Monday, August 15

Loving Our Children

Today, six friends and I are writing a series based on the biblical principles taken from Titus 2:3-5. We pray that the topics discussed will inspire and encourage you to draw closer to God and His plan for womanhood. My small part of today's study is on loving our children.

I tend to think loving our children is something that comes naturally, don't you? Because inherently we believe it should. No doubt the first time we held our warm babies we felt a rush of emotion that we tagged as *love*. But then, perhaps, as long nights of teething came and during our wearing of a groove in the floorboards we realized - love is not simply a feeling, love is a verb. It is more some things we must do, then something we feel. Hence why over 400,000 kiddos end up in our nations foster care a year and why so many adults who never were relegated to foster care still have mommy or daddy issues. Love is a tricky thing.
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I imagine Paul leaning back against the hard, damp stone wall of a prison cell, his wrists red and raw in chains, his voice parched, slowly dictating a letter to Titus, thinking of all he had seen and heard, prioritizing what needed to be said to this Gentile he considered a son. I don't believe that if the young wives were already properly loving their children, Paul would have valued including these words, "Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." NASB
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As mothers who follow Christ, we have available to us a continual, never ending, bottomless spring of life giving love to draw from and use in ministering to our children. It doesn't matter if we had disaffectionate mothers, or absentee mothers, or mothers so broken they were or are unable to minister love to us. We know the true source of LOVE and can dip our hands in it and fill them up to pour out throughout our day. Our own mothers are not our source.

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Let's love our children for valuing who God made them to be.

Each one of my children is different and unique. They are funny and serious and meticulous and soulful and fearless in their own right, because God has gifted them as He saw fit. Loving (the verb) our children might mean we take time out of our stuff-we-have-to-get-done to sit with our soulful child who feels everything and help them process through their feelings, highlighting the positive ones and helping them surrender to God the ones that are overwhelming.100_2450edit

It might mean we-who-like-to-be-serious and savor quiet instead turns on a lively tune and dances with the child who's heart is moved by noise and movement. It might mean sitting and explaining a math concept two more times, even though there's other things to be done, because this is important and being available without being annoyed is important - our hands dipping and sloshing into the available waters once more.


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Let's love our children by being faithful to discipline them.

We do this because we are urged and encouraged through scripture to train our children , to teach them, to remember that disciplining our children is an act of love. We do not hesitate to follow God in this because of our own past abuses, but put our hand safely in His. We love (the verb) our children by not being too slow to discipline when it is needed, not frustrating them and making them angry with our scolding, yelling, scowls and anger because we do not feel like getting up or putting aside what we are doing to go upstairs or outside to deal with the issue at hand. Instead, hands submerged and soaking deep into the endless well, we reach up and pour out, letting our children know what is expected of them at each unique age and ability, what behaviour is acceptable or unacceptable in our homes, again according to age and ability, thus giving them the safety and security of boundaries.


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Let's love our children by letting them see where our own hands and hearts are being filled, by letting them see us hiding God's Word deep within us, by asking their forgiveness when it is due to be asked, by choosing not to lord over them in an air of superiority but remembering always that if even Christ came to serve then we can stoop lower still, to wipe up vomit from the floor without complaint, to pick up yet another toy or shoe, or mud ground into the rug and never be in err. Stooped lower, arms submerged into warm grace, let's love our children (a verb!) by teaching them to value the Word of God, to hold it in high esteem. Let's love our children by showing them that following Christ is the only religion (relationship!) that is a gift, while all other are dues to be paid. Let's love our children by not expecting them to give us what they are not required by God to give: success, happiness, fulfillment, applause, satisfaction, recognition, a sense of self-worth or esteem...

Finally, let's love our children by pointing with our acts of love, not towards ourselves for our own glory, but granting everything to the glory of God. Let's fold laundry to the glory of God, explain that math concept a third and fourth time, cook another meal and wash more dishes to His glory because we can, because we're already aprons soaked in His freely available love and goodness.





For more ideas on how to love your children, consider these verses in I Corinthians 13.
You can read more and soak in more on Titus chapter 2 from these lovely ladies:

TheModest Mom - Chaste.
Our Simple Country Life -Loving Your Husband
The Legacy of Home - Being Obedient to Your Husband
A Wise Woman Woman Builds her Home - Soberity

Raising Mighty Arrows - Discretion
Far Above Rubies - Busy/Keepers at Home

13 comments:

Amanda said...

Oh Hannah,
This is so, so good.

Such beauty and grace fill your blog today as I've read all of your words.

Yes,love is a verb...

I really appreciate how you put out there that it doesn't matter what kind of mother you had growing up. I hear this all too often of a broken childhood and this being the reason one cannot love. Such foolishness. Isn't Christ enough? Why can't the cross and the blood be enough???

Beautifully written!

Far Above Rubies said...

Hannah, this was beautiful. Thank you, sister.

Nicci Lynn said...

This has blessed me so much this morning! Thank you for your gentle honesty and wondrous wisdom! A beautifully written post!
Nic @ www.AFarmHouseFull.com

Raising Mighty Arrows said...

Hannah, great post. Thank you for sharing.

Michelle said...

Thank you for blessing me today with this wonderful post! I really needed to hear what you said, especially, "being available without being annoyed is important." I've been struggling with that.

I've also been struggling with serving my oldest daughter, who is 14. She can have a lot of attitude at times, and she can be very demanding. I guess when it comes down to it, she feels she's entitled for me to serve her, since "you're the mom." But to me, there's a difference between serving because I've chosen to, and serving because someone is being lazy and/or demanding that I do it. I end up grudgingly serving her, and then I'm upset about it. I don't want to be a doormat to her, but I often times feel that I am. Like she takes advantage of me.

I don't know what you do in a situation like this? I know prayer and seeking God's wisdom would be the first thing.

Thank you again, and have a blessed day!
Michelle

Jedidja said...

Thanks for posting this words.

Stacie said...

Very lovely post. . .I am encouraged.

God bless,

Stacie

journeytoepiphany said...

This is lovely. Love is a verb. It is such freedom to believe so, because when we don't feel "in love" or like loving someone, we don't have to be afraid that there is something wrong with our relationship with the person. However, we may want to check our relationship with Love.

Me said...

Amanda- I am so thankful He is enough!

Michelle, I don't think it is unreasonable for you to let your daughter know what is expected of her in your home, what she is old enough to learn to do on her own, or what responsibilities she can now carry, and follow through with these. I think this would be a great benefit to her in life and will bring peace to your home.

Thank you, everyone,for taking the time to comment and share,
Blessings,
Hannah

Michelle said...

Thank you for your encouraging words, Hannah. I appreciate it. : )

Bonni said...

Wonderful post! You are a very interesting writer! I'm a new follower and look forward to frequent visits!

Mrs. B said...

Aww, Hannah, you've done it again! You've taken a topic that could be cliched and made it fresh and new. Love you and miss you!

Shannon@Chickens in My Kitchen said...

This was so, so good. You are so right, about all of it.

I think that too often it is easy to excuse our own behavior by blaming our own mothers. I am have been learning this, very very slowly.