[img align=left]http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i234/halos_glow/Blog/Goodnight_Elsley.jpg[/img]I want to preface this post by stating that I don’t feel like I am really qualified to write about this topic yet. My children are still children and I am ‘in the thick’ of raising my children. I was even hesitant about even posting on this but felt that it was too important to not post on it since the Lord has taught me quite a lot thus far.
With that said, I am only going to offer a few scriptures that I have found helpful. I also want to add that children are a blessing from the Lord but many parents fail to see their children as blessings because the parent has trained their child be anything but a blessing. My children are not always perfect (especially my 2 year old – I am getting white hair by the dozens from this little fellow – lol) but I also realize that I must be diligent in my role as a mother and keep my focus on the Lord and the goals that the Bible has laid out.
Titus 2:4 tells us that we are to “love our children”. As mothers, this may seem like a no-brainer… “of course we love our children!!!” – but it is harder than we may first think when we realize that ‘love’ is not just that fuzzy feeling you get in your chest.
So, what does it mean to “love your children”? Let’s look to our written Authority – the Bible…
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 tells us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.”
The first thing that we must do is to teach our children about the Lord and show them how to love Him. We are to love Him and model that to our children. We are to teach them about the Lord – not just take them to church so the Sunday School teacher can teach them Bible stories – but we are commanded by God to be spiritual leaders to our children. We are to disciple them.
I am all for teaching others about the Lord, but before we start teaching others, we must first be teaching those little ones that the Lord has blessed us with. There are so many mothers, who have good intentions, work so hard to teach other children but then don’t invest the same time or effort to teach their own children. Many of them feel that the Lord is leading them to do this program or that one but if you are not putting your own family first, then it is not truly the Lord’s leading. I know this to be true because I have been there. It is very easy to get caught up in the doing (and the praise that goes with it) and then neglect the things that you are truly called to do.
“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm 113:9
We are to be a joyful mother! When our children see our joy, they also see our love for the Lord and for them. I KNOW that it is sometimes hard to be joyful (and I am all too often guilty of being the opposite!) but this is something that the Lord can help us to achieve! If you are not a joyful mother, pray and ask the Lord to reveal to you why you are not a joyful mother. There are many things that can steal our joy: not spending enough time with the Lord, living in clutter and chaos, financial worries, being the leader of your home (instead of submitting to your husband – and this one carries a lot of burdens), being to self-focused, etc.
I don’t know your situation but if you are not being a joyful mother to your children, you are both really missing out. You are missing out on the true joy of motherhood and your children are missing out on the joyful reflection of Christ that they should be seeing in you.
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6
I think that is one of the verses that is often misunderstood. Many people think that if they take their kids to church and teach them “Jesus Loves Me” that their job is done. If their child strays from the ways of the Lord, it is okay because they will come back. This child has not really been trained.
That is not what this verse means. This verse is telling us to ‘train up our children in the way he should go,’ which means that we are to teach them to live in the way that the Bible has outlined for us. We are not to conform to the ways of the world but we are to be about the business, everyday, every hour, or training our children how to serve and glorify the Lord with their lives. I really believe that if we are training up our children ‘in the way he should go’ then when he is old, he will NOT WANT to depart from it.
And the last thing (but not least) that I want to talk about is the big ‘C’ – correction.
Here are a few verses from Proverbs:
“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15)
“He who spares his rod hates his son, But, he who loves him disciplines him promptly.” (Proverbs 13:24)
“Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight unto your soul.” (Proverbs 29:17)
I don’t think I can really add much to this part – if you love your child, you will correct him (or her). They will not be a ‘wild little heathen’ (lol – which is what I call Fisher sometimes). If your child is wearing you out instead of giving you rest maybe you need to look at how you are correcting him.
Chloe is 9 and we never withheld the ‘rod of correction’ and she is truly a delight to my soul! Fisher, well, I just don’t know yet. He is often a delight to my soul but not all the time (he is REALLY into testing the limits!). I know that I need to do a better job of both training him up and disciplining him so that he too will truly be a delight to my soul. If his behavior is not what it should be, then I must first look to myself to make changes. What I am doing with him just doesn’t seem to be working but I can’t just throw in the towel – I must continue to grow and I must continue to DILIGENTLY (and consistently!) discipline and correct him. I know that if I just continue to follow the commands of the Lord, that he will one day give me rest (maybe not before all of my hear turns white – lol – I am 28 and at this rate I should have a lovely mane of white by the time I am 30 – lol)
I dearly love my children and I know that I show them I love them when I correct them (but not in anger). I also know that I show them I love when I am joyful and when I am training them to follow the Lord and to love the Lord. Most importantly, I am showing the Lord that I love Him when I show love to the blessings He has poured out on my in the form of my children.
Have a blessed evening,
Picture: “Goodnight” by Arthur John Elsley available at [url=http://www.allposters.com/]allposters.com[/url]