As I scroll through Facebook, I see blog posts for potty training your toddler over the weekend, how to get your kids to listen, and how to get your kids to eat right. I read one post that tells moms to cloth diaper their babies and feed them homemade pureed food, then I click over to another blog telling me to manage my kids’ screen time and get them to eat their veggies.
Moms are inundated with advice and opinions (some unsolicited) in real life and on the internet. There is no shortage of mommy blogs and parenting books. But what if I told you none of that matter as much as one thing? The Word of God. A steady diet of Scripture will change how we mother, while simultaneously being the foundation for our mothering. The Word of God trains mother and child alike.
Living out the Word of God and applying Scripture to our daily lives is part of the believer’s life. Like James tells us: faith without works is dead (James 2:26). We must put our Bible knowledge into action. And true knowledge of God is found in reading and obeying God’s commands (1 John 2:3-6). This leads to transformation in our mothering. If we seek to know and obey God’s Word, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be better moms, and we will be better equipped to serve our children and train them indirectly through our godly behavior. This is how we become the living example of Christ to our children.
The Bible changes me first
Do we as moms believe that Scripture is powerful enough to help us in our mothering?
Paul encouraged young Timothy that Scripture would enable him to be effective in his work: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV). Paul’s point here is that Scripture is profitable for moms, too. God’s Word will give us what we need for all our good works in and out of the home.
And there’s more going on in this principle than just being a good mom. As we apply the Word to our mothering we are actually being trained in righteousness—and we’re modeling godly behaviors for our children. When I realize I’m struggling with anger towards my children, I recall the Scripture I have read about how God’s Spirit can change my character. So I ask God to produce that fruit of the Spirit in my life called patience. It can be a quick prayer in my mind for help amidst the busyness of packing lunches and driving the minivan. But as brief and simple as that is, it’s still me applying the Word to my mothering. When I do that, I’m training myself to be a better mom to my children. I’m equipping myself for the craziness of motherhood every day. And at a deeper level, I myself am being changed: the more I rely on God’s Word and Spirit, the more I long to know him and be like him.
The place where a mother can’t go
Not only is Scripture training and equipping me, it’s my foundational resource for equipping and training my children. In Paul’s letter to Timothy he says this:
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
(2 Timothy 3:14-15 ESV)
Timothy grew up being fed the Word of God by his mother and grandmother. (Those are likely the two women Paul is referring to here in these verses when he says, “Knowing from whom you learned it”). Timothy’s mother rooted her young son in the Scriptures; it was her primary tool for training him in righteousness. Centuries after Timothy’s mother taught him God’s Word, it remains the most effective tool for every mother. The Bible is alive and active, as sharp as a sword (Hebrews 4:12). It can instruct the mind, pierce the soul, and kindle the affections of the heart. It convicts and cuts us to heal us. As we faithfully instruct our children in Scripture, we entrust our children to the work of the Holy Spirit, who will work through the Word to get to the unreached places of the heart—the place where a mother cannot go, the place of true transformation.
Teaching my children to value God’s Word takes creativity and perseverance. Each child, each situation is different. Whether it’s working on memorizing Scripture together, or simply modeling what it means to be humble and ask for forgiveness, I trust that God’s Word will shape my children just as it did for Timothy. If you are just starting out with bringing Scripture to your parenting, don’t be overwhelmed. Children’s Bibles like The Jesus Storybook Bible or The Action Bible can help engage kids with Scripture at their level. One of the best ways to instill a love of Scripture in my children is to show them how much I rely on and trust God’s Word.
The One who loves them best
As moms, our trust must not be in ourselves, but in the power of the Word of God and the Spirit of God. When we continually look for opportunities to point our children to Scripture and the help of the Holy Spirit, we are using the most effective parenting tools on the market.
Motherhood is a daily act of entrusting our children to the care of Christ. He will work where we cannot. In fact, he already has. Christ has paid the penalty for sin, not just for us, but for our children. He has done for them what we could never do. He has provided for their eternal souls in the most important way. We can’t add to the work of salvation that Christ has already accomplished, but we can be faithful to point our children to the work Christ has done for them. And the place where we find this truth is in Scripture—a firm foundation for ourselves and our children.
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