(...and other Moms like me) ~
When all is said and done and you pack up your child’s belongings to fly from your nest, it won’t matter much what you’ve taught them, how you’ve made them feel or the sweet relationship you’ve shared, if they do not leave with the tools they need to be passionate, devoted followers of Christ. Period. End of story.
But know this~ You can not give away that which you do not possess. Sounds obvious, but as mothers we often hope and dream that our children will experience life (yes, even life in Christ) in a deeper and more meaningful way than even we have been able to attain. If that is true for your children, and they come to know God in a far deeper and more meaningful way than you have, it will only be so through the mercy and grace of God. But He will have to use someone else apart from you, as their mother, through which to accomplish it. As a woman of God, that thought should drive you to a deeper commitment to BE the person you dream your children can become!
Jesus said in John 15- “I am the vine, you are the branches… apart from Me you can do nothing!” Do you want to be a godly mother? Then you will do so only as you are attached to Christ and are being fed and nourished through Him!
It’s high time for today’s mothers to take a deep look inside and ask the hard questions the world and often even our churches are no longer inclined to ask…
Do you have a deep love and passion to spend time daily in God’s Word? Are you submitted to it, no matter the cost? Do you honor your husband and submit to him as the leader of your home? Do you model a love for the lost around the world? Are you willing to live sacrificially so that they might hear the Good News? Do you care about the plight of the fatherless and the widow? How do you live your life in a way that makes a difference for them?
The answers to these questions are crucial because you cannot pass on a deep love for God’s Word, unless you have made it your most prized possession and are willing to apply the truth it contains no matter what! ~ You cannot expect your daughters to honor and submit to the men God has placed in their lives, unless they have seen it modeled in you! ~ You can’t cultivate a kingdom mentality in your children and pass on a great love for the lost, unless your heart beats to see that Kingdom come in the world around you and across the globe! ~ You can’t expect unselfish thinking and sacrificial giving from children who have not witnessed it in you! ~ Are you the exception to God’s ways when the going gets tough? Then your children will likely grow up to believe that they are an exception too!
That means that to be the kind of mother you long to be, it must start and end with your personal devotion and love relationship with the Lord. It has been said that “You mother as well as you know your Father”. There is only ONE way to know your Father, and it is through the reading of His Word!
You will not come to know Him in a personal way through listening to the stories of others or reading their paraphrase of all He has said. The latest devotional book may well hold your attention, but you will only come to know your Lord from a distance or in a second-hand kind of way through them. Why do you want to have someone accompany you in your walk with the Lord, when He invites you to come and get to know Him one-on-one? He’ll give you a personal tour around His Word, if you’ll let Him! You will not come to know Him personally through listening to Christian music or reading a book on theology either! Nor will you come to know Him in a deep and personal way through listening to a thousand sermons or even attending a thousand church services. You will ONLY know Him through reading His Word and allowing the Spirit of God to teach you and change you through it.
The Bible testifies of itself… “The Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” With such power in it's written Word... it would be safe to say that the Bible is all you need to know your Lord and Savior in a personal, life-changing way! Wouldn't you agree?
If it is true that "You will mother only as well as you know your Father", than your primary goal as a leader to your children is to show them how to know your Lord and then to follow Him. You are not called to stand back and point the way. You are called, instead, to walk the road ahead of them and show them the way to a deep, abiding relationship with Christ, so that if they follow in your footsteps, they will find themselves at the foot of the Cross.
It is so easy to get swept up in the priorities our world holds dear. Our lives begin to resemble our neighbors and friends more than they resemble our Lord. If you want to lead your children into godliness, you must be led by God yourself! Your children will follow you… the question remains… where will you lead them?
If you accomplish nothing else apart from modeling your love for the Lord and His Word, you will have been a stunning success as a mother in the eyes of Christ and His sweet words will welcome you home… “Well done, good and faithful servant”! There could be no sweeter words to a mother’s ears…
So take a deep look inside, Lori! How are you investing your time as a mother? In getting your kids the best education possible? In driving them to and from dance class twice a week? Taking them to church and teaching them Bible stories? In creating a fun and happy environment at home, with all the gadgets and toys a child could want? In taking them on wonderful vacations and showing them the world? Or are you investing everything you have in knowing your God in a deep and abiding relationship, so that you are filled to overflowing with everything they need to know Him too?
Your opportunity to know God and model it for your children is short. Your moments and days in the midst of these years seem long and the temptation is great to think that you will somehow get to it tomorrow.... There is still time to be the godly example God calls you to be. But if the future is anything like the past, "tomorrow" will never come and the opportunity you have been given will have been squandered on so much that didn't matter after all... You have a choice to make and it is never too late to begin now!!!
You would do well, Lori, to remind yourself often, even daily, that you will not be judged as a mother based upon the “outcome” and choices of your child. You are called to love your children, lead them in godliness, mentor them in the things of the Lord, and pray that God would do a miraculous work in their hearts that you, as a mother, are not capable of doing. Do not succumb to the temptation to look at the mothers of godly children and assume that they have done it all right, while you have failed somehow. You are called to be a faithful servant to the Lord Jesus in mothering the children He has entrusted to your care. You are not, and will never be, held responsible for the choices only they can make for their lives. In the same way, you must guard your heart from believing that the child you are raising who is making good and faithful decisions, is doing so because of you! Pride will certainly take over your heart and you will begin to see yourself as far above being a servant of the Lord and somehow capable of producing that which is impossible apart from His immeasurable grace and mercy.
You must leave the outcome of your service in the hands of God. He alone is able to change the human heart and redeem your children’s broken lives. You are His servant. He is Lord… Have you already forgotten? Your children belong to HIM!