2013 at 12:29 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
The girls asked me to close out our little series on gospel-centered mothering. I thought it might be helpful to share three areas my mom has encouraged us to use as kind of a “quick check” on our mothering in between more significant times of evaluation and planning. Gospel-centered mothering certainly involves more than these three things, but not less.
Teach Your Children God’s Word (Deut 6:7)
Our children are bombarded with words all day, every day: from friends, siblings, teachers, coaches, and media. As parents we must not only guard and approve those who can speak words into our children’s lives, we need to make sure they are getting a large dose of God’s Word each day.
Just as we evaluate and adjust our children’s food diet, we should often evaluate and make adjustments to their “gospel diet.” Each day are they getting a heaping helping of Scripture?
Many of the gospel words our children receive will come from our mouths, but we should also use as many resources as possible, especially those available through our local church.
Our prayer is that 2 Timothy 3:15—which John Piper preached from at our church this past Sunday—can be said of all our children: “…how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Teach Your Children to Respect and Obey (Eph 6:1-4)
We spent most of our time in this series on the importance of obedience and respect because it seems there is more confusion, and as a result, maybe less application in this critical area of gospel-centered mothering.
“Love is the grand secret to effective training” said J.C. Ryle and he couldn’t be more right. This is why we talk often here at girltalk about making memories with your children and why it is so important to lavish them with affection and encouragement. Your training in obedience and respect, and your teaching of God’s Word will be effective in proportion to your expressions of love for your children.
No doubt we’ll return to the topic of mothering some time soon, but in the meantime, you can download a pdf of this series to review and apply. May God give us much grace as we seek to preach the gospel to our children. I know he is eager to answer this prayer.
Growing up, my sisters and I always wanted a big brother. You know, to defend us against bullies and for other equally important reasons. Well, it just so happens that I inherited two such big brothers when Nicole and Kristin married Steve and Brian. They have never had to defend my honor against bullies but they have come in handy over the years.
And one such time happened last Sunday night when Steve pulled a blender full of orange yumminess out of the refrigerator and gave me a taste. Score one new recipe! Steve has been making homemade Orange Julius and it is easy and delicious. I now have a blender full (or at least it was full last night) sitting in my fridge. And you should have a blender-full in your fridge too.
Stephanie’s has a two-year-old whom she loves to pieces, but who whines a lot. Ashley has five children at home under the age of nine. Both wrote to ask “how do you stay patient with young children?”
I can certainly relate. Impatience is a common temptation for us as moms. So, as I always do, I asked my exceptionally patient mom (she raised me after all!), and wrote down a few of her suggestions. This is not an exhaustive list, just a few things she’s passed on to me that I have found most helpful:
Identify temptation points
Recently my husband and I realized that we were most tempted to be impatient when we had to get our four children out the door. Identifying this temptation-point helped, not only so we could prepare our hearts to be more self-controlled and patient, but also so we could streamline our process and get an earlier start. Less temptation for everyone. Less impatience from Mom and Dad.
More often then not, when I find myself growing impatient with my children, it is because I have not been clear about the rules or boundaries. They are simply following my lead. So why am I getting impatient with them? My impatience is often a clue that I have slacked off in one area or another. It is time to get back to basics and train or instruct ahead of time and then be consistent to bring appropriate consequences. Being consistent helps me guard against impatience.
Don’t do stupid things twice
This one is for me. I am always repeating my own stupid mistakes. But Janelle is the opposite. She’s a fast learner. For example, a little while ago her two-year-old Hudson became obsessed with balloons. He would throw a fit when he saw a balloon in the store. He would even start screaming in his car seat when they drove past balloons outside! Once she realized this, Janelle made strategic decisions to avoid balloons where possible. She took alternative routes home and avoided certain sections of the store, unless she was prepared to buy a balloon. Point is, if you know your toddler is going to throw a fit in aisle three, if possible, don’t go to aisle three for a while. Wait until your consistent training at home makes it possible for you to go to the store without a meltdown. Do whatever you can to avoid walking into situations you know will be tempting for you and your child.
I read a great post on this by someone, somewhere, and now I can’t find it. The upshot was that when we cultivate a heart of gratefulness to God for the precious gift of our children, it counteracts the impatience in our heart. So if we find our impatience is rising, how’s our gratefulness? Let’s thank God for the amazing gift of our children and it will be much easier to be patient.
There is something about going to God in prayer that reminds us just how patient our heavenly Father is with us. This produces humility in our hearts, which in turn, produces patience toward our children. And we need God’s help. So let’s pray. He is eager to help us to model His patience toward our children.
Reason number 1: “The kinds of persons who taught you the truth are a very significant warrant for why you believe what you believe…Part of Timothy’s reasoning for why he should stay in the truth is the character of his mother and his grandmother.” Watch below or listen online to hear all six reasons to “continue in what you have learned.”
“And now my dear, I come to you, I have not included you in my list because you, my dear, stand in a totally different position from all others. You are not one of God’s agents to make me what I am, rather you are myself. You are my thirteenth chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. Without this chapter no human being is truly human. Without you I would have accepted love…But without you, my dear, I would not have ‘had’ love. I should not think of saying that I love you; that would be quite false. Rather you are the one part of me, which would be lacking if I was alone…It is only in our union—you and I—that we form a complete human being…And that is why, my dear, I am quite certain that you will never lose me on this earth—no, not for a moment. And this fact it was given us to symbolize finally through our common participation in the Holy Communion, that celebration which was my last.” Helmuth von Moltke was hanged in prison on January 23, 1945. Dr. Haykin writes: “This letter to Freya, one of sixteen hundred that Moltke wrote to her during the course of their love and marriage, presents a strong picture of the oneness of Christian marriage and how, in the words of the Song of Solomon, ‘many waters cannot quench love’ for it is stronger than death (Song 8:7, ESV).”