I am reading a book called, "The Mission of Motherhood," by Sally Clarkson. It has been one of the best books I've read on being a mom in a long time. It was so easy to read, and she gave examples from her own life with her four children on how she applied the principles she was writing about. I just wanted to share some of the quotes that stood out the most to me.
"Someone once observed, "Christians are like people who are trying to straighten the picture on the wall while the house is burning down!" Isn't that what we as mothers are tempted to do--to waste our energies trying to meet external standards while our children's deep spiritual needs go unmet and unnoticed?"
How true is that? At least, for me. I can become so consumed with how things look on the outside, that I don't always realize that what is important is the heart, and what is going on inside my child, not just their behavior. Your child's behavior is always a reaction to what's going on in their heart. This statement really convicted me about the tendency to worry too much about how my children appear to others, rather then the heart of my children.
"In my observation, however, many of these experiences are more like day camps than true discipleship tools. They entertain the kids, and the best of them offer some valuable biblical training as well. Yet I know that the real work of digging deep wells in my children's hearts with Scripture, a biblical world-view, issues, of prayer and faith, and Christian convictions is a job for which God will hold Clay and me responsible, not the volunteers at church. And this is a task that is best accomplished day in and day out with our focused attention on each child's heart."
This, too, caused me to step back and really think about how much I am discipling my kids. It's so easy to overlook our responsibility and leave it to our children's club teachers, children's church teachers, and Sunday School teachers, but no, ultimately, we will have to answer for the discipling of our kids. They are our responsibility. And no one else's.
"I have realized that one of God's purposes for my children is to be his tool for disciplining me to make me more holy! I do not have to be a perfect mom--just an authentic believer. From interacting with my children, I have seen my own selfishness and my lack of patience more clearly then ever before! I have blown it many times with my children, but even these mistakes have helped me to mature and depend on God more than I would have without my parenting responsibilities."
Amen, Amen, and Amen!!!! I have realized this so many times the last five years that I have been thrust into parenthood. This is a constant refining process, and to be honest, most days, I hate it! I hate being reminded daily of my shortcomings and failures. But that's the only way change can happen. And sometimes I need to be reminded multiple times before I grudgingly make change. God really has a sense of humor, doesn't He? He sends us little toddlers to teach us lessons! Mothering is such a humble undertaking. And frustrating. But so worth it.
If you are looking for a good book to read on how to be a better mom, and to use the dailyness of life to teach your children about God, pick up this one.