Okay, so I’m a little late! Due to the Writing Process Tour obligation and our son’s college graduation, Mother’s day really got pushed to the back burner.
Usually, I would have all my kids home for dinner, but again, this year’s circumstances made that impossible as well; however, my cup was full of blessings on Sunday: Our oldest son preached on Hannah and did a wonderful job; All our children, including our children-by-choice (that sounds so much better than in-laws) sang with the choir; Our newly graduated son played the piano and sang a solo. I was showered with gifts, cards and flowers from my children and grandchildren; and I laid my head on the pillow that night full of joy, offering words of praise to my gracious heavenly Father for giving me a quiver full of children who love Him and serve him!
How did it happen? Why have my children “turned out right” and so many other have walked away from the spiritual teachings that they received from home? People have written books on the subject of child rearing, so what do I know? I hesitate to share anything!
As I read the note in my son’s card to me, a phrase seemed to rise to the surface like sweet cream atop fresh milk: “I would often come out and see you reading your Bible or kneeling with Dad in prayer. That was normal for me; but I realize that it’s not normal for most families.”
“…whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) I often think of a negative example when I read this verse, and certainly it contains a warning; however, the joy of this precious promise is true as well. Is it possible that my actions concerning God’s Word have had an affect on my children?
If there is one word that stands out to me as a beacon on the high hill of recommended ingredients for parental success as Christians, it is obedience. Perhaps you thought I would say “love,” and indeed, love is the oil that not only fuels the engine of mothering, but it also adds the patience and kindness needed to smooth out the rough places. I suppose, for me, love is just assumed; however, when we love, we find obedience as natural as loving!
Obedience – do I obey the word of God? Ah, you thought I was talking about your children’s obedience! Children learn from our example, and nothing speaks louder than our own relationship with Jesus Christ. If it is shallow or superficial, can we expect our children’s relationship to be any better? And when they pass into those wonderful teenage years, the damage that is done by a superficial testimony is overwhelming!
Think about it: Your son grows up in the church. He hears all the Bible lessons, knows the Bible heroes, and has been told to “read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow!” He comes home challenged to read his Bible, and you also encourage him to do so, but he never sees you reading your Bible. What message are you sending? As he gets older, more and more activities pull at him. He has never developed that habit of devotions, you have never shared the blessing from your devotions with him, he sees no Biblical impact on your life, so he throws up his hands and says, “Whats the use? This is nothing but a waste of time.” And Satan is right there ready to catch him!
Ask yourself, “What needs to change in MY life to make me shine brighter?” If you seek the Lord’s leading – coming to Him in honesty, ready to yield and obey – you will be amazed at what He shows you! The Christian life is a journey of constant change. If we ever think that we have “arrived,” it will be a sad day!
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4 AND, there is no greater disappointment than to see a child walk away from everything you hold dear! The greatest sacrifice you can make for your children is the sacrifice of obedience.