Saturday, January 24, 2009

To Train Up A Mother

Recently in browsing blogs, I ran across one with the title "To Train Up A Mother". It caught my attention. I say amen to her blog description!
Quote: "The title "To Train Up a Mother" refers to the profound effects our children have on us, and how as we set out to "Train them up in the way they should go"...we find just how much God wants to teach us through them! I'm being totally transformed along the way."

Also I have noticed such a quantity of people who are concerned about the way their children grow up. Who wouldn't be in this day and age?!

What is the answer? Is there one sure one? Where's the firm foundation we can all build on? Or should I ask, "WHO" is the answer? We all know with our minds, but how does that work out in our daily life? I tell you, it doesn't unless we are willing to die and truly make Him our Lord! Only as much as we give Him our hearts and let Him be who governs our lives, does it work. If it's not working for me, then I take that to indicate there is further territory that needs to be given over to God, in my heart.

I have found this approach to be very simplistic, but also very hard to our flesh. Sometimes the question we need to put to ourselves about our current methods/beliefs is, "How's that working for me?" Someone once said that a definition for insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results.

Have you ever heard the saying "More is caught, than is taught"? Well, that can be totally scary but it can also be very empowering. Most of us don't get very far in life before realizing that you can't make someone else change. When you start to catch on that the only person you have control over is yourself, it begins to dawn on you that if you want to see change, the buck stops here! We get no deeper into Christ than we allow Him to get into us.

I'll never forget the day I was driving along, feeling completely despairing over not being able to effect my husband to choose Christ, when I needed him to, so desperately. All at once I was truly hearing the song playing on a CD by Annie Herring.

"It is the journey that we walk in, that makes us more like us or more like Him. It is the pathway that we follow, that makes our lives like lamp stands or empty wind..."

Suddenly it became very clear to me that I needed to mind my own business, the journey I walk in either makes me more like myself (help!) or more like Christ. I had to choose to let my husband walk and let him go, let God be responsible for him. His journey is his business. God is bigger than him too. I will reap what I sow.

I have watched God come through so amazingly, in my marriage and with my children, when I have been unsure, uncertain, almost hopeless, you name it... (Love that Michael W. Smith song, Never Been Unloved!)

I'm going to copy here something I wrote, just my scribbles to God as I sorted through how to be the mother God wants my children to have: Written 5/10/07

"Why is there not a child training manual in the Bible?

I believe it is because our children are a training manual from God, for us. Except you become as little children...

As we learn Christ, we are automatically equipped for our tasks, whether it be working with our hands, being a wife, husband, father, mother, brother, sister, friend, etc.

God designed us to live and move and have our being in Him. All is summed up in Him.We neglect and deny Christ when we lean to our own or others knowledge and understanding. As I believe God in more completeness in my own heart and let Him reach far into the deepest recesses of me, I surrender every new ground to Him.

As I consider whining and complaining behavior in my children, I can know that they mirror what they see, except they have no guile and therefore cannot hide or whitewash the outside.

My murmuring or complaining heart that wishes God would work faster or differently in select circumstances, in fact would indicate that I believe myself more efficient and wiser than Him. As I confess and believe in Him and humble myself and my murmuring ceases, then I have true authority to lead my children to not be whiners. If I don't look in my own heart first, I am a Pharisee that requires something of others that I refuse to do myself.


My children are ages 2 to 8, but I expect God to be just as faithful to lead when they are teenagers. Scary as this may sound, coming from a homeschooling mom, I teach them very little. Have you ever heard the saying, "Preach the gospel always, and if you have to, say a little."?

I guess that is my one of my mottos. More is caught than is taught! Sometimes, when I am feeling particularly broken before the Lord, I feel such a sweetness, in the middle of mundane activities, amongst us. It makes me that much more determined to keep saying yes to God, to not depend on myself in any way. I get to where I almost crave that brokeness. (Note the almost.) At the least I feel safer. Brokenness and self-sufficiency don't go together!

Well, I've probably rambled enough... just wanted to encourage anyone who feels the need of it, that "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Christ Jesus." (1 Cor.3:11)

He really is our only security.


Liz said...

Thanks Janelle. Glad to inspire :) I've been pretty bad with the blogging these days.
It never ceases to amaze and amuse me how humbling parenting is. In a spiritual sense... I'm the one gettin SCHOOLED! yikes. God is so gracious to me and faithful in his training up of me. God Bless!

Tiffany said...

Good words! I love that quote about teaching teh gospel and then maybe saying a little. I have been so convicted lately to really help my kids write God's Word on their hearst thorugh memorization. There have been so many times the verses I memorized as a child have helped me!

And I am glad you found Liz's blog too. Blessings, Tiffany

Sandy Toes said...

I appreciate your post..HE is our only security. On an earthly perspective...we stil lneed to stand and speak out!
-sandy toe

christa jean said...

"To Train Up a Mother" is one of my fave blogs too, if only she'd blog more!!!

I love this post, Janelle! I agree whole-heartedly that God transforms us through our children. I would not want to go back to those pre-children days, I was arrogant and good in my own eyes.

I tend to get down on myself because of what you said, "More is caught than taught". I'm afraid my girls have caught a lot of junk from me. But this knowledge keeps me humble and on my knees.

Thanks for popping by my blog!