We moms live with a sense of fear that we’re doing this parenting thing all wrong.
Fear lurks in the corners of our minds, begging for habit changes, stricter discipline, and revamped schedules.
But we forget that God ultimately controls our lives and the lives of our children. He fashioned them in our wombs and they are no accident.
And the fact that we’re their moms is no accident either.
If you’re feeling discouraged about your parenting skills, take heart! The Bible gives practical advice on how to love your children. Here are 5 Ways we can love our children better.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking Christ’s teachings on humility only apply to our relationship with adults and not children.
Remember when Jesus reprimanded the disciples as child-laden parents pressed in around Him? (He must have been very good with kids, by the way.) Christ ministered to ALL the world, not just the adults of the world.
There’s a fine line between showing authority and lording pride over our children because of our rank as adults. The next four tips explain how to practice humility toward our kids.
Even though the P31 woman holds an incredibly high standard, we can learn from her! If kindness is a fruit of the spirit, then we must practice kindness with our children. Tone of voice, lack of patience, and yelling have no place in the realm of kindness.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
As mothers, we must learn to practice a gracious attitude. Which leads into the next point – flexibility.
Laundry piles, crumby counters, and cluttered toy rooms all beg our attention. And after all, the Bible says we are to be keepers at home!
And so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:4-5
But we are to love our children, and our children are our ministry. They are the living beings we are to have rule over (Genesis 1:26) . They are the result of God’s command to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28).
God has a way of allowing them to interrupt our schedules that is sometimes hard to accept when we know our time is already limited!
Practice wisdom, ask for God’s wisdom for what to do and what to let go each day. Plan your schedule with flexibility, and remember – they won’t always be little!
Whatever our kids love, we need to show interest and develop playfulness, fostering connection. Incorporate a sense of humor. Sit with your toddler and be crazy for a few minutes. Google knock-knock jokes and one-up your resident (corny) comedian. Slide into the basement with an air-guitar move and surprise your teenager.
Psalm 127:3-5 says we should rejoice over our children.
Let your kids know you’re human! A child’s play is their work. And sometimes, it needs to be our work too.
Don’t miss this foundational level. You won’t magically bond when your child reaches adulthood if you don’t build relationships now.
On the other end of the spectrum, we must keep some semblance of consistency in behavior.
Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24
Pray over discipline. Formulate a plan for when child X does Y = Z. Some children are more challenging that others (requiring extra brain cells). Just remember, God gave YOU that child for a reason. He will give you wisdom if you ask!
Read parenting books. Seek older, wiser moms. Follow mom mentor bloggers (ahem). Scripture tells us God gives wisdom when we seek Him.
Keep walking by faith. Meet with Christ daily. Practice a humble, servant attitude (ouch, I know). Speak words of kindness. Allow them to disrupt your schedule once in a while (remember, they ARE your schedule), learn to loosen up and gain a sense of humor. And don’t forget discipline – the Lord doesn’t forget to discipline those He loves (Hebrews 12:6)!
Dear mom, stop fretting and calm your heart with God’s wisdom. He gives perfect peace and insight one step at a time! He will guide and bless your efforts as you continue to commit your ways to Him.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Ruthie Gray is a wife, mom of four, Gigi, and caregiver, living in the sandwich generation and blogging to keep her sanity. When she’s not snacking on plastic drumsticks with her grandson (The Tiny Tornado), or snuggling his sister (Baby Cakes), you can find her coaching other moms on how to capture joy while raising kids at her blog, RearReleaseRegroup.com . Ruthie is also the author of Count to Nine; 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger. You can connect with Ruthie on Facebook.