The Mission of Motherhood ~ Chapter 6

Mission of Motherhood


Continuing with my daughter’s Mission of Motherhood book study, Chapter 6:

“We are now halfway through the book The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for EternityThank you for studying along with me and for making our book club an encouraging place for all of the moms who have signed up. Please keep in mind that if I am moving along at a quicker pace than you are comfortable with, you are always welcome to go back and leave comments on any of the previous chapters as you read them. Don’t feel like you need to hurry through -there will not be a test at the end of December. :)

As I was flipping back through my book this week, I came across this thought from Sally’s introduction that I had merely skimmed over the first time through:

I do not consider myself to be a perfect mother. My aspirations and what I can idealize oftentimes far exceed my ability to live up to them in reality. Yet it is in being able to visualize the dreams of my heart and beauty of God’s design that I have found a standard of maturity to move toward. (p. 3)

Oh, how I can relate to this! The ideals that I have for motherhood often exceed my abilities, too. Sometimes I wonder how beneficial these ideals really are. But I have to ask myself, “If I didn’t have those ideals out there in front of me, what would I be moving toward?”

I hope that as we are studying through this book, you are not feeling overwhelmed with all of the great ideas and ideals presented in each chapter. I don’t think that Sally wrote the book so that all of us would shake our heads and bemoan all of the things we aren’t doing right, do you? Rather, she wrote to inspire us with a vision of what motherhood can be.

Each one of us has natural abilities that make us more capable in some aspects of mothering than in others, but every single one of us has room to grow. In addition, most of us aren’t able to perfectly implement everything that we hear or read about on the first try (or the second, or the third!) Changes in heart and habit usually come slowly, with practice and plenty of mistakes. I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful for the grace my children show me as I’m growing toward being a more faithful and intentional mom!

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In Chapter 6, Sally shares more guidance for us to consider as we mature in our mothering. This time, she focuses on ways in which we can train our children to think Biblically.

Sally says:

Everyone has a philosophy of life, whether he or she knows it or not. We all base our actions on what we believe. What we think about creation, life, God, marriage, our jobs, and eternity determines both what we do and what we become. If our philosophy is not based on truth, then our whole life will be a lie. (p. 101)

These are strong words, perhaps, but ones worth considering.

One of our jobs as mothers is to protect our young children from all of the godless philosophies out there in the world. This involves more than simply filling our children’s heads with nice little Christian sayings. This means that we need to teach our children how to think so that as they grow, they can think for themselves according to Biblical convictions when we aren’t around.

The culture in which our children are growing up says that there is no absolute truth. In this climate, is it even possible to help our children keep focused on what real truth is?

If you and I want to help our children to think clearly, truthfully, and Biblically about God and the world, we need a game plan. We need to understand the scope of the Biblical knowledge that they will need as they go through life and we need a plan for helping them acquire that knowledge.

Sally shares five areas in which she and her husband decided they would focus on as they taught their children to think Biblically:

Biblical literacy

Morality and laws

Theology

Wisdom

Faith

I will briefly summarize these five areas, but Sally does a wonderful, thorough job of offering suggestions as to how to pass these things on. You may want to consider setting aside some extra time to carefully go through this week’s chapter.

April 2011.2 032

Scripture (Teaching Biblical literacy)

Jesus said that if we build our lives on the foundation of His words, then our lives will be stable, like a house on a rock. (Matthew 7:25), Therefore, the Bible is the richest treasure we can offer our children – the most valuable tool for shaping their thinking.

In order to open the treasure chest of God’s Word to our children however, we have to first be fully convinced in our own minds of the authority and authenticity of the Scripture and its application to life. If we don’t see the Scriptures’ relevance to our own lives, we will not be able to pass on a love of God’s Word to our children. The good news is, even if we are not Biblically literate ourselves, but we grasp the concept that it is of great importance, then we have the opportunity to learn right along with our children!

Helping our children to become at home with God’s Word is a systematic, step-by-step process – one that does not happen overnight or “by accident”. The examples that Sally shares in this section may be helpful if you are just getting started on this journey of Biblical literacy.

Christian Law and Morality (Teaching right and wrong)

Before children can ever make right decisions, they need to understand what the Bible says about right and wrong. Young children can often grasp the concrete idea of “rules”, so the 10 Commandments are a good place to start.

Faithful, repetitive teaching of the Biblical principles of right and wrong – plus a gentle but firm insistence that the children act on those principles – is what helps to build familiar pathways in their minds so that when they are mature, they will have a reliable basis for making decisions about what is right and what is wrong. (p. 108)

As children grow, they will learn how to apply those rules to broader, more grey areas of life.

Another part of teaching right and wrong is not only to teach the Biblical content of right and wrong, but also that there is such a thing as “right and wrong”, which is an idea that is sorely missing today (even within Christianity).

Theology (Teaching the knowledge of God)

Although it is an intimidating-sounding word, theology simply refers to an understanding of who God is and what He is like.

How our children think in this regard will determine the scope of their Christian life. The degree to which they comprehend the holiness, sovereignty, omniscience, omnipotence, and redemptive love or our heavenly Father will determine the depth of their faith and devotion to Him. (p. 111)

How do we pass on sound theology to our children? Well, we can begin to having a strong relationship with God ourselves! When we love God and put Him first in our lives, speaking of Him and His ways day in and day out, our children will see that He is real. They will begin to understand why we have devoted our lives to Him.

Wisdom (Teaching God’s point of view)

What good is a person who can merely sit around and think great thoughts about God? (Not much!) God desires us to make His wisdom a foundational part of our thinking so that we can use it in our lives in a realistic way.

The wisdom found in the Bible can greatly aid us in all areas of life, but we have to actually commit it to our mind if we ever expect to use it in real life! Teaching our children the words of wisdom founds in the Bible gives them anchors to hang on to as they try to make good decisions in a society that resembles a rolling sea of relativism.

Faith (Teaching trust in God’s reality and reliability)

When we know God’s moral laws, understand basic Biblical theology, and have a grasp of the wisdom principles of Scripture, then we have a foundational basis upon which to act in faith.

Faith is not a matter of mindlessly believing in God. It is believing Him because of the soundness of the foundation He provides for our lives.

Faith is not necessarily an absence of doubt. It’s certainly not a matter of checking our minds at the door and refusing to think. Rather, it is a commitment of our wills to trust God with our lives, based on the inherent value of His moral law, an understanding of His wonderful attributes, the magnitude of His domain and creation, and the astuteness of His wisdom.

It is a personal decision we make based on our trust in the validity of these things – not a feeling that we drum up. (p. 115)

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One of the most important things we can do to pass on our faith to our children and teach them to think Biblically is to talk, talk and talk! Not talk AT, but talk WITH! :)

When we discuss God’s Word in relation to everyday life, to current events, and to our children’s relationships with friends, we are sharpening their minds, helping them to focus their thoughts and allowing Biblical truth to shape their mental processes.

Talking with our children requires time. Therefore, if we are serious about instilling habits of thinking Biblically, we really need to regard our family time as precious so that these types of discussions can take place.

Will you join with me and commit to making the most of the fleeting days you have left with your children? Let’s take every opportunity to help our children think Biblically today so that they will have a firm foundation when they leave our homes to make a difference in the world!

Now it’s your turn!

What are some specific ways in which you and your husband are teaching your children to think Biblically? Please share in the comment section below!

{I shared some of the ways we start our young ones on the path to thinking Biblically in the postMothering Monday: Introducing Our Children to God.}

Thank you for being here today! We will continue our study next Monday, November 18th, with Chapter 7: Strong Friend.

To view all posts in this book study, click HERE.

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation however I
    to find this matter to be really something that I feel I would by no means understand.

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    get the grasp of it!


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