This guest post is by my friend Suzanne Karkada. A software engineer by profession she recently got married and resigned from her job in order to devote her full time towards her family. Suzanne loves singing and her deepest desire is to use her voice for God’s glory. She also has a powerful calling to minister to children and young mothers. You can follow her on Twitter here
The Bible says in Luke 15:7 that there is rejoicing in heaven over one lost soul who returns to Christ. As a mother, you are already entrusted with that one soul (more than one to others) and that is your very own child! In this post I want to share with you (this applies to fathers as well) four ways in which you can equip yourselves to bring up your children in a godly way:
1. Don’t neglect your preparation
Samson’s mother is a fine example of how a mother needs to prepare for her child. The angel of the Lord appeared to her and told her that she would give birth to a son who was to be a Nazarite (set apart for God) from the womb (Judges 13:5). As a Nazarite, he had to strictly follow the rules of the Jewish law. But interestingly as a mother she had to take equal efforts in abiding by the rules (Judges 13:4, 13), which she did.
Listen dear sister, you may not have an angel coming to tell you that your child is to be set apart for God’s service, rather it should be your desire that your children may be used for God’s glory. And for that, as a mother you need to set an example before your child!
Pray, intercede and fill yourself with God’s Word daily. Even for those who are pregnant, remember the child inside you breathes what you breathe and feeds on whatever you feed both physically and spiritually. So make sure your child gets the right food!
2. Satan doesn’t wait, then why must you?
You noticed how Satan does not wait till your child is older or of age to start tempting him to do the wrong things? Then why should you wait till our child gets older to teach God’s Word?
The earlier we start inculcating Godly habits into them, the better. Just as we teach our children to brush their teeth which is an essential part of our daily living, reading the Word, praying, praising, thanksgiving must also become a part of their daily routine.
I suggest read the Bible to them daily or as often as you can right from day one (& not just Psalm 23). Your child might not understand a single word of it, but by doing so you are imparting life into him.
3. Do the right things yourself
Children learn or pick up things very fast. But although they are in the learning stage, they are not in a position to tell the right from the wrong. And the best way to teach them do the right things is not by yelling at them or beating them, but by doing the right things yourself.
Remember children see, children do. See this powerful video below:
If your children see you shouting, fighting or arguing, they will soon grow with these habits. But if they see you loving, patient and self-controlled, they will also adopt these qualities. We cannot teach our children something that we are not and we cannot instill into them the things that we ourselves do not practice.
A clay pot, while moulding needs the right amount of pressure and water to turn into a beautiful and useful pot. If either of the two factors goes amiss, the pot does not come to a proper shape. Isn’t it better to do it right from the start than to reach halfway and realise that it does not have the desired shape and then break it to start all over again. And so is the case with our children- they need to be given the right training from day one.
4. Let them live in the fear of the known God
It’s a common practice especially in a country like India — we usually scare our children by making up some imaginary evil character that will come and harm them if they don’t obey. This may give you a temporary relief, but I feel it is not a right thing to do. Rather than fearing the unknown evil character, we should teach our children to fear the one true, living and Almighty God. Proverbs 1:7 says: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
We should teach our children to talk to God as they would to a friend. And when they mess up, they shouldn’t be scared of the unknown evil character that you made up, but rather they should be able to look to their God who loves and forgives.
Parents, what has God taught you in raising up your children? Anything you want to add?