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March 26, 2008

To Love Their Children (Chapter 17)

I remember going through the struggle a few years back of thinking I was not getting enough ‘spiritual me-time’ and I lamented the fact that I could not go to ladies Bible Studies or spend hours at a time reading God’s Word. A friend told me of a lady who would pull her apron over her head when she felt she needed to spend some ‘quiet’ time with God. I came to the point that I realized that as my children were little I didn’t need to have a time set aside during the day to ‘worship God’ I could do it throughout the day, all day long. Singing, memorizing or meditating on a scripture verse, reading a few verses from the Bible. And in mourning over the fact that I could not have regular devotions, I was in a way mourning the fact that I had children that would keep me up all night, or interrupt me during the day. And then I realized that my biggest act of worship is in my daily living. I can have devotions all day long, but if I am not acting out what I study it is all worthless. So if I lock myself in a room and have some ‘spiritual quiet time’ while my kids are running wild and needing discipline, I don’t believe this is worship to God. Worship is obeying His Word in being the best wife and mother that I can be. And this may mean for a time I will not be able to have regular sit down devotion time. But I can spend time with God throughout the day as praying, meditating and worshipping Him. This is a season that God has given me and I intend to worship Him through it, whatever way I can. Mothers have an amazing opportunity daily to be the primary trainers of their children. We are with them day after day, hour after hour and who better knows them than we do? God didn’t give this job to grandparents, friends or babysitters, but he gave it to us, as parents. And most often this job falls in the moms lap because dad is at work all day. What better way to be a help meet to our husbands than to train our little ones to be obedient and live according to God’s standard. I have heard many a wife who will push off the training issues until dad gets home from work and then hand the kids over to him (all frazzled I might add) for their daily discipline issues. Issues that could have been dealt with during the day, but mom was just too preoccupied or plain lazy to deal with them. In my opinion it should be a very rare moment that dad has to deal with an ‘issue’ when he comes home from work. Especially with little ones (by this I mean pre-school age). If things are properly dealt with during the day by mom, dad should be able to come home, enjoy his ‘well trained’ children and relax. It will take a lot of putting aside our own thing to discipline, but it will be well worth it in the end. Little issues become bigger issues and by the end of the day they can be a volcano just waiting to erupt. Training our children as Debi puts it is ‘a full time occupation’. This brings me to the next subject, a subject that is tip-toed around very lightly in this day and age. So if I offend some of you I am sorry, but I will not water down what I believe in order not to offend. This subject is the assumption that we can leave our children with other people (daycare, caregiver, friends, even grandparents) day after day and assume that we are fulfilling our role as a mother. NOT. Who knows your child’s issues better than you do, and who can train them in love better than you do? Sending your children somewhere else while you go and ‘work’ outside the home, I believe, is really not the way God designed the family to be. God designed a mother to nurture, nourish, love, protect and train our children 24/7. Yes there may be the few instances where we leave them behind to let someone else to take care of them, but this should be the exception rather than the norm. God is quite clear in Titus 2:5 that women are to love their children and to be keeper’s at home. Why do we think that we can do things contrary to God’s Word and yet function as a family that will bring honor and glory to Him? God’s design is the best design and we should think very carefully before we decide that we know better. We only have one chance at rasing our children and how sad it would be if years down the road we look back and realize we should have done things differently. And I don’t want anyone to say to me, “Why were you not brave enough to tell me your convictions.” So there you have it.

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