Titus 2 “Older women … train the young women to love their … children”
Tuesday July 31 we held our first “Women to Women” Discussion for women at ReCAST Church! Pam S, Sharron S, and Julie P. sat on a panel to discuss some more awkward parts of raising kids! Issues like talking with them about sex, body image, eating disorders, dating, and self-esteem were discussed. It was a beautiful evening of older women sharing their experiences with younger women and the younger women seeking advice from women who’ve already been there. The evening ended with Julie reading a ‘letter’ she’d written to younger moms that you can read and be encouraged in your role as a mom!
“Fight for Your Kids”
by Julie Perrine
I was asked if would be on a panel to address some of issues that all moms have all had to go through with their kids. I wanted to give a little pre-emptive encouragement to moms who will go through tough times. I feel that when I remember going to, listening to, or reading about the topic of parenting, the person speaking seemed to have all the answers figured out. Their parenting was perfect, they were perfect, their Kids. Were. Perfect. In today’s world they would be, the “Pintrest perfect” family. To those of you that may find your self in a very un-perfect family dynamic, take heart, you are not alone and please take these few words as encouragement to never give up.
A commercial for the peace corp stating that “this is the toughtest job you will every love” clearly had never been a mother! Looking back at my life, I think I assumed that one “evolved” through life and that it was a peaceful, “right of passage” type of maturity. You were born, you were a young child, teenager, college age, young married, wife, mom. However, as I have had the privilege and opportunity to make these transitions I have discovered that it is not THAT easy. Being a mom, being a good mom is hard work.
You know why there are soooooo many parenting books available at Barnes N Noble? Because no one really has any guarantee that what they are saying will work for every single child. There is no small print that says “if your child did not turn out to be a loving, law abiding, God fearing individual that I will give you your money back”. There are many good Christian and non-Christian authors that have sound principles and guidelines in how to raise small humans and I do not want to minimize what people, who are much smarter than I, have written. However, as mom’s of the 21st century we are not just “raising children”, we are raising extensions of the body of Christ. This is no longer the era of Leave it to Beaver, for we are in a battle for our kids. Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This. Is Real.
I grew up playing sports and so analogies using the sport themes have come naturally and they make sense to me. So, perk your ears up, hear that? The Rocky theme song, The Eye of the Tiger, is playing in the back ground.
You are Rocky.
You have on your silk shorts and shirt, mouth guard is in, boxing gloves tied and taped, your silk robe has “MOM” in big letters across the back. You are getting ready to get into the “ring” so to speak against these dark forces for our children so when the Lord comes back, we can raise our hands over our head in victory. We may be sweaty, bruised and beaten but we can NOT give up. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 from the MSG says “Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.”
C’mon now, you CAN do this! If you believe God is a sovereign God, which I do, then you can rest assured that you have the exact children that He wanted you to have. I have felt overwhelmed with issues of my children and thought, “Oh, if they only had so and so for a mom, she would know what to do”. This is wrong thinking. God gave you these exact little people because YOU were the best mom for the job! Embrace this. This will make you grow as a Christian and will make your children see our strengths and our weaknesses.
I love the very last part of this verse, it says “inscribe them on the doorposts of your home and on your city gates”. Looking this up in commentary it says…..God appointed them (the Jews) to write sentences of the law upon their walls, and in scrolls of parchment to be worn about their wrists. This seems to have been binding in the letter of it to the Jews, as it is to us in the intent of it; that we should by all means make the word of God familiar to us; that we may have it ready to use upon all occasions, to restrain us from sin, and direct us in duty. We must never be ashamed to own our religion, nor to own ourselves under its check and government. Here is a caution not to forget God in a day of prosperity and plenty.
I’m not just encouraging you here as a mom in your own home but as women fighting for our children, write it on the city gates as well! We’ve all heard the saying, It takes a village to raise a child. I agree with this statement. When we have baby dedications at church there is usually a part in the ceremony where the pastor charges the church with assisting the parents in raising of that child. We have to have each others backs in this! Our roles, as moms, are fluid as they change based on our circumstances. When you are in the midst of child rearing than your children are your primary responsibility, you are ingraining upon their hearts the way of God. As our children get older we should be coaching other moms to keep, keeping on. We should not be in the corner talking about each other, judging on what we each have done right or wrong. II Timothy 2: 16 Avoid godless chatter (gossip) because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Ladies. We Need to encourage each other, laugh with each other, cry with each other. We need to be the coaches with the towel and the water that, after a mom comes out of a fight or game, says “you are doing great”! Keep it up, you are going to wear them down, or here, let me add a piece of protective equipment so when you go back in the ring you can last longer.
Paul’s instruction to Timothy in I Timothy 4:16 says Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Satan wants nothing more than to take as many people with him to the eternal flames. He will use whatever means necessary and he doesn’t really give a care in the world, who this person is. This my friends is real. Game on!
- Talk to your kids but more importantly, listen to your kids. Listen to what they say, how they say it. It will give insight into their heart.
- Know their friends and be friendly. There was a time in the church where if someone was not a believer, we as Christians would have very little to do with in talking to them and in some cases we would avoid talking to them. Non-believers are not stupid people. We can be friendly and still maintain our Christian values. In fact, Jesus responded to the question in Mark 12:30 of What is the greatest commandment? With, Love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this Love your neighbor as yourself, There is no commandment greater than these. Notice there is no difference between love of believers and love for non/believers here.
- Seems obvious, but pray for your kids. Ask someone else to pray for your kids. I have started praying for the kids in my small group. I’m trying to speak to them so they know who I am and hopefully through that relationship they will remember that “old” lady that was always so nice to them at church.
- Ask why they believe what they believe. Not good anymore just to know they are saved or that they are holding to Christ like values-WHY are they doing this?? II Timothy says this about the last days, “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure, rather than lovers of God,-having a form of godliness ( they will be “looking” like us) but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” Moms, these are who our children are rubbing shoulders with! Sitting in their class rooms with! They need to know why they believe what they believe or they will believe anything.
- Be slow with technology. I’m sure that most moms would agree that taking something away really is so much harder than not allowing it in the first place.
As Paul wrote to encourage Timothy, I’m writing to encourage you.
Do you hear it? The eye of the tiger is playing again. Can you picture yourself, dressed, bouncing back and forth on your feet, taking practice jabs in the air. You are prepared with the correct uniform-The Armor of God. You have eaten well-The Bread of Life and you have the rest of us moms cheering so loudly behind you that the voice of the evil one is muffled. God has your back, WE have your back.
I pray that this has been encouraging and that you are fired up to keep up the hard work mom, your child’s very life depends on it.