I was young, too young to be a mother. Before that age of twenty four I had two babies looking for guidance, wisdom and love. I read everything I could get my hands on about being a godly mother. I wanted to do it right. But the reality was, like many mothers, I knew nothing about being a mother, much less a godly one.
The common theme I that I saw, and continue to see, in “mommy advice” is that there is something I must DO in order to be a godly mom who raises godly children. But let me say this, I do not believe it’s what we do as a mom, but what we know that makes us a godly mom.
Let me explain.
In order to be the mother God desires me to be I need to know 3 things. Many might look at these three things and wonder what they have to do with being a mother, but as I look back I realize had I known these, the other things about motherhood would have fallen in place a bit easier.
I needed to know God and how to study His Word. I didn’t need to know about God. I needed to know who God was. I needed to know the God who is, not the God I thought He was. I needed a right view of God.
This kind of knowledge only comes from being in His word and know what it says. But as a young mom the Bible often was hard to understand. I needed to know how to study His word and be able to dig out truth for myself. This came when I learned how to study inductively. I learned how to observe the passages, key words and messages and see truth. This knowledge became life changing.
I needed to know who God says I am. The world tells us so many lies about motherhood. About being a woman. But once I began to study scripture and see who God is I also saw who He says I am. In His word I found confidence knowing that I am deeply loved. I became secure knowing He would never leave or forsake me. Knowing the truth of who I am in Christ helped me see life’s circumstances in a way that brings greater trust in God. Greater trust in Him helps me know I don’t have to feel I need to control my circumstances.
I needed to know that it is God who changes hearts. It’s not up to me to save, or convict the heart of my children. I can teach right from wrong. I can discipline. I can pray. I can model Christ like behavior. But only God can convict of sin and change the heart. Only God can save a soul.
Having a full realization of this would have allowed me to parent in a gospel way. I would have been better able to lead my children to the cross, to Christ when they were disobedient instead of always just trying to change the outward behavior. True, life long, godly change in our behavior must come from the heart and it’s God who is in the business of changing hearts. It never was up to me to change the hearts of my children toward God, only His Spirit can do that. I can only lead them.
Knowing the above would not have made me a perfect Mother. It wouldn’t have given me perfect children. But what it would have done is given me godly perspective of life and motherhood. I would have still wondered when it came to the specifics of discipline or making daily decisions for my children but I would have been less likely to follow what every one else was doing. I would have had a greater knowledge of how God would want me to mother my children.
My boys are grown and gone now and the one thing I realize is that I should have focused more on my personal relationship with Christ instead of trying to do the right kind of parenting. In fact I think parenting in general has more to do with growing the parents as God uses the various circumstances of parenthood to refine us and show us our own weaknesses and sins. And in the process of God growing, refining and teaching us, we parent our children and lead them to the One who will do the same in their hearts.
Today I am joining up with…..