“The efforts which a mother makes for the improvement of her child in knowledge and virtue, are necessarily retired and unobtrusive. The world knows nothing of them; and hence the world has been slow to perceive how powerful and extensive is this secret and silent influence….the influence which is exerted upon the mind during the first eight or ten years of existence, in a great degree guides the destinies of that mind for time and eternity! And as the mother is the guardian and guide of the early years of life, from her goes the most powerful influence in the formation of the character of man.” John Abbott
When Christians stop being “Kingdom-minded”, they stop making Kingdom choices. Choices like devoting a life to raising the next generation to love God, to honor authority and to live wisely. The very church of Christ has so degraded the blessing of children (and thus minimized a mother’s work), that it is almost unthinkably ignorant. For how can we expect to pass the torch of passion and faithfulness to our Savior unless we have made it our chiefest aim to daily impress His character onto the hearts of our children?
When we understand that our whole existence is to glorify the Lord, we live each moment differently. We get about our Father’s business. We don’t measure “if we should have children” by their convenience or how many vacations it will cost me or whether I can pursue my favorite pastime or career. We don’t have children to look cute in their ball uniforms and homemade hair bows.
We fall down on our knees with the grave responsibility of stewardship over these children, these people who will either further the Kingdom or be a blight on society, based largely on our diligence to the duty of raising them.
Mothers, you must govern your home well. It is the cruelest act of motherhood that you should neglect to teach your children to obey the loving authority over them. For in doing so, you make them unable to submit to God.
Children who have not learned self-government stand to be the most wretched of all men and women, loathing you for your indulgences.
But don’t you see, it isn’t harsh! It wells up from the deepest love, the deepest desire to see our children walking in truth and evokes sheer delight to walk beside them.
When I see my children through Kingdom-eyes, their vices aren’t irritations that bug me and cause me to be angry; they are offenses that sober me and call me to the tireless and tender action of praying for, teaching and tending the garden of their souls.
My children are the very happiest when I have loved them enough to require gratitude, obedience and honor. Their little faces light up into mine when they sense my tenderest sincerity toward their character.
And then, to place my hands on their heads, kneel over them and pray…
“Father, you have blessed me with this child. Thank you that she is growing to love You, thank you that she is obedient, and I pray that she will serve you all the days of her life”….
causes a heart-smile to break across their faces, and they know–it sinks down deep and they KNOW that I am in this for life, through tears, joys and hardship. I am their advocate, and I will stop short of nothing to give “my life for yours” in these few years they are mine.
From the Devotional, When Motherhood Feels Too Hard