TO LOVE THEIR CHILDREN
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-4
Psalm 127:3 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him.
“Loving our children” … we carry a baby for nine months, he becomes a part of our daily life and body. The day comes when we finally meet; he is placed in our arms, there is a bond that ‘seals the deal’ and a bond of love begins to grow. What was Paul attempting to communicate in instructing Titus to teach the women to ‘love their children’? What is it they, and now we, need to learn? Isn’t it natural for a mother to love her child? What type of ‘love’ is he referring to? Given that his desire is that we all emulate the love of God, what would that look like? How about a love that is ‘sober-minded’ – a love that says “no” when necessary, even if it causes unhappiness or conflict. Paul wants us to have a vision for the type of love that takes time, taking the effort to teach with patience, as well as train in kindness. This type of love looks deep into the heart of a child, keeping the heart tender while helping weed out developing shoots of envy, jealously and lying. It’s a visionary love, with a goal that our children will develop a deep abiding love for God and reflect His character; a productive love with a purpose; “that the word of God not be maligned”. This is “loving your children.”
Most Commonly Asked Questions of Contact Moms
Q. Is it possible and reasonable to teach my toddler to stay at the table with us during and after mealtime?
A: Before addressing the issue of a toddler sitting during mealtime with the family, let’s first ask, have boundaries been set for him through the use of playpen, blanket time and even high chair time? The phrase “begin as you mean to go” from Babyhood Transitions still applies to your toddler. There was a ‘why’ for all that training, preparing for mealtime in the highchair with the family was one of them. While having your toddler sit with you is a reasonable goal, working on ‘sit time’ in the high chair at other times during the day, including breakfast and lunch is a way to begin. When you are preparing dinner or doing other activities in the kitchen, beginning with small increments of time [timer is a great tool, see pg 117 Prep for Toddler Years] place your toddler in the highchair giving him a couple of toys, or even safe kitchen tools(measuring spoons and cups). If he begins to fuss to get down, calmly say, “no, we are not done yet”. If he continues to fuss, then consider removing him to isolation in a pack n play or crib for a few minutes [no toys], then bring him back to continue the activity or to sit quietly in his highchair. This may need to be repeated many times before he makes the connection, but if you are consistent with similar training throughout the day, he’ll catch on pretty quick when it comes to the actual meal time. Remember, for some children, learning the skill of staying and sitting ‘quietly’ can take time. Think of your long-range goal and why you are training. A word of warning: Postponing training in this skill until a child is older will not get easier, so “Begin as you mean to go”.
Love: to be pleased with; to regard with affection.
From Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
“She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill, and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure for visiting, reading, music, and drawing.
Well! This is one side of the story to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God, and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ’s name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother’s heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her most tender cares, to her life-long prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!”
As a mom you want to know what the Bible has to say and what does it mean to ‘train’ the heart? What role does heart training have in parenting? Does a mom’s role include changing the heart of her child and if so, how is that accomplished? Using the analogy of a garden, Anne Marie Ezzo and Sharon Carter discuss what can be done in training the heart of a child. Practical teaching is given in how to deal with the heart that is not teachable and how this training is applied in sibling relationships. To order click here.
THOUGHTS FROM THE BOARD
Then our sons in their youth will be like well nurtured plants and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. Psalm 144:12
How can you show love to your children today?
The best way to love your children is to love and respect their Daddy! Remember the GKGW encouragement, “you will never be a better mother than you are a wife …”. Your children will never feel more loved than when they see the two most important people in their lives functioning as God intends them to. This is something we all know but, it’s been my experience in nearly 29 years of marriage, it’s usually the last consideration we make, especially if we’re in the midst of a conflict. As moms we daily care for our children by making healthy meals, planning activities, going on fun outings, spending time and money on them to participate in a myriad of things, all because we love them. And because we love them and want others to enjoy them as well, we will even correct them when necessary. All these good things are a distant second to intentionally making it a priority to love your husband and showing that love outwardly before your children everyday. Loving our children actually means putting them in third place in our life!! First place goes to the Lord, second to our husband/marriage, and then comes our children. In the busyness of life, this ranking can quickly get out of order. We are fortunate to have been given training, tools, reminders and methods, i.e. Couch Time, weekly date nights, etc. to help us stay on track. As moms desiring to love our children in a tangible way, spending time building lasting memories, and training our children to be pleasing to God, we need to first look at how we’re filling our husband’s love tank. Fill it up and keep it full, you will be loving your children in one of the best ways possible.