At this moment I have children spread all over the world. My daughter is a missionary in Europe. My son, daughter-in-law, and grandkids are recent transplants to Hawaii. I have four children at home, and we'll be adding four more through adoption in the next month. As a mom I want nothing more than to have all my children together. I want them in my house or at least down the street. I want to see their smiles. I want to feel their hugs.
From the moment I held my small babies in my arms, I knew there would be a time when they'd leave home. But as I've had two grow up and leave, I've realized the whole meaning of motherhood isn't to raise kids for adulthood (although that is important). The true meaning of motherhood is to raise our children for eternity. The time will come for all our children when we won't be there for them. Instead, they'll stand before God alone. They will go solo on that one. And God won't ask what their GPA was, if they can play a musical instrument, or how well they cleaned their room and did their chores. God will ask one thing: “Did you know my son?” If our children know Jesus, they will have eternity with Him.
The meaning of motherhood.
The meaning of motherhood is to lead our children to know and understand the meaning of life. Life isn't about what we get, what we have, or who we become. Life is about who God is and what He's done—given His Son so we can have eternal life.
So what does this mean for our parenting? How do we bring meaning to our role? How do we raise children to serve God with their lives? Here are 7 ways to do just that.
M- Make time for God's Word. Read Bible stories together. Memorize Scripture verses. Let your children see you in study and prayer. Model being the type of Bible-study student you'd like your children to mimic. Lectures about right and wrong won't help. Becoming students of God's Word will.
E- Encourage conversations about God. Allow your kids to ask tough questions about faith and disbelief, about heaven and hell, about godliness and sin. The questions will come. For many they come in college, where there are plenty of people to offer wrong answers. Be there to help them grapple through their questions while they are young.
A- Attend church with your children. Make it a priority. God designed the church as the body of Christ. Don't let lesser things—such as activities, programs, or sporting programs—keep you from gathering with other believers to worship God.
N- Nudge your child out of the Christian bubble. Help your child see there is a world in need of Jesus. We don't take our children into the world for them to follow the world, but so they can help point the world to Jesus.
I- Introduce your child to the power of prayer. Pray for big things and small things. Start a prayer journal. Read about people in history who prayed.
N- Nurture your child's God-given talents. Don't fall into the trap of signing your kids up for activities—sports, music, art, language—just because everyone else is doing it. Instead, work to discover who God created your child to be. God has an unique purpose for your child. Your child is not an empty vessel to be filled. Instead your child has everything needed to fulfill God's desire for the future.
G- Give them an example to follow. Do you pray for your children to be prayer warriors? Then become one. Do you pray that your children will follow God's dreams for them? Then follow His dreams for you. Children do what they see done. Be the type of person you're praying your children will one day become. As George Mueller says, “Our walk counts far more than our talk.”
Tricia Goyer, TriciaGoyer.com