Being a mother is a God-given privilege that not all women have. Some women never marry, some choose not to have children and some earnestly pray for children but aren’t blessed with them. God has plans for these women, too. But for those of us who are so blessed, we have a tremendous responsibility. This is the most important job we have.
Let’s look at some biblical principles that will guide us as we rear our children:
I. Love – Give your child the gift of love (Titus 2:3-5). The material things you can give your child are not nearly as important as giving your child love, unconditional and undeserved love. Give your child the same kind of love God showed when He gave His son for a sinful world (John 3:16). Is your child confident in your love?
II. Set a Christian example –
- Set an example in how seriously you take your religion. Do you attend church services regularly? How about Bible school?
- Set an example in how you treat others. Be kind and compassionate (Eph. 4:32).
- Be a good example in what we do for the poor. Our children will learn hospitality if we are hospitable to others.
- Set an example in how you react to your own mistakes. Own up to them. Don’t make excuses.
III. Teach your children what is right-There are so many things we need to teach:
- Foremost is God’s word. Don’t rely on others to teach them. That’s your responsibility along with your husband (Proverbs 1:8, Proverbs 31:26)
- Teach them there are consequences for their actions.
- Teach them to forgive.
- Teach them how to respect others, including you.
- Teach them selflessness. We are born selfish.
- Finally teach them to love God, Jesus, family, the church, and yes, even their enemies.
IV. Discipline- This is Biblical. Many scriptures in Proverbs bear this out. Require them to do what is right. They will mess up and will need to be disciplined. Hold them accountable for their actions.
V. Make your home a safe haven – Supply their needs, not necessarily their wants. Open your house up to their friends.
VI. Give your children wings- Our task is to raise our children so they can get along without us. The task of being a loving mother has a special temptation: to go beyond “mother love” to “smother love.” Many mothers want to keep their children to themselves all their lives. They are reluctant to let them go to camp, college, get a job or marry. Many children grow up without having spent any time away from their mother. As a result, these children grow up being dependent on their mother, not able to make decisions on their own.
Your goal as a mother is to enable your children to take their place as responsible, faithful, working members of the Lord’s church. Prayer will help you get through the tough times.
By Gayle Johns
Gayle Johns attends the Southwest church of Christ in Ada, Oklahoma where her husband Bobby served as an elder for many years. She is a mother of three and a grandmother of six.