Very often, a few small words of Scripture leap off the page. My pastor, John Meador, was preaching a series on the family from Ephesians 6. It was super! I added to it from a mother’s perspective.
Ephesians 6:4 (AMP)
Fathers (or Mothers), do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
(Read that again. Don’t miss the message of this verse.)
Three small words – bring them up.
It really hit me. Our mom job is to bring them up to maturity. I define maturity as the character of Christ. We pour into our children with all our energy. Physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. Even when we don’t have anything left to give, ladies, keep pushing and pursuing and praying. What you are doing will make a difference 10 years from now, 20 years from, or even tomorrow.
1. It is a relationship journey
• A journey with Christ and them. Together – mom, dad, children, and Jesus. One team.
• They are your first disciples.
• Rules without relationship leads to rebellion. (I will circle back to this in future)
2. You need the right fuel for the journey.
• The fuel is the Word of God.
• Matthew 4:4 – Remember Jesus’ words: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
3. The road ahead.
• Here’s an idea. I heard of a father who had a separate Bible for each child. As his children matured, he would pray certain scripture for each child, highlight it, make a journal note; and then at age 18, he gave the Bible as a special gift. Can you imagine the treasured gift that would be to a young adult? What love!
Next week – advice on bringing children up at different ages and stages; starting with ages 0 to 5.