Living the Mom Life Day 4: A Serious Responsibility
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6, ESV)
A harp seal stays with her baby for 12 days, and then leaves it. If a black bear only has one cub instead of several, she will often abandon it, as she feels it’s not worth her time. A cuckoo bird lays her eggs in another bird’s nest for them to raise. Obviously, raising babies is not a serious task for some mammals. For humans, however, raising our young is a much greater responsibility. There are various stages of responsibility when raising children. When they are babies, they are completely dependent on you for everything. Babies are so helpless, and you worry about meeting their every need in the most beneficial way possible for their development. As they grow older, you worry about keeping them from harm as they explore their world, trying to encourage them to eat healthy foods and learn to say “please” and “thank you.” When they begin school, you help them learn to read and write, and encourage them to display kindness, to work hard, and to play outside. They start to ask difficult questions, and you pray for wisdom to provide appropriate answers. You worry about what they hear or see when they are not with you, try to create healthy balances, and constantly encourage making good choices. Then come the teenage years, which I have not had the pleasure of entering into yet, but I know that stage requires a whole different level of responsibility. Being a mom does not stop at just meeting their survival needs. You are raising little humans who grow up to be big humans, and it’s up to you to help them acquire what they need to function in this world. No pressure, right?
Of course we want to raise happy, successful children, but our number one responsibility is to tell our children about God’s love for them and their need for salvation from their sins. This can be done by reading the Bible together, taking them to church, praying together, and talking about God. Having that open communication with our children is essential as they grow up, and is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly.
A study performed by Barna shows the powerful influence moms have on their children. Sometimes we aren’t really sure if our kids are actually listening to us or paying attention to anything we’re doing. But these charts clearly indicate that they not only pay attention to us, but also desire to come to us for guidance, encouragement, and support, and we are heavily responsible for their emotional well-being.
Since we are not harp seals and our responsibility as mothers extends well beyond 12 days, mistakes are bound to happen. Remember how Rebekah tricked her husband, Isaac, into giving the wrong son his blessing? That was a big mistake on Rebekah’s part. Yes, she was probably thinking about what God had told her when she was pregnant with her twin sons, that one day the older would serve the younger. But lying and deceit were certainly not the way God had intended for this to happen. However, God is sovereign and merciful, and His plan still came to fruition, even with the mistakes that Rebekah had made. Like her, we are bound to buckle at times under the weight of responsibility we have. We’ll lose our temper; we’ll say things we don’t mean; we’ll make bad choices. But God remains sovereign. With His help, regardless of the mistakes we will inevitably make, we can still continue with the responsibilities we have as a mom: to love and to teach the children God has entrusted into our care. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7).