If you divided up mothering into all of its individual tasks, you’d get quite a lot of pieces. There’s disciplining, training, nurturing, diffusing tantrums, wiping, consoling, teaching, and did I mention disciplining?! There’s also the daily tasks of managing a household thrown into the mix, which includes cleaning, laundering, cooking, budgeting, etc.
In this busy season, we often focus on what is grabbing our attention right now. We try to keep all the balls in the air, and honestly it becomes overwhelming at times. But at the end of the day, the one thing that truly matters is whether our children felt loved.
And not just emotionally connected, but loved like Jesus loves.
We can be the hands and feet of Christ to our own kiddos. One of the best ways to lead them to the Savior is to imitate His example! Wouldn’t it be awesome if they were able to look back and know they experienced Jesus right in their homes, because they saw Him in us?
Spend time with each child individually
Jesus repeatedly spoke with His disciples and followers in one-on-one settings. He knew the importance of relationships, relating to each person as a unique individual with strengths and weaknesses.
As busy as we are, we should make it a priority to spend quality time with each of our kids every week. Whether that’s going out for ice cream, reading a favorite book together, or simply talking to them separately from their siblings, they need to know how special we think they are!
Welcome their interruptions
I homeschool and work from home, which means I get interrupted often. While I do the laundry, my son needs help with his writing assignment. While I prepare dinner, my daughter asks for help with her math problems. I’d love to have a good 30 minutes to write today, but my children need help navigating a disagreement (and some character training).
I have to remind myself that their interruptions aren’t a distraction from my most important work; rather, they are my work. Jesus did not begrudge anyone who was brought to Him, least of all children. In Luke 18:15-17, he was interrupted in the middle of an important teaching by mothers wanting Him to bless their little ones:
When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
He stopped what He was doing and welcomed them, using their very interruption as a teaching moment. Of course, we shouldn’t spoil our kids by constantly dropping everything to be at their beck and call. But we shouldn’t act like our schedules are more important than they are, either.
Teach them from Scripture
Jesus taught His disciples about God from the scriptures, which at that time were the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets. On the road to Emmaus after His resurrection, He told them that His death and resurrection were prophesied about in the Old Testament.
It’s so important to teach your children what God’s Word says. Studies show that kids leave the church, in large part, because they aren’t biblically literate. Children (and adults) are so much more susceptible to false doctrine when they don’t know what the Bible actually says. Jesus knew that Scripture is a powerful tool in combatting the enemy’s lies (Matthew 4:1-11).
You’re equipping your kids to resist the devil’s temptations when they know “it is written”. Don’t leave that kind of teaching solely up to the church!
Disciple them daily
Discipleship is a daily walking beside your children in close relationship, listening to their concerns and leading them to Scripture when they experience doubt, disappointment, or struggles. It’s helping them build character and correct behavior through the application of certain verses.
This 24-7 discipleship is what Jesus modeled with His close followers. Our children are our disciples, and Deuteronomy 6:5-9 tells us to teach God’s commands to them at every possible moment- at home, when we are traveling, while we’re getting ready in the morning, and while we’re preparing to wind down at night.
Your kids will sin against you through their disobedience. They will speak disrespectfully. All for the simple reason that they’re sinners in need of a Savior, just as much as you.
But Jesus forgave you. And He forgives them, too. He calls us to forgive as we have been forgiven and to teach our children to do the same.
Pray over their lives
The Lord prayed for His disciples and future church often, by asking God to fill them with joy and to be united. He prayed they would love one another and for their protection. He even asked the Father to forgive evil doers.
One of the best ways we can be a loving parent is to pray for our kids. When our words and actions fail to reach their hearts, our prayers can petition the Spirit to move in them. We need to get in the fight for their hearts and minds! As their mom, you can stand between your kids and the adversary of their souls by praying God’s protection over them.
Speak gently and patiently
Jesus had a way of speaking to people who knew they had messed up. He spoke with them on a heart level, without condemnation or even disapproval in His voice.
How many times do I let frustration seep out into my tone and become condescending towards my children? How often do I burden them with my own realistic expectations because I want them to do things just my way?
Speaking to them respectfully also involves telling them the truth about their sin in love. Our words should reflect kindness, and in the process, our kids will learn how to treat others.
Christ personified servanthood and humility. He healed sick people, taught the crowds even though He was hungry and tired, and washed the disciples’ dirty, dusty feet.
Mothering involves a lot of sacrifice. Do we serve our kids joyfully, or with the attitude that “this is just what we have to do”? A lot of times, being a mom means laying down your wants and needs for the good of your children.
I’ll admit I’m not exactly fond of the whole dying to self part that parenting often requires of me. But Jesus taught and then demonstrated this very laying down of life. Pouring out your life for your family is never a waste! Like the woman with the alabaster jar, your sacrifice is precious to Jesus. And not one drop is ever in vain.