Recently I was invited to share a few “words of wisdom” with newly expectant parents at a baby shower. I was honored to be a part of this special occasion, but I really had to ponder what to share that would encourage the young couple and not scare them half to death.
Those of us who have parented already, know the ups and downs of raising children. Truthfully, they are the greatest, most entrusted gifts given to us by God. They are also the most overwhelming responsibility!
Your greatest blessings and inheritance from the Lord (Psalm 127:3) is your greatest work and responsibility.
I don’t want to sound like I have all the answers. By the time your children are actually teenagers and dating, what worked for me might be completely obsolete to you. What I do know is that God’s Word stands the test of time. He is the same God yesterday, today and forever! There were days as a young parent that I could barely keep my head above water, but God not only sustained me, He gave me what I needed for the day.
My days of parenting young children are behind me, and I write from a position of understanding what families face today. God knew from eternity past what 2017 would look like. He knew the impact technology alone would have on our culture. As a grandparent and mentor to women, let me encourage you with the same words I shared at the baby shower.
You cannot IMPART what you do not POSSESS. We must Be what we want our children to Become. It’s that simple!
They will pick up far more from watching how you handle your problems than from you telling them how to handle their problems. They will learn how to save or spend money exactly how you handle your money. If you watch inappropriate media, they will watch inappropriate media.
If you are grumpy, irritable and complain, your children will be grumpy, irritable and complain. If you are impatient with them, they will be impatient with others.
We cannot impart a godly example if we do not live one.
God has created women with a desire to nurture, but personally I think it goes much deeper than just having children. Most of us long to invest our lives in something or someone that matters. The Bible calls it being fruitful.
The biggest thing you can do for your children is not doing something for them or buying them something, it’s who YOU are. Your character.
When I was a young mom I worried that my children wouldn’t love the Lord like their dad and I do. I was afraid I would mess up, doing something that would cause them to choose a different path.
I fervently prayed for them and taught them, but the best thing I did was try to live out my faith in front of them. It’s proactive not passive!
When my daughters were old enough to play in a room unsupervised, I would literally get in my closet to pray so I could hear myself think. They would call my name all the way up the stairs into my room. But when they saw the closet door closed, they knew I was in there praying. They knew not to interrupt unless it was an emergency.
The point is, if you want your kids to pray, let them see you praying. If you want them to read their Bibles, then let them catch you reading your Bible.
Most likely, your children are going to turn out a lot like you! They are going to talk like you, think like you and be like you.
If you want your sons and daughters to have the same work ethic you have, let him see you working hard and being sensitive to others. If you want your child to be kind, then You be kind to others. Express your anger and difficulties in life the exact same way you want them to. Drive in a way you want your children to drive. If you want them to remain sexually pure until marriage, then you be sexually pure. Be as materialistic or frugal as you want them to be.
You will reproduce a little you!
This should encourage you! Know that even when your children get derailed or distracted by the lures of the devil, they will return to what they know and have learned through your example.
Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
God’s word does not return void!