pray with her regularly and she is a source of wisdom and advice when I feel lost or overwhelmed. Mothers I encourage you to find a Godly woman (mentor) to pray with and seek advice from. To follow her example, as she follows the example of Christ.
God’s word: Read it to them! Whether it’s a night time devotion, after dinner bible story or discussions in the car. Impress God’s promises, explain the characteristics of God, tell them stories of Jesus, explain the love Jesus has for them, and tell them that a life of pur-pose and true joy is a life with Jesus Christ. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Example: By observing my children playing (and fighting) I see how much they learn from me. What I see is often not what I’ve taught them but what they’ve observed from me. This is sometimes an encouraging observation and unfortunately at times a sobering one… The way I treat my husband, talk to my husband, treat and speak about my extended family, act with my friends, spend my ‘spare’ time, spend my money, dress… My children are watching and learning by my example. I don’t always get it right; like all of us I’m a work in progress. My prayer is that I will be able to set a Godly example for them. Titus 2:7-8a ‘Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned’
Prayer: Pray for your children: Pray for Godly friends; for convictions that they follow Jesus’ example; for unity in the family; for God’s will for their lives. Pray with your children. I love praying the gospel truth with my children “Thank you Jesus for forgiving us, thank you for taking away the wrong things we have done, please help us to act in a way that is right and how you teach us to. We love you Jesus and will live every day for you.”
Be encouraged ladies, whether you are a Grandmother, Step-Mother, Mother of teens or young ones, an Aunty or Mentor. We have been given a wonderful opportunity to love and nurture the next generation. ‘For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you”’ Isaiah 41:13