‘Mothership’ – Leading and loving our children well

As a mom of three incredible kids I consider my role in their lives invaluable and it is truly one of the greatest joys of my life. I enjoy the interesting ups and downs of mothering them since the victories are worth every challenge. I have learned to laugh more at myself when the going gets hard because let’s face it, someone needs to get their humour going in those times! I think God has graced us mothers with the ability to navigate hardship and happiness with a certain panache. Granted there are moments when my navigationgoes awry and I end up yelling at the child most testing the above mentioned Grace.

As I thought about what to write to encourage fellow women who are on this incredible journey of motherhood, I could only think of one word -discipleship. Every child born into a family that knows and loves Jesus, has the immense opportunity to be discipled from his/her earliest years into following Jesus.

I believe that discipleship begins right from infancy, since every child has this uncanny connection with us, mothers. When we hold them they quiet down and look up into our eyes expectantly. When we cuddle them we give them the safety of being held, when we soothe their tantrums they realise there is someone listening to their cries. As they grow older when we give them firm instructions on what not to do, we demonstrate love viaboundaries. Do they test those boundaries? Why yes! Of course they do. They then learn life’s most important lesson – actions having consequences!

I now have one teenager and two pre-teens or tweens as they call themselves.My understanding of discipleship is now growing in leaps and boundsespecially in the light of God’s word. The book of Deuteronomy, written by Moses emphasises the importance of teaching our children God’s word.”Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to 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 until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you’ll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth.”

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 MSG

If we want to effectively disciple our children, we will first need to get God’s word deep inside of ourselves. We will need to keep reminding ourselves of who He has been, currently is and will forever be. His word will need to be the compass of my life so that it eventually becomes the compass of mychildren’s lives as well. We read a scripture together every day as a family and we ask the kids to share thoughts on it. While some discussions have gone down rabbit holes, most of the time they have ended in a practical way of taking God at his word.

Discipleship is most effectively carried out though, by the intervention of the Holy Spirit. On my own, with just my gut instinct or sixth sense, I have made monumental parenting mistakes. On the occasions that I have involved the Holy Spirit to help me decipher a child’s attitude or discern a child’s hidden emotion, I’ve found it to be very fruitful. The Holy Spirit desires that I understand the depths of issues that my child is dealing with rather than being content with the superficial symptoms that crop up.

The final clincher in the discipleship journey is to effectively communicate to our children, the Father heart of God. So often, in our frazzled, schedule-driven days we barely can communicate our love to our children, forget showing them God’s love. It’s so important though, to regularly tell our children just how loved and cherished they are to us. I tell them just how thankful I am to God for the gift of having them in my life. Every time I hug my children or kiss their heads I hope they are marked by their Heavenly Father’s love for them, which far outweighs what I feel for them.

So mothers and grandmothers out there – don’t waste a minute in raising your little disciples of Jesus for one day they are going to be generals in His army!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I’m Christine. I live a perfectly imperfect life with my husband and three kids. I write from my life’s story thus far. I hope it helps you or at least resonates with you.

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