Wednesday, June 19, 2013

 Dear sweet moms, lets learn to be intentional while raising our children. Lets 'train them up in the way that they should go' all the time. Lets use every teachable moment and not waist it!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Recently one rainy day I took the kids to a bounce house near our home. Apparently everyone in my area had the same thought! There were lots of kids and their mamas there. I saw lots of amazing, awesome behavior from lots of the kids. I saw older kids waiting patiently for my two year old to   s l o w l y    climb the slide ladder. One older girl liked my twins so much she would play with them and watch out for one while I ran to find 'the one that got away.' I found her mama before we left and told her what a sweet girl she was raising.- You should have seen that mama smile!

With lots of kids you are bound to see some not so good behavior as well. I saw kids fighting over the bouncy balls. I saw kids pushing and yelling at each other. I saw one little boy punch another little boy in the face. When I looked around to see where his mom was- she was not there, she was off in the distance, inattentive and unaware.

Listen moms, if our goal is to train up our children- not just raise them, then we must be intentional with them at all times. I get it, you want a brake. I get it!  You want to have a conversation that doesn't involve poop or bugs or why we have to have nap time. I totally get it! I am with you, I am there!  But, the poop, the bugs and the nap time will be all but gone soon enough. You know what wont be gone: you child, that is now an adult, that still acts like a child because he never learned how to handle himself.

My goal as a mom is not to just raise my children- tack on another year to his age until he is out of the house (finally). My goal is to train up my children, to hopefully produce a God-fearing, productive member of society. Make him (or her) kind and confident and a lover of Jesus and I have done my job. The way we do this is to be intentional- all the time. Don't go to the bounce house or the play date and never watch, interact or discipline your child. Watch over them, encourage and correct them. Yes, I would have loved to be standing with the other mamas and talking about- what ever two adults talk about these days! But, in my view I have a bigger responsibility, to train my children, to not waist any opportunity to get it right!

The added benefit? I get to talk with my kids about the day. "How do you think that little boy felt when the kid in the red shirt punched him? What would you do if he punched you?" I get to praise them and encourage them for being brave and sliding down the big slid. For my 3 year old, I got to praise her for introducing herself to another child the way I have been teaching her. Had I not been there, I never would have known she so politely and confidently introduced herself!  There is such an added benefit for interacting with your child over talking with the other moms or playing on your cell phone. Our kids crave our attention and love having a mom to give it to them.

Don't get me wrong. I struggle. I struggle just as much as the next mom with feels of being alone and needing some time away. Lets remember though, that this time we have with our little ones- before they head off to school- is short and important. So important, so short. We are molding and shaping who they are and who they will become. God made them. He gave them their temperament, but he allows us to mold them. They are the clay and we get to dig in, get our hands dirty and shape them into amazing adults! My shy, sweet 3 year old may never be aggressive, but I can train her- mold her to be confident and stand up for herself and for the Lord. My out going (aggressive) 2 year old will probably never be shy and reserved, but I can train her to have self control and to use her fierceness for Gods Kingdom. I know that on any given day my child may be the one punching another child. I know that my children and myself are not above any sin, but I can use that opportunity to train him or her. But, I have to be present to be able to do so.

Dear sweet moms, watch over your kids. Don't waist a moment to train and teach them. You may enjoy the conversation that you had with another adult, but you will never regret spending that extra moment with your kids. You will never regret being able to use a moment to teach them and train them up.

Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 

Galatians 6:9