When I was a young mom I had such high ideals and hopes about the wonderful children I would raise. I envisioned leisurely tea times when I could teach my little ones how to become mannerly ladies and gentlemen. I knew my children would always feel warm fuzzies because I would endeavor to always show them how much I loved them; and certainly I would be able to pass on my love of Latin and Greek and classical music at an early age!
Somehow, I didn’t take into account the fact that dirty dishes would pile up faster than I could keep up with them, or that reading delays may mean shelving the Latin for another year, or that morning sickness might just make getting a simple meal on the table a major achievement.
AND YET … throughout the healthy dose of real life that my high ideals have had to swallow, my eyes have been opened to see just how deep, and strong, and NECESSARY is the place a mother’s love holds in her family. That love anchors the deepest sway in the nitty gritty of real life. It is in the challenges, and less than ideal circumstances, that we realize our moment to shine.
I’ve come to see it isn’t the picture perfect little world that I create in my home that will ultimately bring about children raised with good character. It is about God, in the glory of His power, arresting the attention of my youngsters and showing them their need for a Savior. My job, as a mother, is to be the special agent in my children’s lives to point them to Christ.
This is where Nurture comes in. To nurture, according to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, is: “That which promotes growth; education; instruction. Ephesians 6:4.” There is nothing apathetic about nurture. It is a force to be reckoned with, and the faithful interaction of a mother at each crossroad in her child’s life, pointing her child to the Lord through Scripture, prayer and loving conversation, will avail much.
As mothers, we need to intentionally embrace each opportunity that arises with our children (like the picky eater, or the tantrum-thrower, or the teenager who really doesn’t see any point in learning algebra, or the one who thinks boundaries are for crossing), and meet it with truth – truth delivered in humility, for the purpose of relationship building. Nurture.
I hope you will take this journey with me. I want to learn alongside you as we grow together in motherhood, joining the Lord in the work He wants to do in our children, in our families, in our relationships. People are the avenue we have to externalize the love of God in us.
Today, when you meet up with an ugly attitude or action in a family member, turn to the Lord and ask Him to show you how to express His truth with a heart of love.
Brook Wayne is a Co-Founder of Family Renewal, a homeschooled graduate and mother of eleven. She is co-author of the book, Pitchin’ A Fit! Overcoming Angry & Stressed Out Parenting.