Motherhood is undoubtedly the single most important role you will ever have in your life! It’s a wonderful privilege to be blessed with a child – or two – or three – or four … When you have school-aged children, it can feel like it will be an eternity before they grow up and become independent. In truth, this time passes all too quickly – as any parent with adult kids will tell you!
Being a mother doesn’t come with a manual, so the foundational years are crucial as they represent the window to instill fundamental life lessons in your little ones – like knowing right from wrong, using manners, showing respect for elders and kindness to others, sharing, expressing empathy, learning forgiveness, and much more. As Christian moms, we have the added responsibility to build on these truths – and instill spiritual values, beliefs, and character traits into our children – according to God’s holy word.
Raising children from infancy through school years to maturity will be challenging! Through the formative years, there challenges that you could not foresee! Decisions that you will make that are wrong! Paths that you choose that may have long-term ramifications. But, guess what… IT’s OK!!
Because God chose you to be a mother, He will give you what it takes to step into your purpose. Sometimes it comes naturally – to say, “maternal” type moms, but other times, there is a learning curve to get there. Again, IT’s OK!
You Are Never Alone
The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone on the motherhood journey!
God is just a spoken word away. He hears, sees, and responds to you immediately! And, his Holy Word provides plenty of instructions for being a parent and raising children. The Bible also contains many real-life examples of families and family dynamics. Some are models of perfection, some are “broken” ad dysfunctional, and some even have unexpected endings. This is encouraging news is that we, like everyone in the Bible sometimes must "go through" storms in life - and those storms may come with ups and downs, celebrations and challenges, fears and doubts, and many other twists and turns on our motherhood journeys.
Rest assured that God can and will provide you with sufficient grace, patience and wisdom to shepherd the children he has trusted with you. Whatever your situation, we trust God’s power will support you in your endeavors to raise up godly men and women who love Him with all their heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27).
As a Christian parent it is a privilege to nurture your child’s faith
There is no greater joy than leading your child to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Research has confirmed the goodness of God’s design for families. It requires taking an active role in teaching them, guiding them, praying with and over them, and living an exemplary life that is pleasing to God.
Here are some suggestions for how you may invest in your child’s spiritual development while they are young.
- Pray with your child – it’s a joy to praise God and watch how he responds to requests.
- Play worship music, especially songs with Scriptural lyrics.
- Enjoy mealtimes as a family and discuss moral, ethical, and familial values.
- Read the Bible together and books on biblical characters and faith heroes.
- Attend church and worship together as a family.
- Watch Christian movies appropriate for your age group.
Remember, as the adage goes, families that eat, pray, and play together are stronger.
Develop godly character and grow in the Christian faith
Christianity is more about having a relationship with the real God than it is about following laws. Continue to do everything you can to strengthen your child’s faith, such as studying the Bible together, praying together, going to church, and talking about difficult topics.
In elementary and middle school years, it’s a good idea to broaden your child’s circle of Christian friends and mentors as they become older, so they understand that Christianity extends beyond their family. Youth pastors and Christian families can serve as excellent role models.
Consider life after school and life goals
As your child enters high school, he or she will begin to consider the future. You can lead them by:
- encouraging them to explore choices rather than forcing them to make decisions
- encouraging them to consider their abilities, talents, and passions
- praying and seeking God’s guidance for their future
- obtaining advice from your school’s career guidance adviser in order to assist them in obtaining job experience and/or part-time employment.
Christian habits to follow
Start talking to your children about accepting responsibility for their own Christian faith if you haven’t before. It’s time for you to take a step back and let God work in their lives.
You can also encourage them to develop Christian habits such as:
- creatively developing their gifts
- using their interests to serve, such as playing music at church
- personal devotions/daily Bible study
- prayer and giving.
The school years are an important time of your child’s life, but they aren’t the end of Christian parenting. Your life experience, wisdom, prayer, and guidance will continue to assist your child into adulthood.
Remember that you are not alone when things become tough, as they will at some point. There are those who would love to help you or your child with your physical, emotional, or spiritual wellbeing.
Your pastor, youth leader, and your child’s teachers are all willing and able to assist you with specific difficulties.
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