Eleven years ago I brought my firstborn son home from the hospital. At the time, I had decided to do a scheduled nursing cycle. I had read books about this type of nursing and had discussed it with my husband and we had decided we would give it a try. It wasn’t long before I explained my schedule to other moms and I realized that some of them felt I was out of my mind! I remember becoming defensive. I didn’t really know what I was doing – I was a first time mom – but my method had my baby sleeping through the night which made me happy. I was zealous about my method and wanted to share it with other new moms and again received some resistance. I didn’t understand why?
Since those newborn days, I have learned an important parenting lesson within the church.
Do not squabble with your sister’s in Christ over methods!
Many parenting methods are not moral issues –whether to nurse or bottle feed, whether to let a baby cry it out or not, when to potty train, what time bedtime should be, homeschool, christian school or public school choices … these are all matters of opinion. We must not judge other mom’s choices.
If we begin to criticize each other over methods eventually pride, self-righteousness and superiority enters in and that can give the enemy a foothold real quick!
Let me advise young women, consult your husband on what method you would like to use. As long as he is in agreement, do not worry what other moms think of you.
Do not be discouraged when you feel judged.
And to those with strong opinions on these things, we must beware of criticizing other’s behind their backs (the Bible calls that back-biting) – your friend may be cheerfully submitting to her husband and you may discourage her, or worse, cause her to be disobedient to God by following your advice rather than her husband’s.
It is important that we learn to be less opinionated for the sake of unity on matters that are not spelled out in the Bible.
A Titus 2 woman can offer wisdom from experience and general principles from scripture rather than the ever changing trends of the world. She will remind us of how things have changed. I remember my mom explaining to me that at one time, most moms slept their babies on their bellies. Now, most first time moms put their babies on their backs. Sometimes we need the input of older women to help us realize, there is more than one way to raise a godly child and our goal is not to do this perfectly but to honor God in all we do, including how we treat moms who think differently.
Why? Because the winds of change are coming and today's methods will not be tomorrows, but God's word stands. We want to stand on principles not methods.
Proverbs 17:27 & 28 says “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”
So use restraint when you disagree with another's methods. Take time to encourage your sisters in Christ today and consider asking an older wiser woman for advice the next time you are wondering what to do with your toddler or teen.
And if you feel judged – stay the course and remember you and your family are unique.
For more encouragement in your walk with God and home, pick up a copy of Courtney's book titled: Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home.