There are many ways we, as mothers can be sure we are investing in our children. After all, we are raising disciples and this is of the utmost importance as a Christian parent.
There is a lot of advice out there on how to raise your children. From how to discipline them to things we allow them to do. It is my prayer that this post would encourage you to see how God designed mothers to prioritize time with their children.
Now, I realize that fathers have a responsibility to their children as well. What a Father-child relationship looks like and Mother-child relationship looks like actually should be very different things. Our roles are different in raising a child, according to The Bible. For the sake of this post, I will only be sharing what a mothers responsibilities to her children should look like daily as she strives to raise them to love Jesus.
A wonderful book I highly recommend every parent invests in is called “Shepherding a child’s heart” by Tedd Tripp. The book reminds us that sin is an issue of the heart condition, not the behavior we often end up confusing it for. This is the most theologically sound book that I know of out there on parenting, aside from The Bible alone.
My Christian walk begins
My walk as a Christian did not begin until I was an adult. I was surely saved at age 18. Though I had been baptized as a small child, I did not know Christ until much later when God shook me and woke me up from my sinful ways. It takes a commitment to continually be growing in The Lord to be able to pour out His love to our children.
Because I was saved much later in life than some, I did not grow up with a godly mother to shepherd me. Mothers are to be the heart of the home. God, in His sovereignty, did bring me a spiritual mother as an adult. He actually brought me two at different points, and those two women have changed my life forever. I strive daily to follow their example of how they raise their children to love Jesus and run things in their home.
I do believe that prioritizing my children also involves time for discipline. The Bible is clear on the command for us to discipline our children. On the contrary, it is also important to make time to show your love in a compassionate way to them as well.
What The Bible has to say about disciplining our children
This is a very controversial topic in our world today. Many argue about what is “right” or “wrong” to do when disciplining our children. There are many examples in scripture of what we are instructed to do. I will just share a few.
The Bible does not give specific instructions on how to discipline, necessarily. But, The Bible is clear about our call to discipline our children, just as God disciplines His children. It is out of love that we should discipline our children. Proverbs has a great deal to say about child rearing.
Seeking wisdom in Proverbs
Proverbs 23 gives great examples of what disciplining and child rearing should look like. Verse 13 says, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with a rod, you will save his soul from Sheol.” It should be more of a concern for us that our child’s soul is saved, not if their life is “fair.” God calls some to suffer for His glory more than others.
It is clear to me that this example is showing us parents that disciplining our children is key showing them Jesus’s love, and ultimately their salvation. We cannot just let our children aimlessly walk and make mistakes without giving them correction. In verse 25 it says “…let her who bore you rejoice.” As mothers, we should be glad to see the man or woman we have raised. They are a product of how we raise them.
I do know that sometimes they will go astray, as God gives Satan a certain measure of power to tempt us. But, we must not withhold discipline and correction from them. It is for the sake of their souls that we are to do this. Proverbs 29 also discusses this rejoicing that should be happening when we see the product of raising our children up.
Training up our children
Proverbs 22:6 is an example of this instruction to us parents in scripture. The ESV states as follows, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs is all about practical wisdom for living. Throughout this book, seeking wisdom is contrasted with living like a fool. It is our duty as parents to train up our children. Let us be an example to them of Christ’s love. This is an ongoing process, not a one and done thing. Yes, our children will see us fail but they will also see how we deal with that failure. It is important that we do not give up in the training of our children, they are our responsibility first to be an example to before anyone else.
Part of this “training up” is to train them in “the way he should go.” How will our child know what way is true if we do not teach them? We need to know God’s Word so that we can adequately teach it to our children. The Word is truth and they need to be able to use it to measure all things against, so that they can discern truth from air.
How to put these practices into action
One thing I try my best to do is be available to visually see my children both succeed and make mistakes. How can I correct them and discipline if I’m not seeing their behavior? This is one of the beauties of the blessing of being a stay-at-home mother. It is my belief that God will honor any woman’s desire to be home with her children. I never want to get so busy with my day that I’ve neglected to deal with the sin in their hearts. There are for sure times that I let things go and I should, but I need to do my best to be present and observant to the condition of my children’s hearts.
Try setting a timer on your phone to remind you to take a break from whatever you’re focused on doing and focus on your children instead. This is a very practical way of putting this in practice. During these reminders I also make sure to actually check in with them and go play with them for a period of time. It is my prayer that they would know I care even about the sin in their hearts.
Having discussions with them, even small children, about what sin does to us is very important. We should be teaching our children that the source of their anger and misbehavior comes from the sin in their hearts. It’s so easy for us as parents to discipline the bad behavior and completely miss the learning experience it needs to be for our children concerning their sin. They are humans too, we should talk to them as such. Children understand more than they would lead us to believe.
Mirroring God’s grace
Grace is another aspect of this that I have to remind myself. A wise woman once told me, “It’s okay to let some things go.” This is something true that I needed to hear. God pours a large amount of grace upon me and I need to follow this example for my children. There is a fine line between allowing the sin to continually happen and giving your children the opportunity to be given grace by us. Part of our duty to be the heart of our home includes grace. Let us show them love and grace even when they don’t deserve it.
Setting a schedule to help prioritize
Having a schedule in place can help you be present and stay on track. I don’t always write a schedule down for the day but I always somewhat have one. This schedule always allows for time with my children. Just like you would schedule an appointment, you should schedule time to play with and observe your children. Prior to doing this, there were times I would get so wrapped up in a task that hours would go by with me ignoring my small children. It is such an important part of the day that I never understood until I became a mother myself. It didn’t take long for me to notice this and change how I structure my days.
Your schedule may look something like this: Fix breakfast, clean up (involve the kids), craft time with the kids, work on a personal project, fix lunch (involve the kids), clean up (involve the kids), work during their nap time, spend time playing with the kids, fix dinner, cleanup, family prayer, bedtime. That’s a typical day for me and at times it can seem so mundane. Whatever your schedule is like, I encourage you to schedule a time to both observe your children and spend time playing with and loving on them. The projects and duties around the house can wait, training your children up to know God is definitely more important.
If you have any lessons you’ve grown in concerning this, please share in the comments below, I’d love to hear God’s testimony in this!
More encouragement in discipleship from My abiding home: