Guest Blogger – My mom, Sally Sparks – A faithful servant of the Lord. She has been involved in just about every ministry of the church. She is currently hosting a Bible Study on the book of John. She has raised me to believe God is always good and nothing is impossible with God! Her kitchen table wisdom has flipped more of my flops than I can count. Here is a taste of her wisdom. I hope you enjoy.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NIV )
I was taking with a friend recently about the concerns and frustrations we had while we were raising our children. Every day seemed to bring on new challenges and we discussed how we overcame them. God blessed me with four children, each of them are totally different and unique in their own way. They had to be nurtured individually. Thankfully, they are all grown now, but that doesn’t mean I am free at last ! Things still pop up every now and then and my children reach out to me because they know they can still trust and rely on Mom to help.
A friend related an incident that happened to her and though humerous, it allowed her to know how to pray to God for help.
One day she took her daughter to the Mall and met with a couple of other young mothers for shopping and lunch in the Food Court. Everyone had their children in strollers. They sat meekly in their strollers, that is, all but my friend’s daughter. She wanted out of that stroller. But her mom told her no. At the Food Court as she turned to place their food order, the daughter somehow managed to wriggle free from the straps and got out of the stroller. She stripped off her clothing and made a beeline across the Food Court to the fountain and jumped in.
When the mother turned around and saw what was happening she ran to the fountain but no coaxing could get her daughter out. So a very frustrated mother had to get in the fountain to retrieve her daughter.
Talk about embarassing…something like this to happen in public brought her to tears and she cried all the way home. She felt like a failure and because of this, she called out to God for help. She begged God to show her how to raise a good child, one that other people would comment about how well behaved she was.
She said that God seemed slow in answering her prayers. And as her daughter grew, her prayers changed too. “God, show me how to raise my daughter to be who You want her to be.” She said she started changing her prayers because God had begun changing her heart to realize her daughter was very independent and determined…all the things she would need to succeed in life.
We need to rely on God for guidance and direction while raising our children. God’s goal isn’t only for us to raise good rule-following children, but the goal should be to raise them to be God-following adults . Like the scripture says in Proverbs 22:6
We do need to train up our children in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not turn away from Biblical principles, but rather would use them in their life-long pursuit of God.
Remember this: the things that might aggravate you about your child today, might be the very things when matured that make them great for God’s kingdom tomorrow. Always pray for your children every day and talk to them about how to make good choices in life. Last, but definitely not the least, is to tell them you love them. Let them feel your love as you draw them close in a hug . I have always said, “Our actions speak louder than words !”
Here are three simple perspectives to hang on to while raising children:
1. Don’t take too much credit for their good.
2. Don’t take too much credit for their bad.
3. Don’t try to raise a good child. Raise a God-following adult.
When we see our adult children serving the Lord, we can be a proud MAMA !