While in the midst of my mothering, God’s call has been loud over my life to spur you onward. This has always felt risky to me, I’ve wondered quietly to God, “Lord, I have the end goal in mind, but I am merely walking by faith that it will be made sight.”
Again and again He points me back to scripture that parenting fads come and go but His Word stands forever and His ways are worthy to be trusted.
While my babies were “tender shoots” taking bottles and laying in baby beds, The Lord had me penning advice, sharing proverbs and wisdom from the Bible.
Honestly some days I have been like “Lord, really? Me? I’m still in the middle of my “farming” season, I don’t even know if my “crop” is going to yield much fruit.”
I live in a small town, so the glass house feeling is real. We love each other well but to a fault we talk about each other, too. Yet I have had to learn that my faith in Jesus is what defines me and being more fearful of what people say about me or my kids than what God has said is sin. I have to be obedient to share the Word, first at home then elsewhere, and He is faithful to do the work.
His Word promises never to return void and I have been blessed to have been given much of His Word.
“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” Luke 12:47-48
Cultivating Family: The Long Game
It’s 2049 and I look around my dining room and see blessings multiplied, children who grew up to walk with the Lord and disciple their children to do the same. The thought of that inspires me on the harder days to keep leaning into Jesus and pointing my kids to Him.
(The even longer game will be to see the faces of my children’s children’s children at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. That’s the ultimate goal).
“And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.
By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” Genesis 3:17-19
The way I see it we might as well grow something beautiful while we’re here and leave some seeds to bloom once we’re gone.
What environment will my kids be able to spiritually grow?
Start praying for wisdom before they are born. Commit to home discipleship. Get involved in a strong Bible believing church. Look for a town with a school with a Biblical Worldview or research homeschooling curriculum. Ask God to provide.
What age appropriate resources will you choose to point your children to the Lord?
The first night you are with your baby can be overwhelming. I remember us praying over our children in the hospital that God would give us the wisdom to raise them for His glory.
When you get them home sing hymns to them, read the Bible outloud to them, pray over them, and when they are old enough to sit in your lap, read from a Bible picture book.
As they grow you’ll introduce them to Sunday school, the plan of salvation, discipleship, scripture memory, and service.
Motherhood is challenging. When we stumble how will we trust the Lord to help us up? We are all sinners, we will make mistakes, they will make mistakes (remember the promise of thorns in the soil and sweat on our brow). Yet through each stage as He’s drawing us to Himself in our missteps, we are pointing them from their sin to the cross of Christ.
“The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall. The Lord holds them by the hand.” Psalm 37:23-24
What seeds will we plant in the lives of our children according to their bents?
Study your kids. Plant seeds of the gospel in their hearts and also encourage them towards their gifts. Model how to be faithful with the talents we’ve been given and how to share the gospel with others.
Keep a prayer journal when you plant a seed. Mark it down and see how the child grows through prayer and your instruction. Remember the mustard seed, so small, yet its exponential growth is a visual of our faith when we just believe.
Everyday share the water of the word. Don’t drown them or expect them to understand too much at once, but a little bit every day helps grow strong roots. The world is loud, but with faith the Word hidden in their hearts will be louder.
Deal with Pests
You’ll have pests from the outside world and from the inside, too, but how you handle the more irritating issues in the garden of life will help build resilient and confident kids in their faith.
Jesus tells us the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for things chokes out fruitfulness (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control). Don’t imitate the way of life of the world, it doesn’t honor God and it chokes out His work in our lives.
Sickness and sadness will arise, nurture them through it all and be His hands and feet. Love them with all that you’ve got in your heart and ask God to give you even more love to pass along to them.
This is the satisfying part, raising fruitful kids who in turn raise fruitful kids. Enjoy the bountiful blessings around your crowded table. “[You] will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table.” Psalm 128:3
From one disciple come many! Disciples make disciples who make disciples. Just as a cutting from one plant that you’ve nurtured can be a blessing shared with others so can our children bless their spheres of influence by sharing what Jesus has done for them.
What a crazy beautiful life the Christian life is and what a blessing that God chose us to be moms!
Look up and press on!