by Nicci Medina
Often times when there is a battle to be won, a race to be run, or a job to be done, a charge is given. I’d like to encourage all of you fellow mothers with the charge to walk by faith as you seek to raise your children in a God-honoring way, with the hope that they will place their faith in the finished work of Christ for their salvation.
So often, especially as homeschool moms, we believe that if we just love our children enough or if we are wise enough to find just the right discipline protocols or just the right curriculum, that our children will turn out good and noble. We are duped into believing it is all up to us, as if it all depended on our love and our wisdom. Think about this with me for a moment, whether or not our wisdom or our love are able to lead our children in the right way, into the kingdom of God. Let’s take a look at two examples in the bible who showed much wisdom and much love.
God gave King Solomon great wisdom, so much that he has often been touted as the wisest man ever. But despite all of Solomon’s wisdom, his son still turned out to be a wicked man. Indeed, Solomon himself fell into great sin. His life is a good reminder for us that wisdom will not save us, save our children or keep anyone from sin. Surely if it could, it would have with Solomon and with his son. Solomon was a great failure in this. Some might answer to this that he had the wisdom of angels, yet had not love? One might argue that Solomon had the kind of knowledge that puffs up, and not enough of the love that builds up?
His father, David, however, did have this kind of love, a great love for his heavenly father. So much love for God, that he was even called a man after God’s own heart. He was forgiven much, therefore he loved much. Surely this kind of love would produce a Godly child? Yet, many would say, David also, failed to produce godly heirs. Some would argue that the problem was in Solomon’s and David’s lives; that their actions didn’t match up with their words: Solomon knew not to give his heart to women, yet did it. David had great love for the Lord, yet in his work of adultery, he loved his own desires more that he loved his God.
Yet, do we not all profess to know and to love the Lord, yet in our day to day failures and sins, we also deny him? What hope then is there, for us and for our children?
Our Only Hope
Only in the cross of Christ, can we find our hope. Remember for a moment with me, that glorious gospel that declares to us that a sinner can be made right with God, only through believing in Christ’s righteousness and Christs sacrifice on our behalf. That glorious gospel that reminds us that we are made right with God only by realizing how wretched we are and that none of our good works will get us into heaven. That same glorious gospel that announces to the world that a great exchange has taken place, in which Christ traded His right standing with God for our sinfulness. He bore the consequences of our sin, so that we might become right with God.
Only in this cross of Christ, can we find any kind of hope. Even as Christians, we wretchedly fail to know God and His Wisdom as we ought and we miserably fail to love Him as we ought. If we are hoping that our wisdom or our love will lead our children down the right path, we are mistaken.
So what are we to hope in? Only in the cross of Christ and in the mercy of our Lord to bring our children to that same cross. Does that mean that we don’t do anything, just sit idly by, hoping and praying that the Lord will save our children? No, of course not. Yes, we pray, remembering the Lord’s precious promises about prayer, but we also walk by faith. Let me share a picture with you of walking by faith as it relates to raising children.
Hebrews 11 talks about those who have gone before us, walking in faith. Verse 7, says, “By faith, Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.” Are we not, as mothers, also like Noah, building an ark to save our children? Just like Noah, we have been warned of things not seen, of the impending judgment of all sinners in hell. The ark that we are building is the fear and admonition of the Lord, the very words of scriptures which are able to save our children’s souls. Just as the Lord caused the animals to come into the ark, so it is up to Him to bring our children into His saving grace, but it is up to us, especially in our roles as mothers, to be obedient; to build the ark, which is the foundation of Godly fear and a life built around the truths of the scriptures.
In this building of the ark, this walk of faith, two things stand out. They are the teaching and the obeying of the scriptures.
2nd Timothy 3:15-17 says, “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. I know, that as a Christian mother, your ambition is for your children to become complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. That will only come through the sovereign work of God, most often working through the scriptures. It is my prayer that we will bank on the sufficiency of scripture, as we seek to raise our children up to be equipped for all that God has called them to do.
So the first part of this walk of faith in raising sons is in the teaching and training in the scriptures. The 2nd part is found in the obedience to the mandates of scripture in our own lives. Titus 2:3-5 talks about the older women admonishing the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.” This clues us in that by not loving our husbands, loving our children, being discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to our own husbands; that by not obeying in these areas, we blasphemy the word of God. This chapter goes on to talk about how other groups in the church, the young men and bond servants, are to live. It finishes by saying that they may live this way in order to “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” Let us also then, as mothers, adorn the teachings of scripture with our own obedience to them. To adorn, means to accent, to make them look attractive. Just like a necklace or earrings would adorn a woman’s face, so also our obedience to the teachings of scriptures, specifically as they relate to a woman’s roles, will adorn the teachings of Christ, making them attractive. Conversely, disobedience in these areas, may cause others, especially our children to disdain the word.
Let us then walk wisely, giving forethought to all the ways we spend our time, because the days are evil. If we teach the word to our children, but do not obey it ourselves, we will blasphemy this very word which will bring disastrous results into our children’s lives. So two important parts to this walk of faith; training our children in the scriptures and being careful ourselves to obey its teachings.
And of course, neither of these will be possible without prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. We will fail when we try to walk in our own strength. And on those days that we do fail, we have an advocate, Jesus Christ, who is always interceding at the throne of grace for us.
May the Lord enable all of us to run with endurance this race of motherhood that is set before us, as we look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Might He help us to not become weary while doing good, because at the proper time, we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. His strength, His harvest, His timing. Let us plead with Him, to bring all of our sons and daughters out of darkness and into His marvelous light, that they might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those of us sanctified by faith in His Son. Join me in thanking Him for the privilege we are given to be with our children, teaching them His truths so that from childhood they will know the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make them wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Might the Lord enable all of us to line up every aspect of our lives in obedience to His word, that we might adorn the word of God, making it attractive to our sons and that, ultimately, we would see another child brought into His Kingdom. And in the end we will praise His glorious grace for giving us the faith to walk in obedience to Him, building that ark; that foundation of Godly fear and a life built around the scriptures.
Oh, Lord let us not trust in anything, except the cross, and let us cry out night and day, that you would save and sanctify our children, making them into all that you desire them to be.
Let us remember what a miracle it is that we are saved.
Let us remember your precious promises about prayer and let us spend ourselves, laboring in our prayers, that you would move your mighty arm.
Let us not be deceived and blinded, thereby spending our time, entertaining ourselves with the things of this world.
Instead, let us spend our time, walking by faith, building that foundation, while crying out to you on their behalf.
Oh Lord, save our children from their own sinful hearts and from the wrath to come on all who don’t believe, so “that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.”