In my days of mandatory"bed-resting", I am getting the opportunity to read some very encouraging and challenging things. Listening to sermons online, reading blogs and daily getting washed in the Word are all wonderful blessings of this time of challenge. (My husband has even helped design a "syllabus" for me to stay on task...I love the way he leads!) I realize these things would be much more challenging had I not been required to sit and be still! (Maybe that's what I am supposed to be learning..hmmm.) :o)
I pray the habits, knowledge & truth I can hide in my heart during these days will be encouragement and strength to my soul. So that when my life's pace resumes to "high-speed-mommy-of-2-toddlers-and-a-newborn", I will have a deeper well to draw from.
In some recent reading, I found this article by John Piper. It is a short exhortation and quick read...and well worth it.
In the early days of child-rearing, there are times when one may feel that they are requiring their small children to obey only out of duty. Yes, we aim to reach the heart-motive of our child, but at the age of 2, that is sometimes harder to discern.
This article was very encouraging, insightful and downright helpful. It provided some encouragment for this young mommy to stay the course in teaching, training and disciplining my small children. Some days, one feels that the reminding and training and teaching (and did I say reminding?) may be in vain. But no, we are to be faithful to teach and admonish our children, so that when they are old, they will "rise up and call her blessed...". (Proverbs 31: 28) and their hearts will be turned to Christ.
The truths we can place in their hearts now, by means of instruction & discipline, will reside there and be a "well-stocked pantry" for us to reach into when they are older. Phrases they have heard, prayers they have repeated, hymns they have sung...will all be resources for their little brains as they grow in their knowledge & understanding.
So it is not a waste to read the Bible to them...even if it seems "over their heads". It is not unhelpful for them to sit in church and worship with us...even if they cannot understand the sermon & it's theological depth. It is not asking too much for them to memorize scripture...even if they don't grasp the concept of grace found in the passage.
These habits are in fact, beneficial. The children come to expect them and they grow into the fiber of their everyday lives...thus proving to these young hearts that these things are important...significant...worthwhile.
So as a young mom, I will continue on...requiring of my children obedience, discipline & order. Not because I desire to raise up legalism in the heart of my children, but rather, because I desire to cultivate in them the foundation of manners, respect, service and restraint that will do them good and be combined with grace as they grow in their understanding of Christ, the Cross & our imperative charge to reach the lost.
Blessings to you, my fellow young moms...my good friends. May you be encouraged today to stay the course and pray fervently for the hearts of your young children. May He be glorified in their little lives.