Christian mothers constantly pray that their children will make good choices and grow into responsible people.
The period of childhood is so very brief. And we have a short span of time to prepare our children for adulthood. Children learn through examples set by their parents. Children are listening to what you say but also watching what you do.
If we could make a list of the basics we need to teach, we could come up with an infinite list of values. However, most of these areas can be summarized in a short list: love others, respect yourself, honor God and most importantly — pray, pray, pray.
Several years ago, my pastor husband accepted a call to another church. As the moving van finished loading our possessions and we followed in our car, I looked back, and my next-door neighbor and her husband were headed to our vacant home with a vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies. They never asked, “How can we help?” Or, “Tell me what you need me to do?” No, they just showed up. Perhaps we all should “just show up’’ more often.
Teaching our children to think of others instead of self helps a child grow in maturity and responsibility. Encourage your child to pray for their friends when you have family devotion time.
In serving others, we show the love of Christ to people: “Jesus replied, … Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 19:19).
When our son graduated from high school, an older relative sent him a congratulations card. Along with a check and an encouraging printed message, she wrote a personal note, which read: “You’ve inherited a good name. Your family is respected in the community. Do your best to keep your life clean. Respect yourself!”
The choices we make in life can be both positive and negative. One mother explained it this way to her teenage son. “Sometimes the choices we make can leave scars that stay with us. When we pray and ask forgiveness, God forgives us. We may ask for pardon and mercy from those we have offended. But the ‘scars’ of a bad choice can affect not only the person, but the entire family. This can carry over into a career, choosing a marriage partner, and opportunities that may be denied.”
Who is the person your child sees when looking in the mirror? Do they see a kind, generous, loving individual? Or, do they see someone who has a poor self-image, fearful, or intolerant? Encourage your child to seek God in prayer when making decisions.
Help your child commit this verse to memory: “For God so loved the world, that he was willing for his son to die for us, we should be worthy of this sacrifice” (John 3:16).
A pastor friend prayed that his children would be willing to serve God wherever He called them to go. Then his adult son was called to be a missionary in a foreign country. This meant taking the pastor’s grandchildren to live thousands of miles away.
As mothers and fathers, we may ask God to use our children, but are we really willing for them to serve Him in ways we have not considered? Maybe other children but not ours?
Pray that if God calls your children into the ministry, your heart will be ready to encourage them to serve.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 22:37-38, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
The list of what mothers should teach is endless. But the greatest commandment continues to be the most important lesson.
God planned for the home, and the Bible is our guide for raising children.
Let your children see and hear you praying for them. Point them to Christ. And trust God with the lives of your children.