“The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise cild shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.” (Proverbs 23:24-25)
We just recently bought a house which sat empty for about 5 years. Now there are whole trees growing up amongst some beautiful bushes, the hedge by the fence is about 25 feet tall (complete with a volunteer dogwood tree!) and there are tangles of vines all through the fence. It’s a big job, but with a lot of time and “sweat equity,” we’ll be able to bring it back to something nice again. And when we do, we’ll be able to sit on the back porch, sipping sweet tea, and relaxing in the shade! I am definitely looking forward to that! How relaxing that sounds!
Just as having a nice garden or yard brings a special kind of joy, so does raising a wise, righteous child. By God’s grace, my son and his wife (and my grandbaby) attend the church where my husband preaches. There’s something unspeakably wonderful about being able to bounce a grandchild on my knee at the House of God.
I’m here to tell you that it IS possible to be a joyful mom, and to have children who will grow into adulthood and bring you joy.
We have all the tools necessary to prune and train our little ones: the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and prayer. These are daily available – all we need to do is use them.
Imagine what it would have been like for me to get this overgrown property, open up the garage door, and find a lawn mower, weed eater, pruner, trimmers, fertilizer, weed-and-feed and all the other yard and garden tools already there! How wonderful that would have been! But for us as Christian parents, that is the supply line we have: EVERYTHING – we – need!!
We have the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and prayer, and if we need wisdom on how to use those tools, He tells us all we need to do is ask. “If any of you lack wisdom, let Him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)
Unfortunately, nowadays people don’t look to the Word of God for answers…if they have a question, they Google it! That’s like sitting at home and complaining that the yard is getting overgrown, and then running to Walmart and buying a pair of scissors to cut the lawn with, when you have a John Deere riding lawnmower in the garage! The Word of God is quick and powerful….and it’s right in your own home!
When we follow popular theories of child training, rather than the proven principles of the Word of God, we spend all our time cutting weeds – the root issue never gets resolved. I could be spending hours on my hands and knees snipping my overgrown lawn, running from weed to weed, and never get the lawn done properly. But the person who uses the proper tools, the John Deere and the weed-and-feed, will be finished with her lawn long before!
Here are a few other suggestions to help us as we strive to train our children for the Lord:
Use other tools as well: good books and movies, with stories of courage and integrity.
Early and definitely dedicate your children to God
Learn from those around you, especially those with older children. Dave Ramsey says that if you want to be rich, do rich people things. In other words, if you follow the same process, you will meet with the same result. So we can learn from others, especially those who have godly older children, and do what they did. If you see children going astray, observe. Or even gently probe to discover what happened.
Give your children the benefit of a wise and godly home atmosphere
Teach and train your children in how they should act, respond and live
Most importantly, personally practice everything that you are trying to teach your children! Your own godly life will have a greater impact than any other single item or activity.
It seems like it will never happen, but someday it will. God has given you everything you need, and you will be bouncing your own grandchild on your knee as you worship the Lord in His House.
It’s even better than sitting on your deck and sipping sweet tea!
Your turn to share:
What do you think is important to raising godly young people? What have you learned in your parenting from observing other people? How about through your own experience? Let us know, so that we may all be encouraged!
To Love Honor and Vacuum