Discipleship · Mentoring · Motherhood · Parenting

Loving Your Child Through It All

Adorned Series #13

Hectic school routines, multiple discipline issues, outrages and temper tantrums, messes, stresses, spills and strong wills might describe your mothering yesterday, but I’m here to remind you that there is grace for the task in front of you today, dear mom!

Many women feel so overwhelmed at their task of mothering.  I can remember wondering what it would feel like to just hop in the car mid-morning and head to the grocery store.  That’s my high energy time!  I thought about how fun it would be to be able to just GO!  But I was a homeschooling mother, with two girls to train and educate.  Our days were full and I usually went to the store at the end of the day when I was weary.  However, it was not a sacrifice!

Those kind of situations feel like they’re lasting FOREVER.  But guess what I did yesterday?  I went to Kroger early in the day!  

I’m here to encourage you moms not to lose sight of the important task you’re facing.  Your job as a mom is such a high calling!  When Adam named his wife Eve, he was saying she is a life-giver.  That’s what you are!  It doesn’t matter whether you gave life to the children in life naturally, through foster care, or adoption…you are a Life Giver!  What could be more important than that?  You are on assignment from God to pour into those children the Truth about their God and about their need for a Savior.  

I think it’s important that we keep connected to the days when we were asking God for these children.  Or even if they were “surprises,” God says they are blessings from His hand! 

Psalm 127 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:

God said to Abraham of Sarah in Gen 17:16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.

Too often, we take the blessings of God and turn them into cursings.  We bemoan how our life has been put on hold, how sleep-deprived we are, that we are always on-call, that we don’t have a life outside of cooking, teaching, and cleaning up spilled milk.  

In her book Adorned, Nancy said,

You wouldn’t be human not to wear down at times under the strain…and most people will never see the sacrifices you make to parent your children.  But if you’re not careful, if you’re not prayerful, if you let the days just pass by without being determined to sue them for God’s highest and best purposes – to remember the real reason you’re doing all this – then the blessings He intends for you in this season may slip through your fingers.  And your children may miss out on the vision of God’s love you were intended to give them. 

The answer is doing what you do with God’s help. 

Hear some fresh reminders from an older mom:

First, let me remind you that the children in your home are blessings.  When older women are teaching the young women to love their children we remember that the word for love is  Phileo, the friendship kind of love.  We are not their buddies, we’re their mother, but we have the kind of love for them that enjoys them.  Do they feel that coming from you, or is it more resentment?  Ask God to help you enjoy them TODAY. Enjoy them when they’re loveable.  Enjoy them when you have to discipline them again.

Secondly, let me remind you that your children are in your home for a relatively short period of time. I know…it feels long right now, but trust me, you will soon be watching them march in graduation or walk down the aisle to be married and you’ll wonder how that ever happened! Make the time while your children are in your home count!  Have fun!  Be spontaneous!  Laugh! Smile at them!  Play games.  Craft.  Bake together.  Hang out in the back yard. Pray with them. Read God’s Word to them.  (The psalm for their age) Put your phone away.  Look at them.  Hear them speaking to you!

Thirdly, let me remind you to show loving affection.  Do it with your words.  Say, “I love you.” Do it with your gestures – give the hug, the pat on the back. Your children need your motherly affection. Even if your children are older, they still need your love and words of affirmation. Notice not just the bad things, but notice the good! 

Recently after I’d spent time with one of my girls I sent her a text and told her how proud I was of her and that I loved her.  She responded, “You don’t know what that means to me.  I feel like I’m so self absorbed and unpleasant most of the time. I love you, too!”  I had no idea she was feeling disheartened, but when the Holy Spirit prompted me to write her, I realized that those words were just what the Lord wanted her to hear.  (I miss those opportunities many times! Ugh!)

Fourthly, realize that they must be your priority. People are more important than things.  An immaculate house, a perfect yard can wait.  Let them play in one room.  Let them hang out in the yard.  Be the cookie mom who invites the neighbor kids over!

Nancy reminds us that sometimes the best way to prioritize our children is to prioritize time with God.  I have my Quiet time in the morning.  Often one of the girls would need something while I was praying.  They would knock, then come in and find me on my knees, praying for my own heart, for them, and for our school day.  Without that time, I would have fallen apart even more often!

Always remember that your husband is your priority above your children.  He will still be with you when they leave! How does this happen? When they’re young the children need you almost constantly, but as they grow and mature, make sure that you are making time for your husband. Make sure you’re spending MORE and more time with him as the years pass. Go out on regular dates. As the children age, make them more and more independent so they are ready to step out, and you are not their crutch and they are not yours.   Spend MORE time talking, dating, praying, dreaming as each year passes.  You don’t want to be looking at a stranger when your kids are gone! This was not God’s plan. 

Motherhood is a roller coaster ride.  It’s full of joys and sorrows.  If you have a child away from God, spite your efforts and prayers, don’t give up.  It’s always too soon to quit. God loves them more than you do!  Keep living out that overflowing life of a believer.  Show them the joy of a Christian who walks with God.  Be there for them.  Keep loving them.  Text them.  Talk to them.  Don’t be afraid to speak of biblical things…it’s to be overflowing from your life.

Keep on being a life-giver.  By our responses, our words, our affection, our encouragement to our children or the children God puts in your path, we can be life-givers all the days God gives us on this earth!

Refresh your love for being a nurturer to the children in your life by remembering how well your God loves you, how patient He is with you, and how He disciplines you in kindness and mercy.  Then in good days full of praise and achievements, and in difficult days full of correction and biblical instruction keep on loving your children well.