That they may teach the younger women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Attributes of a godly woman (3) Love their children
I’m cringing slightly as I prepare for this section. My reason? I don’t actually have any kids. My mind says that disqualifies me from writing on the subject. Perhaps it does. I actually left this file sitting open on my laptop and walked away for several days.
Lord, I can’t write about parenting. Maybe I should just skip this attribute.
Still, the urging I had felt to write these articles continued. So, here I am! Writing. Lord, let them hear my heart! Not the babbling of the “untested.”
When I was about seventeen I began to identify the reason that my parent’s faith managed to get passed down to me. All around I saw the evidence of disillusioned young people who were walking away from God, the church and anything remotely religious. Why had I escaped? Why was I still holding fast to my Savior? One word began resonating in me. Transparency.
My parents lived their faith “out-loud.” When my mother struggled with her faith, she didn’t paste on a smile and pretend that everything was good. She cried. She prayed. She sought God. Then any doubt of God’s existence and love faded as he met her time after time. And I watched it all. I saw her doubt. I saw her sin. I saw the magnificence of our glorious King and Redeemer when he met her in her weakness! And I wanted that.
When I think about the greatest way my mother showed her love for me it is simply this: She gave me a glimpse of the ultimate love relationship. Her and her Jesus. That was love.
My friend, Fran, put it this way:
The whole point of ‘loving our children’ is to put the Word in their hearts. Everything in this life is to drive us to the feet of Jesus. We’ve got to make sure that our children know where to find Him.
That is love.
Loving our children (and if like me, you have none, there are still children all around who need our love! Neighbor kids, church kids, nieces, nephews…) is painting a picture of Jesus for them.
In what ways?
We teach them the Word. My sister-in-law, Brianna, taught her 2-year-old twins to sing Bible verses! When you asked them to sing for you it wasn’t a silly nursery rhyme that they spouted, it was “God is love, God is love. I John 4:8, God is love!” That was love.
We discipline them. Proverbs 13:24 says that those who don’t discipline actually “hate” their children but those who love are “careful to discipline.”
Using Proverbs 8:2 as a guide (where the paths meet, [wisdom] takes her stand…) Fran helps her children see that when they come to a place of disobedience or sinfulness they are standing at the crossroads.
Wisdom cries to them to choose the path of righteousness. Sin pulls them toward the path of wickedness.
She draws them a picture of the two paths and says, “When you chose to disobey Mommy, you stepped onto the path of wickedness. That is why I must discipline you. To help you turn and choose the right path.” That is love.
We pray for them. A dear older woman in my life, Norma, has a little place upstairs in her house that contains a lovely shawl. On it are pins. It is common knowledge what those pins are. There is one for every child. Every grandchild. Every great-grandchild. Whenever she gets the chance, Norma slips up to her room and prays over each of them. Never forgetting one. That is love.
Make it Real
Anyone can read an article but it takes a little more effort to apply it. Here is a practical thing you can do in your life to utilize the information just given you.
In your devotions notebook write down a list of your children’s names. (Or, if you have no children, like me, ask the Lord for a list of children to pray for!) Pray for their relationship with God. Pray for their character. Pray for their relationships with friends and family. Pray for protection. Pray for their future.