~~ a devotional ~~
“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”Proverbs 1:8 — “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)”
Unless there is a conscious decision to not have children, most women become a mother at some point in their lives. There is no instruction book that comes with the role, and since each child is different any manual would fall far short. While there are all sorts of resources available on the subject, there are answers to questions that still remain elusive. For me, Christ’s life provides all the answers needed to address any situation one might encounter in life.
As a Christian, I am to live my life in such a way that God is placed first, my family second, then others. As a mother, I am to teach my children these principles and the importance of love in all relationships. I am to provide the care and nurturing that teaches, by example, the love Christ has for every person and the importance of emulating His love when interacting with others.
I am to comfort my children when they are in pain and to teach them respect for others when it is necessary to address that pain with another person. Christ told us to turn the other cheek when someone does us wrong, to do good to those who spitefully use us, and to love our enemies as well as those who treat us right. In His teachings, we find that it is easy to love those who love us, but it is difficult to love those who are not good to us. In doing this, we demonstrate Christ’s love to others as we do the will of the Father in heaven.
My child is a part of me, and I am a part of my child. My unconditional love for him or her teaches there is always a safe place to go when hurting. This is what Christ and God provide for us, and we who are God’s children can go to them with any need or concern without fearing the pain of rejection. This is the role of a mother’s love; our love and comfort will always be there when our children are hurting. We rejoice with them in their successes, and we hurt with them when they hurt.
Just as God expects us to put our best effort into living the way His Son has instructed, it is important for a child’s mother to impress upon her children their duty to do their best in all they do. Our responsibility does not end with providing a safe haven. It also includes teaching the skills necessary to living throughout life. We are to help them learn to make choices and decisions in such a manner that, when they are grown, it is not necessary for them to come running home when a new crisis occurs. Mother should have already helped them learn these skills.
Yes, father is to instruct them too, but father typically does not have as much time to interact with the children as mother does. So, by default, much of this responsibility falls to mother. This is the reason Proverbs 1:8 teaches a child to “hear the instruction of his/her father and to never forsake the law of their mother.” Thus, mother is not just a comfort zone. There must be instruction and discipline from her as well. This is reflected in the parental admonishment found in Proverbs chapter 22:
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”Proverbs 22:6 — “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)”
When Paul commented about Timothy’s unfeigned faith, he referenced the faith of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and of his mother Eunice. This suggests a mother’s faith has much influence on the level of faith found in the children.
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”2 Timothy 1:5 — “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)”
So, perhaps faith in God is the most important characteristic I can instill in my child while they are young in order to be assured of them searching out God’s will for them in any situation. As they grow to adulthood, children may stray from Christ’s teachings when tempted by Satan’s wiles, but a strong faith in childhood will most often bring them back again to the love, comfort, and protection of God the Father.
Photo Above: @photosbybeks on Unsplash.com.
Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Proverbs 1:8. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 May 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Proverbs-1-8/.
Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Proverbs 22:6. “Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 May 2022). https://www.kingjamesbible.me/Proverbs-22-6/.
Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 2 Timothy 1:5. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 May 2022). https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/2-Timothy-1-5/.