Lately, I have been gripped with the knowledge that my role as a mother is a serious one. That I only have one go ’round. I don’t get second chances. If I wait till I have my life perfect – it will be far too late. They are here now. They are watching now. They need guidance, instruction, and love now. Motherhood is not an easy side job. It is a calling. One we cannot afford to waste or take lightly. We are called to teach our kids about Jesus. We must train them to be good citizens and responsible individuals. Some things I think are very important are:
1. A secure, loving home.
2. Good books and training of their intellect.
3. Healthy interaction with friends.
4. Plenty of time to play and explore, according to their interests.
5. Learning the habit of prayer and becoming familiar with Scripture.
It is tempting to fall into the trap of measuring ourselves as mothers according to the worlds’ standards. Are my kids enrolled in sports? Music? Lessons? Playdates? Do they have at least some kind of electronic device to play on, (because all their friends have them!)
No. I am not interested in raising another cookie-cutter kid. I want Jesus-lovers. I want kids who know how to graciously refuse things they can’t afford, and not be afraid of being different. I want them to explore their interests, grow in their relationships, and read lots of books.
I am not interested in any certain ‘lifestyle’. They can be city-dwellers or country people. They can be missionaries or un-noticed ‘nobodies’, just going to work every day. They can have no kids or lots of kids. Work with their hands or be nerds. I couldn’t care less.
I want one thing alone – that they love God and have a passionate, burning desire to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. That they know they are loved by a Father.
We must not be swayed by the begging of our kids nor the questioning by our peers. We must look to God alone and trust Him for wisdom to teach and train our kids in His ways. We have to make our mothering a priority. Not just getting through it – but using every day in a worthy manner.
We need to get before God and plead for grace and wisdom. I don’t often have time alone to pray or read. Most of my praying is done ‘on the fly’, with unspoken words going straight to the ears of an attentive, loving, Heavenly Father. Don’t discount the work God can do in your life through the hardships of motherhood. Don’t look for the easy way out. Know that these hard things you are being asked to do are really God’s training of you. Just like we make our kids clean up their rooms, pull weeds, or fold laundry, even when they whine and complain. We know it is for the training of their character. That one day they will call home and say: “Mom, thanks for teaching me to clean and do laundry.” (by the way – have you thanked your mom yet? You need to.)
Our kids are so very important. They are shaping their views of God and life and relationships, by what we teach them and how we relate to others. We cannot afford to just ‘get by’ until they are gone. We can’t waste these fleeting years with whining and being so self-absorbed that we don’t make much of an impact on their souls.
I am not saying to plan your days out to the last minute. In fact – mostly the opposite. don’t cram your days so full of activities that you never have time to sit down with the family for a meal, or to read some books together. Don’t be so involved in ‘ministry’ that you never have time for your primary ministry – your family.
Home-making is repetitive. Set your mind to not get discouraged with the routine of doing the same tasks over and over. Train your kids to work alongside you, not work for you. Don’t wait for your house to be perfect to take time to sit down and color a picture with your child. Do it now. Then back to work. It is all important. Teaching your child and cleaning off the highchair – all of it is important.
Do the best work you can. Set the table for dinner. Light a candle. Fold the laundry and put it away. Iron. Do it again tomorrow. Make food from scratch. Write love notes. Read good books aloud. Take walks. Teach, train, love, encourage. Devote your life to this calling. See it as a calling, instead of a hindrance to the ‘ministry’ you would rather be doing. Because if you are a mother – it IS your calling.
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