A Mother's Influence On Her Children

It's amusing to me how often we can get frustrated with our children for picking up on our own negative behavior. Too often I see my faults in my eldest and in an attempt to purge that behavior, I become harsh simply because I don't want my child struggling with the same stuff I did do.

The Hands of Mother

The influence we have on our children is great. In Educating the WholeHearted Child, Clay and Sally say this about a mother's influence:

No one can replace the influence you alone can have on your children. However, your influence won't come from having read all the right books on motherhood, or listened to the latest parenting "experts". It will come because of your faithfulness--because you faithfully follow God's design for motherhood.

A few weeks ago I wrote about how a mother is faithful. This is no walk in the park. It takes real dedication and real sacrifice. A sacrifice requires that it costs you something, otherwise it's not a sacrifice.

Everything we do and how we do it can be picked up by our children because being at home with them makes us their greatest influence. This is the opportunity of a lifetime! Think about it.

We have the gift of showing our children how to live righteous lives and how to serve God and one another. But we must live it, not merely read about it.

When you faithfully follow God's design for motherhood, you will serve without fail--God first and everything else follows. No, you won't be perfect at it {psssst...I'm not}, but this leaves room for God's grace to move and for our children to see what it is He's done for us.

On the other hand, if we are short with our children and show them that they are a burden to us rather than a gift, they will live as such. They will not "bother" you for the things that matter most simply because you didn't invite them in when their needs were trite [in our eyes].

That's the power of influence. Our behavior and actions, whether positive or negative, have an impact on our children.

Being that faithful mother, though, is not as idealistic as it sounds---it is, in reality, a daily and hourly challenge. -Clay & Sally Clarkson

Can I get an "Amen"? Truer words were never spoken {or maybe they were and I just haven't heard them yet}. Regardless, anything worth doing, and doing well, is going to take a lot of work. But nothing is impossible!! I think often we tend to take on this task on our own, forgetting the strength of God is within our grasp. We need only ask Him.

How many of us wake up each & every morning and intentionally pray for the strength to mother our children? How long do we wait before we cry out for help? Typically when we're already frustrated, right? Why are we waiting so long?

If you want to be a good influence on your children, you must allow God to be a good influence on you. The only way this is possible, friend, is if you meet with Him regularly--in prayer, in Scripture, in songs of praise. Stay connected with Him. This will allow the power of His Spirit to work through you and help you.

 

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The Faithfulness of a Mother

What does it mean to be a faithful mother? I believe there are several elements which create a mother who is faithful. It takes a woman of strength indeed to be that mother. A strength that is not her own. A strength that she does not earn or work for, but rather rests in. She is firmly planted by streams of living water from which she regularly draws from. She knows her weaknesses are none less than an opportunity for God's greatness to shine through. She knows that to be faithful as a mother, she must first be faithful as a daughter. In order for her to train and teach, she must be willing to be trained and taught. In order for her to give grace and forgiveness, she must receive grace and forgiveness.

park reflective by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

A faithful mother begins her mothering journey with Christ, every morning she wakes up. She recognizes her failures and her need. These things are but a foundation for the faithful mother. On this is where she begins to build

  • Perseverance -- like a seed planted in good soil is the perseverance of a mother. She holds fast to the word and hears it with an honest and open heart. It is here that perseverance grows. {Luke 8:15}
  • Sacrifice -- a life that is costly is one lived as a servant; to God first and then her family. She does not seek to be served, but to serve. She lays aside her emotions and agenda to meet with God and meet the needs of her family{Mark 10:45; Luke 11:9; Proverbs 31:10-31}
  • Devotion -- She pushes all else aside to live a life of loyalty and dedication. She is devoted to prayer, to God, and to her family, holding their needs above her own. {Col. 4:2; Psalm 1:2; Eph. 6:18; Phil. 2:3}
  • Dependance -- she does not rely on herself, but the Holy Spirit, who teaches and equips and brings back to memory those things which she has read and learned and memorized {John 14:26 ;John 16:13}

Truth be told? I don't do all those things. In fact, I really battled with even writing this post because I don't have it all together and I didn't want to put off the wrong impression. In addition, it felt strange writing all the things we should be doing when I, myself, am not doing them.

But I realize and remember. This post; this blog is not just written for you. It is written for me, too. It stems out of a desire to be that faithful mother--that faithful daughter to God. We are constantly striving for the prize, but we must remember what that prize is. It is not things in this world, it is not selfish gain. It is Christ and living a life fulfilled in Him. This is why He gives us the Bible--to help us know Him and teach us how to live a fulfilling life. That life is found in service. It always comes full circle around and lands in the same place. Love is not self-seeking.

These places are where I find His peace, and so I share them and I reach for them constantly.

If we continue to struggle we need to look at who we are serving: self or Christ.

Linked with Women Living Well Wednesday