Editor’s Note: This is a piece I wrote in 2013. It’s a favorite of mine and was written for publication in a monthly faith column I wrote for our local newspaper during my early years of motherhood. I thought you may enjoy it, too.
“On Sundays we would talk about the gospel. If they didn’t listen, they would the next week as they knew they would be questioned.” – Rose Kennedy
“If people asked me if I would rather be the President or the mother of the President, I would always choose to be the mother of the President.” -Rose Kennedy
“She thought there was great power in motherhood and she took it seriously.” -Maria Shriver
“When you hold your baby in your arms the first time and you think of all the things you can say and do to influence him, it’s a tremendous responsibility. What you do with him and for him can influence not only him, but everyone he meets, not for a day or a month or a year, but for time and for eternity.” -Rose Kennedy
Do you have a vision for your children? As mothers, we have the power in our hands to shape the next generation for eternity and we shouldn’t take that responsibility lightly.
Woman, how divine your mission,
Here upon our natal sod;
Keep—oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled,
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.
Rose Kennedy wasn’t perfect and neither were her children, but she had a vision for them birthed from the words of the gospel. She trained her children up to use their gifts and talents to live beyond themselves and beyond their lifespans.
I am not perfect and neither are my children, but by His grace He has given me vision for each one of them, even from the womb, that I am to lead them to be His image bearers reflecting His character and training their feet to take the gospel with them everywhere they go reproducing more image bearers in His Name.
A vision for your children beyond your self, beyond your life, changes everything. As mothers we aren’t promised tomorrow. I will be 33 in January and so far have lost not one but four young mother friends to cancer. Having a vision for our children must urgently start today.
We must focus our time and attention, not on the material things of this world, but the spiritual, moral and character building principles that make great men and women of the faith. Living with vision changes our decisions, our commitments, our lifestyles. It empowers us to do things we never thought we could do or would do. It causes us not to care what people think, because we are working as unto the Lord.
Raising our children with a vision cannot and must not be done alone. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide, God’s word to be your inspiration, and His sacrificial love to be your motivation. Whatever He calls you to do as a mother, He has equipped you for.
I don’t want to raise good children, but godly ones. I don’t want to live in fear, expecting them to fail, but in faith, empowering them with God’s truth to live this life with victory. I desire for them to keep a short account of wrongs with God and man, always listening to His voice, being led by His Spirit, in a state of repentance and sanctification. I want the fruit of self-control to be evident in their lives through their actions and their choices. This can only be accomplished through prayer.
The prayers prayed by a redeemed mother are the prayers that change the world.
Psalm 37:5 says, Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
God will always exceed your expectations if you will trust and obey Him. My 27 month old daughter can now recite the Old Testament books of the Bible when her 32 year old mama didn’t even know them a month ago.
Hebrews 12:21 – I know that the generations of faith who have gone on before me are cheering me on from the grandstands of heaven. For their faith was passed on to me through the babies they trained up in the way they should go.
I know they each had hard days when they had just enough light for the road they were on and only faith in God to carry them and their children through, but with perspective I see their lives mattered, for my eternity and the eternity of my children and Lord willing, their children’s children.
If you don’t have a vision for your children, I encourage you to begin praying about it. God will lead you step by step.
God can do
anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or
request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but
by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
Ephesians 3:20-21 (The Message)