What My Mother Did (5/5)

The fifth major thing I want to imitate in my mother’s parenting is her praying. She knew that all the wonderful things she did could not save us, so she was frequently before the throne of grace asking for God’s blessing on her use of means for our salvation.

I think she prayed for us more than she disciplined us (something we frequently needed). One afternoon, we were all out on the porch, bickering and fighting about something petty. Suddenly, Mum was there, looking not very happy with all of us, and we fell silent. Continue reading

Mothers & Daughters

About ten years ago, Carloyn Mahaney and her three adult daughters gave a set of talks on the mother-daughter relationship. The three sessions (one for mothers, the other for daughters, one Q&A) are well worth listening to if you are a mother, daughter, or husband and father. The only caveat I have is that Carolyn Mahaney states repeatedly that the goal of mothering is the children’s salvation. This would mean that a godly mother who has unbelieving children has not reached her goal. Continue reading

What My Mother Did (4/5)

The fourth major thing that I want to imitate in my mother’s example is selflessness. Dying to self is something which she exemplified with small children, then with a house full of teenagers, now with grandchildren, and always with a busy husband.

Growing up, this seemed so normal that I did not even think about it. But living away from home and having my own family has made me realize how much my mother prioritized the needs of others around her, putting her own last. Continue reading

What My Mother Did (3/5)

The third main thing I’m thankful for in my mother’s example is her attitude to stuff – money, clothes, things. Her two-fold approach to material stuff had powerful spiritual consequences.

My mother took care of the things God had given her, and taught us to do the same. She used money frugally. She cleaned the house. She washed our clothes (especially working on all the grass and mud stains). She dusted picture frames, polished stuff, and generally took very good care of everything. She taught us that since God had given us this stuff, we needed to not only take care of it and make it last, but also use it in ways that blessed others. Continue reading

What My Mother Did (1/5)

“We all become our mothers,” an elderly pastor’s wife told me recently, “So decide what you want to imitate so that you are doing it consciously, and leaving out any bad!” I can and will spend a lifetime imitating my mother’s amazing example. But mulling over it, five aspects of her mothering stood out as major ones which have been immensely helpful to my spiritual development, and which I still draw from today. They are practices I certainly want to imitate and have my children benefit from. Continue reading

Praying for Children

Pray with parents whose children are a great concern to them or have become a grief to them.

Lord, give parents the desire of their souls concerning their children, which is to see them walking in the truth. Form Christ in them at a very early age. Let their children know and love you, the God of their fathers. Inspire them to serve you with their whole heart and with a willing mind. Let children be pointed in the right direction as arrows in the hands of their parents, that the parents may count themselves happy to have a quiver full of them. Let children never be arrows that pierce the hearts of their own parents. 2 John 4; Gal. 4:19; I Chron. 28:9; Psa. 127:4, 5.
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“Who Gives This Woman?”

To hear this question as a father must quicken the pulse. Hearing it as a mother makes me nervous. It seems so against parental nature to publicly state that you give your blessing to your daughter leaving your protection, and decades of love and instruction to go live with a man roughly her own age whom she met relatively recently. Though the man loves your daughter, he cannot yet know and love her as well as you do. That deep love develops after marriage.
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