When Daniel (our oldest) was a little over a year old, I realized that the baby stage was quickly turning into the toddler stage. My concerns were suddenly switching from:
Did he eat enough fruits and veggies today?
How do I direct this little person on the right path?
I watched as his wills developed. I watched as he reached his chubby little hand directly toward the object I just told him not to touch. All while watching me to see my reaction.
I knew then that if I was supposed to get through age 2, 12, and 16,
I needed a set of rules. Not for him. For me.
And as the busy-ness of life multiplies with each child, I am ever-more reminded of the weight of motherhood.
How I long for these precious children to grow up loving God. And how I ache to be the kind of mother who models a life lived for Him.
If God entrusted these children to me, the only way I can raise them correctly is if I follow His guidelines. I sat down and wrote down verses and vows of how I want to raise my children.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. It’s a daily…no… hourly…no…minute-by-minute struggle.
But I know it will be worth it. And I know on those days when I throw this list out the window and try to parent on my own strength…
I hope these verses mean as much to you as they do to me. I hope they encourage you to be the kind of mother who loves and not lectures; who raises and not tears down; who directs and not dictates.
What a privilege we were given! One with great responsibility and greater rewards.
Feel free to print, copy, and share this list. I want it to help others, too.
I want to be a mother who …
… Loves my children unconditionally, just as Jesus Christ loves me.
Romans 8:38-39 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
May nothing separate my deep love for them. May this, second to my love for Christ and my husband, rule every decision and action I make as a mother.
… Makes time for and enjoys family time.
Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Time is so precious and I want to thoroughly enjoy the time I will get t o spend with my family.
… Disciplines out of love and never anger.
Proverbs 6:23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life…
I want to correct my children in order to teach them the right way and never shame them or embarrass them in order to gain obedience. Obedience out of fear is simply intimidation.
… Always talks positively about my children to them and to others.
Ephesians 4:29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
The rest of the world will gladly point out their faults; it’s my job as a mother to encourage, build up and love on my children.
… Helps each child recognize and explore their individuality.
1 Corinthians 12: 4-6 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
Proverbs 14:1 A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
I want to help them channel their strongest – and even most difficult – characteristics into something good which ultimately glorifies God.
… Prayerfully considers decisions.
Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I want to base my decisions on what the Lord guides me toward rather than what the world says, what my friends say or even what my children beg for.
… Apologizes when I do something wrong.
James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
I will make mistakes as a mother and need to have enough humility of myself and respect for my children to apologize when I mess up.
… Gives them responsibilities to teach them hard work.
Proverbs 22:29 (ESV) Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.
I never want my children to have to work so hard they can’t enjoy childhood or their teen years, but I want them to know how to work hard and how to do it with integrity.
… Is honest and genuine.
Luke 16:10 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
I want to be open and real with my children so they know exactly who I am and what I stand for. I want to be the same person at home with my family, in public and by myself.
… Is never too busy to teach my children, let them help me or let them be creative.
Proverbs 31:25 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
When my children grow up, they’ll remember the activities we did together and the memories we made more than they’ll remember the time the house was messy or when dinner wasn’t a gourmet production.
… Says “yes” more than I say “no.”
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil–this is God’s gift to man.
I want to let them try new things as long as it’s not illegal, immoral, ungodly or dangerous.
… Creates our home to be a safe haven.
Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
I never want my family to fear coming through my front door, but know they are safe and loved in those four walls. I want to encourage honest communication so they will always know they are welcome in their home.
… Raises my children to be godly husbands, wives, mothers and fathers.
Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
What a blessing to be able to raise the next generation. Lord, please guide me year by year, day by day and moment by moment.