Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not departfrom it. ~Proverbs 22:6
I've been thinking a lot about what it means to train my children. I've read scads of books, listened to teachings, sat at the feet of those with more experience than I as directed in Titus 2, and prayed until I've run out of words. I want to be a good mom. I certainly don't have all of the answers, but I have learned some beautiful lessons along the way.
First, when I asked God how to train up my children, I heard Him ask: "Your children?" He gently reminded me that they were not actually mine, but HIS. Yes, they are mine to love, mine to train, and mine to enjoy. However, I needed to realize that ultimately the children He has given to me are His and I am a steward over their lives. When I began to look at the lives I have such great influence over asbelonging to the King of Kings, it really changed how I interacted with them.
That brings me to the second part of what I am learning. Parenting is all about being intentional. Each part of our day is lived intentionally. I intentionally live my life so that is a good example for them. I intentionally plan our activities to teach themtasks and traits they need to learn: patience, analytical thinking, homemaking skills, educational knowledge, kindness, and even how to enjoy life.
Next, I have had to learn that no matter what I teach them to do, it is what I teach them to be that is valued most by God. And children learn to be what they see around them, day in and day out. Therefore, it is so important that my life be pure before God. No matter what I tell them, at the end of the day they will have learned what they saw. Eyes take in more than ears ever will!
There is a lot more that I am learning, but the final thing I wish to impart is -for me- the best: Delight In Your Children! When God created the world, and then man in His image, He decreed: It is Good. Look at the precious, intentionally created children God has chosen just for you to raise up. Take delight in the fact that God trusts you and has equipped you to raise them. And then, take delight in them. Enjoy their laughter, their hugs, their kisses, their silly little antics, their observations about the world around them, their sticky hand prints, and even their tears. Treasure every moment, for each of them is fleeting. Understand that God takes His delight in us, His precious children, and the Father wants us to experience that same delight. What a blessing!