It is so great to get good, helpful mom advice from more experienced mothers. My mom and aunt are a great source for child-rearing wisdom. My aunt recently shared some great scripture/motherhood wisdom that greatly encouraged me and spoke to my heart. I want to share some of her wisdom and my take-aways.
Jesus said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” John 12:24
Wow! This is the essence of the call to motherhood: death to self to bring life to another. How beautiful! How challenging! Yet, this is how the Lord calls us to live. Often times much of my day does not pan out how I intend, haha. That’s life though, isn’t it? His blessing comes though, as I take the focus off me, myself, and I, and use my energy to care for, teach, and love someone else. In this challenge, I’m thankful for His words, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” and His promises in Psalm 23 to “lead me beside still waters, to restore my soul, to guide my path in righteousness for His name’s sake.”
What a great privilege and responsibility we have in raising our children!…to join Christ in shepherding each precious soul he entrusts in our care. I pray for God’s word to be hidden in their hearts (Psalm 119:11). My aunt said it well when she said, “We must labor to inscribe His love, His mercy, His grace, His goodness, His forgiveness, His faithfulness, His holiness, ALL of Who He is, upon the tablets of our children’s hearts…and we do this through our day to day mothering.” Scripture has great guidance for us to do this. Deuteronomy 6: 1-9 says,
Here O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
We must be intentional to do this every day! In other words, sing, read and memorize Bible verses, read Bible stories, talk about Bible characters, etc as you walk, run, skip, mosey, picnic, bike, hike, swing, color, paint, bake, do laundry, pick up toys, put away dishes, take baths, and rock babies…we must purpose to bring God into our everyday life and make Jesus the very “breath” of our home-life. It is important to let our children see God and His love for them, through His creation, His Word, His Son Jesus, and His redemption for us.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray without ceasing“…we need to pray with our children. Pray with them and for them. This helps them learn that even though we can’t see God, we can still pray and talk to Him. It teaches them a humble dependence on our God and builds their faith when prayers are answered. My aunt shared, “My children heard me pray for them, and this was a great encouragement to them…so teach your children to pray, not only for themselves, but have them pray for each other.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Make time for snuggles! These moments are so special- the hugs, kisses, and smiles throughout the day…even when you don’t feel like it.
“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” (Ephesians 6:1) Teaching obedience with a smile is something we are working on right now!
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ has also forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:29) What a great way to show our children Jesus. Forgiving each other and humbling ourselves to ask forgiveness when we offend is a great way to draw others to Christ. It is in this humility people are drawn to Jesus not in our perfection.
“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29) This is so good because words are so powerful! Proverbs says that life and death are in the tongue. We have to remember to use our words to build each other up and encourage and not tear down, speaking kind and gracious words and words of truth.
So as we “mother”, let’s remember there are many ways to “mother,” but only one way to eternal life. This is a great reminder to use every opportunity to share God’s redemption story with our children. It’s so easy to let our view shift from the eternal to the temporal which will pass away. I’m so encouraged by these Scriptures and this reminder of the gift we can be to our children.
His grace is sufficient for this task! Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”