Teaching children may seem like a funny thing for someone who has no children to blog about.....Yet those of you who know me know that I love them and hope and pray someday the Lord will give me some of my own. In the meantime for most of my life He's put me in places where I'm surrounded by them. I was blessed to grow up as the oldest in a large family, then been able to spend time staying with and/or helping different families, so have thought and learned a lot about how I would like to raise my own children someday......Though I have to tell you that I've given my friends some good laughs when I say things like "there will be no battery run or noise making toys in my house." I know, "never say never," but it doesn't hurt to dream:-). In all seriousness though I was blessed and encouraged by a conversation recently where I was reminded that though I'm not raising children of my own I'm helping in a covenant home and in a small way contributing to the building up of God's kingdom through my work and involvement in these children's lives.....that the Lord will bless that. I know in my head that is true, but it's nice to be reminded and encouraged sometimes!
One thing that I was introduced to in the past couple years was a mom reading the Bible with her children and praying with them. Sounds so simple, maybe not always easy, but something I look forward to doing in my own home someday. Children need to know their parents love the Lord, and depend on Him daily for grace. In my home I was familiar with the father leading in family worship (and that could be a whole 'nother post, which is equally important to me, it's just that today mother's responsibilities are on my mind), so I decided to read up on what God's word, (and Matthew Henry) said about mothers teaching their children. I shared some of what I found below though most of it applies to fathers and mothers.
"The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him."
It is the duty of mothers, as well as fathers, to teach their children what is good, that they may do it, and what is evil, that they may avoid it; when they are young and tender they are most under the mother's eye, and she has then an opportunity of moulding and fashioning their minds well, which she ought not to let slip.Those that have grown up to maturity should often call to mind, and make mention of, the good instructions they received when they were children, for their own admonition, the edification of others, and the honour of those who were the guides of their youth."
"...I may be filled with joy; When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also."
2 Timothy 1:4b-5
Observe, The entail of religion descended upon Timothy by the mother's side; he had a good mother, and a good grandmother: they believed, though his father did not. It is a comfortable thing when children imitate the faith and holiness of their godly parents, and tread in their steps...It was the matter of Paul's thanksgiving that Timothy inherited the faith of his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois, and ought to be ours whenever we see the like; we should rejoice wherever we see the grace of God.
"My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother."
He takes it for granted that parents will, with all the wisdom they have, instruct their children, and, with all the authority they have, give law to them for their good.
"My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee."
We must receive it as our father's commandment and the law of our mother, It is God's commandment and his law. But,
(1.) Our parents directed us to it, put it into our hands, trained us up in the knowledge and observance of it, its original and obligation being most sacred. We believe indeed, not for their saying, for we have tried it ourselves and find it to be of God; but we were beholden to them for recommending it to us, and see all the reason in the world to continue in the things we have learned, knowing of whom we have learned them.
(2.) The cautions, counsels, and commands which our parents gave us agree with the word of God, and therefore we must hold them fast. Children, when they are grown up, must remember the law of a good mother, as well as the commandment of a good father.
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
"Those that love the Lord God themselves should do what they can to engage the affections of their children to him, and so to preserve the entail of religion in their families from being cut off. Thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children; frequently repeat these things to them, try all ways of instilling them into their minds, and making them pierce into their hearts; as, in whetting a knife, it is turned first on this side, then on that. "Be careful and exact in teaching thy children; and aim, as by whetting, to sharpen them, and put an edge upon them. Teach them to thy children, not only those of thy own body","but all those that are anyway under thy care and tuition."
Last of all ending with this thought on Proverbs 31:
"Her children arise up, and call her blessed."
"Her children grow up in her place, and they call her blessed. They give her their good word, they are themselves a commendation to her, and they are ready to give great commendations of her; they pray for her, and bless God that they had such a good mother."
Sharing with Titus 2sdays, Far Above Rubies, Raising Homemakers,
Homemakers by Choice, Thought Provoking Thursday, Women of Noble Character, Imperfect Prose, Raising Mighty Arrows,
and Always Learning.