“Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” ~ Psalm 127:3-5 NIV
The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world. Think about it. A baby starts out as a blank slate – a “new being” to this world and the culture into which he/she is born. The treatment and teaching a child receives from the significant adults in his/her life, along with the stability or lack thereof, strongly influence the type of adult a child will become.
The world is famous for switching price tags. Heaven’s paving material (streets of gold) is seen as much more valuable than relationships. People are killed for stuff: shoes, jacket, cash, etc. Mothers who choose to stay at home to raise their children are looked down upon in many circles. After all, aren’t houses, status, and prestige more desirable? A disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with stuff. I’m not talking about stuff, I’m talking about priorities.
From my observations through the years, the parents who made it their priority to raise their children well, parented on purpose, made sure their children had what they needed, parented with one eye on the present and one eye on the future child at 18 years of age making adjustments as necessary to get the child to adulthood successfully, typically raised children who were a blessing to those parents and society. Likewise, parents who sacrificed the precious years of child training for their own pursuits were more likely to have children who were troubling to those parents and society once raised.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”~ Eph. 5:15, 16.
When I was raising my children, it was easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking of all the great things I could do for God if I were not tied down with kids. God in his mercy showed me that perhaps my greatest work for him was raising my children well. If I got that job right, then I greatly multiplied my efforts for him. As the apostle, John said in 3 John, verse 4:
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
How does one become an expert at anything? By learning, studying, seeking knowledge. There is so much information out there on child training, how does one determine between the good and the bad? One way is to look for the “winners.” Look for parents who have children older than yours whose children are the picture of what you want your children to be at that age. Pick their brain. Ask them questions. Ask them the names of some of their favorite child training books and blogs. Watch how they handle their children in different situations.
And finally, do not forget to spend quiet time with God and pray. There were times when I was raising my children that I felt the need for quiet time more than extra sleep, so I would drag myself out of bed earlier to make that happen. There were also times when I would drag myself out of bed earlier for quiet time and one of the little ones would hear me and get up. After several days in a row of that happening, I realized that all I was doing was starting my day earlier, not getting quiet time or extra sleep, so I stayed in bed until I heard the little ones stirring. Being flexible is a must!
No parent is perfect. I did not make the same mistakes that my parents made; I made my own mistakes. It has been my experience that as I, myself stayed close to God while raising my children, God’s grace covered my children and I. That is not to say that everything has been rosy, not at all, but God has seen us through both the daily hassles and the extraordinarily difficult times.
To make a long story short: Hang in there! Don’t give up! The stakes are too high! It is so worth it!!!
Let’s pray: Father, thank you for the blessing of children! Please be with the parents who are doing the hard work of raising their children well. Help them, Father, sense your presence. Please provide helpers and encouragers to go along side these faithful parents. Please guide these parents, Lord. Give them the daily strength, courage, and wisdom for the most important job in the world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.