01 Apr DeliberateParenting …Cont’d
God could not be everywhere, and therefore He made mothers.
Between the first post on this topic and now I have been opportuned to meet some mothers and we have had talks bordering around our children and I observed common areas of concern… their Safety, Survival and Spirituality.
It’s a natural maternal instinct to be concerned about our children, but it’s more fulfilling and rewarding to take conscious and strategic steps towards the future we desire for our children.
Parenting is a skill. And a skill is acquired through deliberate, systematic and sustained efforts. Motherhood is not an exception to this rule and as such I will like to share a few skills I have learnt over time through the grace of God.
Mummies we can’t afford to rest on our oars, there is a need for us to get proactive in our approach to this divine call. In scripture God gave women a unique privilege and responsibility and you and I must choose not to fail Him.
Where do you start from you may ask?
Without thinking about it, on your knees most definitely. In the first part of this post I mentioned parenting with the end in mind. Who do you envision your children to be as they are born and grow up into adulthood?
What values do you adopt and instill in them?
There needs to be a working agreement on the parenting style you and your spouse will adopt?
With these and other fine details settled between both parents, prayer is the key to actualizing those plans, in Jeremiah 33 v 3 we are promised help and access to information that we can use to make better choices.
Practically, several things are commanded of Christian mothers in God’s Word:
Availability – (Deuteronomy 6: 6-7)
Morning, Noon, and Night. I stopped working when my last child was born, this gave me the desired opportunity to nurse her satisfactorily as well as be fully on ground to support my older children who where at that point in their lives were they needed physical guidance, also having a grip on domestic affairs. I could see first hand what everyone was doing and if the systems I had put in place were running smoothly. I must say I enjoined staying home and running things, but that was for a while, the rest of that gist is for another post😉.
This responsibility can not be delegated to househelps, nannies, relations, friends.
In being available we must endeavour to be accessible and most importantly approachable.
Be you a working mother and mompreneuer or full time stay at home mummy, this will require extra effort but can be achievable to a great extent.
Involvement – (Ephesians 6:4)
Get into their world, learn and speak their language, get to know their friends, grow with them, watch their TV programs, play with them, be active in their academics and extra curricular activities.
This skill requires a huge sacrifice of time and personal pleasure however, the benefits of being involved in the lives of our children can never be measured; gives room for Interaction which brings up discussions, in turn creating room for informal education, one on one observation of each child’s strengths and/or weaknesses, eventually leading to processing life together.
Teaching – (Psalm 78:5-6; Deuteronomy 4:10; Ephesians 6:4)
There’s a place for teaching in parenting and this responsibility God takes most seriously as a major component of instructing, nurturing and preserving. The Word of God when taught, but most importantly when practiced has a more powerful impact of shaping and guiding as well as giving a biblical worldview of events (Proverbs 22 v 6 and Proverbs 1 v 8).
Training– This parenting skill involves identifying and helping a child to develop skills and discover his/her strengths (Proverbs 22:6) and spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12).
I explain to my children that as a mother I get to wear many ‘hats’, function in various capacities and being a coach is one key function.
Why coaching? Think about the best athletic coaches and personal trainers. They understand your strengths and weakness, they push you to be better, and they support and believe in you. Coaching like motherhood is a process of helping, assisting, building a personalized support structure that enables your child(ren) to properly harness and deploy their strengths.
As a mummy you are your child’s (children) first cheer leader and coach.
Always remember you are not raising a girl but the woman she will become in 20yrs, neither are you raising a boy but the man he will become in 20yrs.
Discipline – Parenting works smoothly when integrated with discipline. Personally I am an advocate of love and the rod☺ with a balance though. Teaching the fear of the Lord, drawing the line consistently, lovingly, firmly (Ephesians 6:4; Hebrews 12:5-11; Proverbs 13:24; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15 &17.
I have heard from a few quarters that the children of this generation can’t take stress, can’t handle being spoken to harshly, in today’s world it’s called child abuse ( say what 😰 somebody call iya Ada for me)
But seriously, how are we expected to bring up a balanced child or children if we are expected not to spank, mete out punishment commensurate to any out of line behaviour?
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am a product of Love, care and appropriate discipline and thus I strongly believe these are major tools of parenting.
Nurture – Women are naturally more nurturing than men because they were designed to be the primary caretakers of their children, providing an environment of constant verbal support, freedom to fail, acceptance, affirmation, affection, unconditional love and a whole dose of love. As mothers this capacity can also extend to children other than our biological children.(Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:1-2; Galatians 5:22)
Modeling with Integrity – ‘Mummies walk your talk’, living what you say, being a model from which a child can learn by “catching” the essence of godly living. You want to raise responsible, respectful, truthful, godly, and stable children? Then be these and more and by the help of God your children have a great chance of turning out right.
(Deuteronomy 4:9, Psalm 37:18, 37).
Little things add up to big things in God’s economy. Its easy for us to tend to emphasize the big because we have forgotten the value of the small. God sees our everyday tasks as sacred work. We are His hands and feet in this world. The days of school run, days of attending school activities, homework, hospital visits and countless other mummy-duties, all matter.