I became a mom seven years ago this week and although it's only been for a short time, the Lord is teaching me so much during this season. I've made many mistakes for sure. But I'm comforted this week in knowing that God is with me and Brad as we seek Him to raise our children in a way that brings glory to His name.
Our children are a work in progress and there is still a lot of work to be done but I rejoice at the blessing of seeing them grow and mature in what they know about Jesus and the change that He is bringing to their lives.
Parenting is an incredible blessing and privilege from the Lord but at times it can be a challenge. When I am having a difficult day, I've tried to make it a habit to always go to the Lord first.
Instead of grabbing one of the parenting books we have at home, I pray asking for wisdom and open God's Word first. There are so many wonderful parenting resources out there and I've been blessed and mentored by reading some great parenting books. But I want to cultivate in my heart my need for God first...always Him first.
This has been a good discipline for me. I want to show the Lord that I will seek Him first for my every day needs. He is the one who called me to be a mom and gave me these children and He is the perfect Father so I know I can trust Him to guide me when I feel like giving up or loose hope.
He has given me His very words to illuminate and is able to give me grace and strength where I am lacking in my parenting.
I LOVE this verse on 2 Peter 1:
His divine power has granted to us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises.
I LOVE THAT!!! I'm amazed at the providence of God in my life...in your life too!
We are blessed to be in a church that takes very seriously the responsibility to raise our children in the Lord. You can learn more about our church strategy at Legacy Milestones Site.
Remember Deuteronomy 6:6-7?
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them
to your children,
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.
I was reminded of this verse, while reading Proverbs this morning, where this same command is presented but this time directed to the children. I thought this was a neat insight the Lord showed me so wanted to share it here.
Proverbs 1:8-9 says:
Hear, my son, your father's instructions,
and forsake not your mother's teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.
Listening and obeying parents bring beauty to the life of a child. Graceful garlands and pendants are things to adorn the body. Children who will not despise wisdom from their parents will display that beauty in their words and actions.
Also, notice how it is BOTH the job of Dad and Mom to impart this wisdom. It talks about the father's instructions and the mother's teaching.
It is not one spouse alone doing all the job. The way God intended it, was to be a partnership. This same truth is found in Proverbs 6,
v. 20 My son, keep your father's commandment (or teaching)
and forsake not your mother's teaching.
God's model is for the father to impart the God prescribed mandates or law. If you believe the father is the head of the household as we do, then this makes complete sense. The father provides a framework, the moral law, the standard that the rest of the family will follow.
Then,in this model, the mother will provide the teaching, the explanation of every day things. I'm not saying that one spouse cannot do what the other spouse is supposed to do, but just found it interesting how the "roles of a christian household" are actually defined on these verses. This is the ideal standard even if many families don't follow it because of choice or circumstances out of their control.
I was raised by a single mom so I'm not saying if you don't follow this you won't be blessed, etc. I saw how the Lord gave my mom grace to impart both things to us. But I can honestly say I saw how void of not having a godly father to raise me had a negative effect in my life.
I rejoice at my children's future and thank God for blessing them with both a dad and mom who love Him and always pray we will remain faithful to each other and to our children.
Alright, back to the verses....
In the following verses the benefits are explained:
v.21-22 Bind them on your neck.
When you walk they will lead you,
when you lie down, they will watch over you,
when you awake, they will talk with you.
Here's that command from Deuteronomy 6: 7 is mentioned but here it add how it will benefit the child. The wisdom and instruction that parents give their children becomes like a shield around their lives. It goes with them no matter where they find themselves.
v. 23 For the commandment (from God and given by the father on v. 20)
is a lamp (the source)
and the teaching (from the mother on v. 20)
a light (what emanates from the source. Once again showing the distinct roles given to parents)
and the reproof of discipline are the way of life.
We know, in the end, our children will be responsible to God for their lives but for now I want to make sure we are being obedient to God and His Word and do whatever we can to be that light of Christ to them that will show the way they should go.
Only by God's grace we will be able to do this and like Deuteronomy 6 says: the Word of God must be in my heart first! I cannot give what I don't have...just as simple as that.