by Jean Stockdale

Image of Jesus

Several years ago I was speaking at a Women’s Conference in Athens, Alabama. One of the planned activities was a Prayer Walk. The young mom in charge of the Prayer Walk had carefully cut out footprints which she intended to tape to the floor with double stick tape to guide the ladies on their trek through the church. Her four-year-old was tagging along behind her, chattering excitedly as four—year—olds do! The preschool mom, quite accustomed to multi-tasking (how else can you get anything done?!), stuck all the construction paper feet to the legs of her jeans. As she marked off the path, she removed each foot and stuck it on the floor. It was not until she had finished her rather labor intensive project that she discovered her little guy had been walking behind her carefully picking up EVERY footprint, sticking them to his jeans! He thought this was some great new game his mommy had invented and he intended to be the winner!

Just as this little fellow followed in his mommy’s footprints (literally), so too our children are carefully observing all that we say and do, weighing our actions and our reactions as they closely scrutinize the ebb and flow of our daily lives. You may be able to fool the people at your church with your Christian charade, but you will never fool the people who live in your home—especially your children. They know the real you and they are following in your footprints.

Generally every mom, Christian or not, wants to raise great kiddos. But Christian moms want to raise GODLY children and therein is the rub. We are not content just to see our children simply develop physically and emotionally. We want godliness for them. We want to see them increase “in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). The introduction of children in our homes gave them the right to look at our lives and expect to see the image of Jesus. It’s a tall order. That’ll suck the oxygen right out of your lungs, won’t it?

The great gift of our salvation by grace through faith is accompanied by a tremendous responsibility. In 2 Corinthians, Paul wrote, “We are ambassadors for Christ.” Face it, moms. Home base is where we are tested and tried by bawling babies, teething toddlers, trying tweens, and troublesome teens. But they deserve to see Jesus.

In Proverbs 6:20-22 Solomon wrote, “My son, observe the commandment of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of our mother; bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; and when you awake, they will talk to you.” The Word of God combined with the Spirit of the Living God within us will teach us how to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling” (Eph. 4:1) in Christ. Personal Bible study coupled with obedience borne out of love and devotion will keep us pressing on and into Jesus as we train up our children in the way they should go!

Read more of Jean Stockdale’s insight for mothering according to the Father’s plan at her website.

Jean Stockdale



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