May 6, 2014
Being a Mom that Matters
Train children how to live right, and when they are old, they will not change (Proverbs 22:6, NCV).
Friend to Friend
The world often denies the importance of being a mom. I am not an expert. I simply want to be a successful mom. Well, actually, my credentials are impressive. I am the mother of two beautiful, brilliant children. I want to be the mom they need and deserve, and the good news is that God wants the same thing. Being a parent is a holy calling from God, and God never calls us to do a job without providing the power and the plan to do that job successfully. How can we be the moms that really matter?
1. Love God.
1 John 4:19 "We love, because God first loved us." (NCV)
We are incapable of really loving our children until we first love God. Motherhood at its best demands a thriving partnership with God. We cannot give unconditional love until we have received unconditional love. And God is the only source of that kind of love. We can do everything else right as a parent, but if we don't begin by loving God - we will fail.
2. Pray continually.
I Thessalonians 5:17 "Never stop praying." (ICB)
It is never too late to start praying, and it is always too early to stop.
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Lord, I pray that Jered would trust in you with all his heart and will lean not unto his own understanding. I pray that in all his ways Jered will acknowledge you and that you will direct his paths."
1 Peter 5:7 "Lord, I pray that Danna would cast all her care upon you, because you care for her."
Prayer is an eternal gift we can give to our children, teaching them the importance of prayer and teaching them how to pray. I recently heard the story of a mother who had invited several people to dinner. At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?" The girl responded, "I don't know what to say." Her mom said, "Just say what you hear Mommy say." The daughter bowed her head and said, "Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
We prayed with our kids at bedtime. One night, our son Jered began to pray for his grandfather and uncle to stop smoking. Both men had smoked for many years and neither was trying to quit, so I didn't expect much. But our son did. Within the next year, both men suddenly quit smoking. I was amazed, but Jered acted like it was no big deal. When I questioned his response, he simply said, "Mom, you told me God answers prayer." I am convinced that if we pray for our children and with our children, it will change their lives and ours, and give us insight we can gain no other way.
3. Give time.
Proverbs 22:6 "Train children how to live right, and when they are old, they will not change."
It takes time to be a mom - to know and to train our children. Every child comes with a set of characteristics already established by God. Our job is to identify those characteristics and then steer the child toward them. The original root word for "train" is the term for "the palate, the roof of the mouth, the gums." In the days of Solomon, a midwife delivered the baby, dipped her finger into the juice of crushed dates, reached into the mouth of the baby, and massaged the gums and palate to create a sense of taste and thirst. She then gave the child to the mother so the baby could nurse. Our job as mothers is to develop a thirst in our children for the right things. And that takes time.
There is a popular philosophy today that it doesn't matter the quantity of time that we spend with our kids as long as it is quality time. It does matter! Time spent with children is never wasted. Every minute invested in your child is an eternal investment. Give your children the best of your time – not the leftovers.
In other words, be available. And just your physical presence is not enough. Our normal bedtime routine was to spend a few minutes with each child talking about the day and then praying together. I remember the night I went to Jered's room, completed the routine, and got him to sleep in minutes. But when I went to Danna's room, I was in a hurry. I had a long list of things I still needed to do, but Danna refused to talk. When I asked her why, she cried, "Mama, you're not here!" Confused and a little irritated, I responded, "Yes, I am! I am right here!" Her big brown eyes filled with tears as she drove the truth home, "But you're not really here on the inside." Be a mom who gives your children time.
Being a mom is the hardest job on earth. It brings out both the best and the worst in us. I know it requires great sacrifice and limitless energy, but to invest your time and best efforts into a child, and to watch that child grow and develop is to be part of the creative majesty of life itself. We're half the way there. In my next devotion, we will explore four more ways to be a mom that matters.
Lord, thank You for giving me children. Help me be the mom they deserve. I commit to constantly pray for each child. I commit to invest the best part of my time and life in them. Forgive me for allowing lesser things to take the place of my role as a mother, and guide me to be a mom that really matters.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Are you growing in your faith?
Evaluate your schedule. Does the best part of your time goes to being a mom?
What changes do you need to make in your schedule?
What do you need to give up in order to spend more time with your children?
What specific needs are you praying for your children? Make a list and pray through that list daily.
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