Rearing children is sort of like balancing on a high wire and juggling at the same time.
We want so much; our children need to be healthy, happy, well-adjusted, and, hopefully, heaven-bound.
Sometimes while we are busy running to the doctor, or the store, or we are fixing meal after meal, or we are setting up late at night soothing everything from toothaches to heartaches, we forget the most important part of being a mother:
And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
It is so very easy to let them slip by, these years when the plants are tender and receptive. The things that come out of our mouths, the way we face the crises in our lives, the time we spend actually concentrating on our relationship with Christ, these all speak volumes.
There was a time when I just figured the children would “get it”–we talked about God, and we taught about Him as the awesome Creator, and that the Word of God was important, but I was pretty close-lipped as to my daily conversation with Him. It wasn’t until I stepped back and took a good look that I realized they were well-fed but starving children.
I don’t keep my worship of Him a secret anymore. I don’t try and give them answers that are not Biblically-based, even if they are struggling with their own faith. I keep it real and relevant, but I keep it in the Holy Spirit–no doubt about it, what comes from Mom is going to be Spirit-led, as much as possible.
I grew up with a lot of good advice; remember to develop beauty on the inside, always take care of those who are weak or less fortunate, don’t be prideful, be thankful, be obedient to those in authority, etc.
But I also grew up with a lot of worldly-wise thinking, and there are just certain practices, mindsets, and attitudes that are not from God and will harm my children if I pass them on. So I need to re-examine my own life; I have to have God clean me, inside and out, and learn to inculcate into my children the best, the most heavenly, thoughts and ideas.
How can I do this? By keeping myself built-up, so that I make sure my hope is in Him, that I am living, “by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord,” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
This will not work if I am working my salvation out from a sense of religious obligation. My children need to see me being obedient even when I don’t feel like it, but if my worship of God and study of His Word is done merely because I want to be “correct,” it will cease to be life-giving. Jesus pointed this out in the lives of the Pharisees:
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
So, every day I feast on Him (the Bread of Life), I take time and seek out music that causes me to worship, I speak His word out loud and proclaim His truth when the enemy and the flesh least want it to be heard. This is not a dead exercise in futility. God is the river from which I drink, He is the lamp that lights my path, He is the reason I get up in the morning and put my head on my pillow at night.
When I was a young person I read about the life of a precious saint who remembered with fondness how his own mother walked about the house, singing to Jesus and speaking His Word. His mother’s practice of dwelling in The Presence paved the way for God to work mightily and profoundly so that she reared one of the great Gospel singers of the 20th century.
Do my children always appreciate this? Probably not, but I believe the memory of a praying, praising, worshiping, joyful, believing mother will stay with my children long after they leave my home.