Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”
When I woke up this morning, it was with great joy in my heart! Our youngest daughter graduates from college today! And not only that, but tomorrow is Mother’s Day and all of our girls are home to celebrate it with me. My cup overflows!!
As I laid in bed thinking about the goodness of God, I knew that I was supposed to blog this morning on raising godly children. I’ve actually thought about writing a book about it, but for the moment, I’ll just share a snapshot of praise!
There is great truth in raising children in the way that they should go! Early in our courtship we made some very real commitments to our children and they hadn’t even been conceived yet. We agreed with each other before God that we would both be involved in their spiritual journey in life and their academic life. We agreed that they would never see us fight or hear us belittle one another. We agreed to spend time with them and to enjoy each stage of life. And we agreed to discipline them in love.
Of course, I can’t write about all of that today, but I want to share about the two most important aspects of raising our children. The first challenge was to raise godly children in an ungodly society. I can truly say, we were successful because we didn’t trust our knowledge or experiences, but we relied heavily on the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We have always attended church as a family. We attended Sunday worship services and Wednesday night bible studies all of their lives. We introduced Jesus to them at an early age and then walked our faith out before them. They each accepted His Lordship as their own and throughout their college days were faithful in their walk with Him. Amazingly, we didn’t have to call and encourage them to go to church, but I believe it was because they had been taught the value of worship. When problems came in our lives, they saw us pray about it and trust God; and so when they had issues growing up, we encouraged them to pray and trust God. I used to tell them when they misbehaved that the devil was using them, but they would get the spanking. It curbed a lot of nonsense!
The other area we were consistent in was academics. Raising godly children in an ungodly education system is a challenge for every godly parent. But we did it! We agreed to support our children academically. My husband was strong in math and science and would help with those areas and I was strong in literacy and help with that. Throughout their time in school we kept with that commitment. If my kids would ask me to help them with math, even if I understood it, I would refer them to their dad. And he always helped them! When they graduated from high school they were strong in both areas. Of course they had leanings toward one or the other, but they were prepared for college.
When they had homework growing up, they were never allowed to stay home from church to complete it. Never! And they were never allowed to bring it to church! They had to learn to prioritize life just as we did. And more importantly, they had to learn that service time was God’s time and it would not be compromised. They weren’t always happy with that, but they learned to do homework early on Wednesday, and don’t leave anything until Sunday because they would have a price to pay. Not me! A perfect place to add, we didn’t do their work, we only assisted. And they had more projects than you can imagine! But they made it!! Glory!!!
What am I saying? We were purposeful in raising our children. We knew that we wanted them to have a strong relationship with God and to be well-educated individuals. We didn’t believe that we had to sacrifice one to get the other. So that is how we raised them.
Looking back on them and our lives, we are pleased with who they are in Christ and professionally. We weren’t perfect parents. Just ask them! But we obeyed the Word in training them in the way they should go. We taught them to love God and have a love for His Word. We taught them the value of church attendance and service to the Lord. And we taught them the importance of education and choosing wisely a career. The stories I could tell!!
I will share, just this one. Our middle daughter plays the piano and sings. As a matter of fact they all can sing, and the oldest two really learned to play. But when it came time to go to college, she decided that she should delay college and pursue a musical career. Well, we were not in agreement with that, although we supported them in a lot of things. Since she was graduating a year early from high school we told her she could stay in high school and continue to sing and play at church or she was going to college; but there would be no time off. She went to college!
I have so much I can say about raising children. I’m a parent and an educator. I have a lot of opinions!! Lol! But the best advice I can give to those who are still parenting, is to trust your children to God and teach your children to trust Him as well. Then as you train them up in the way they should go, they will not depart!
Wishing all graduates of 2019 much success in their future endeavors! And a very happy Mother’s Day to those who get up every day meeting the challenges of motherhood with grace and love! God bless you! Wonderful Jesus!!