Please visit Part One of Loving Our Children here.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate
When we think about our children do these words come to mind – gift, fruit, rewards, blessings, arrows. Or do we think, burden, sacrifice, work, responsibility, obligation, expense?
How we think about our children will sooner or later determine what we say and what we do. If we think of them as work and sacrifice – we will convey that in our speech and actions.
God supplies all we need for our children. Children are work and sacrifice to be sure – but if we think of them as a reward, gift, and a blessing it will make the work and sacrifice a joyful experience rather than a burden.
Jesus, our husband, and our children – there should be no one we prize more than them. It should be evident in our speech, attitude, and behavior. Do our children feel prized by us? Do I regularly communicate to my children how important and special they are to me. When I speak of them to others do I do so in a respectful and loving way? Or do they hear me at times enumerate their faults to other people when I’m speaking about them.
When they approach me do they get my full attention and interest or do they feel like an interruption. Do I make spending time with them a regular priority in my life?
Do I cherish them – cherish means – to hold dear, care for tenderly, nurture.
Faithful intercession – who else can pray for them more intelligently and with more compassion? And how meaningful to our children to know they have a praying mother.
Sympathetic and understanding – to comfort them, calm their fears, understand them when they are hurting, encourage them when they are discouraged. No one can replace the tender sympathetic love of a mother. I have to watch myself here because mercy is not my strength and I don’t like to feel like I am “babying” them so I need to pray and show mercy where it is needed with my children.
Be an attentive listener – Do I give them my full attention? Do I respond graciously and maintain interest when I’d rather be doing something else or even when I know what they are going to say before they say it. I need to show true interest in their thoughts, fears, dreams etc. This is an area for me that I am continuing to work on and grow in even though my children are older.
Enthusiastic encouragement – We need to be consistently encouraging them with evidences of grace that we observe in their lives. Encouragement has such a powerful effect it motivates them to grow still more.
Physical affection and verbal expressions of love. Frequent hugs, appropriate touching and verbal communication of our love for one another should be happening all the time in our homes. We kiss each other and say I love you before we go to bed and before we leave to go anywhere. There should be a warmth and tenderness in our homes with our families that radiates to others.
We need to enjoy them. Are we thoroughly enjoying our children right now? Or are we looking forward to when they are older or will outgrow this present phase? Do we take pleasure in our children’s in their unique strengths? Do we delight in motherhood?
Every stage of motherhood has its joys and its difficulties. Let’s not be so aware of the sacrifices, so concerned with all the difficulties that we miss the joys. Stop and consider all the joys that this present season holds and take full pleasure. Take the time to enjoy them right now at this season of their lives.
Children can bring heartache and grief if not properly trained in godliness.
Our children being a joy and delight is not just a given, it requires faithfulness to train them up in the ways of the Lord
This truth brings such a peace and rest to my heart. There is no need to worry and strive to produce fruit in the lives of my children that only the Holy Spirit can produce in them.
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
1 Corinthians 3:7
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.Psalm 127:1
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.Psalm 90:12
“We are wise mothers if we live with the brevity of life and purposeful to be faithful to cultivate that tender affectionate love for our children. Now for this season of our lives because we only have them for a very short while and then they’ll be gone. And when they’re gone we want to have minimal regrets. We only get one go at this moms – we only get one chance to do it right. We don’t get an undo and redo button with our children. We are only given one opportunity to do this right. That can be pretty scary if it wasn’t for the grace of God in our lives. It’s an awesome responsibility to be a mother.”~Carolyn Mahaney~
“What is the ultimate purpose of a “phileo” kind of love? It is nothing less than the salvation of our children’s souls. This is the chief end of mothering. Our goal is not that our children be happy, fulfilled, and successful. Granted we may desire these things for them. But our highest objective should be that our children would repent from their sins, put their trust in Jesus Christ, and reflect the gospel to the world around them.” – ~Carolyn Mahaney~
“This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, “How will this affect their souls?”~J. C. Ryle~
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.2 Corinthians 12:9
yes, only the Holy Spirit can change anyone. Not just our children.