Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
As arrows are shot on a trajectory, they go in one of 2 directions: the way they would go or the way they should go. Charles Bridges, in his wonderful commentary on Proverbs, puts it this way: “An existence is commenced for eternity.”
Some of us were born to godly parents and some of us were not. I thank God for my mother because she was a wonderful example to me of what it means to follow Jesus. She faithfully taught me the Scriptures when I was young and trained me by her example of godliness. I wish I could say I blessed my mother every day by my obedience and submissiveness to her instruction. Sadly, that was not the case.
But a few things did sink in, and I believe one of those things is key to raising your children in the fear and instruction of the Lord—living with an eternal perspective. No matter how many good things we do with and for our children, if we don’t do them from an eternal perspective, they will bear little if any fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Many today live as if their homes, careers, retirement plans, and their children’s education were the sum of life. Throw in plenty of entertainment and a nice summer vacation, and wow, life is good. As nice as these things might be, they are all temporal at best and in many cases blind people to their desperate spiritual condition before an infinitely holy God. When our vision is myopic, we forget about the world’s big problem—sin. And when we forget about sin, we set aside the Gospel in one way or another, often toning down our witness to our neighbors or growing lax in the biblical instruction of our children.
My mother (and father) always viewed things in relation to eternity. They never got caught up in consumerism because they knew that God alone could fill the void in our hearts. They lived with their hands open, always choosing to give rather than choosing to get. As a child, there were times when I would have liked nicer stuff. My parents used these opportunities to teach me the value of work. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade my parents instruction for anything. The way I “should go” is indelibly printed all over the fabric of my life.
As mothers and grandmothers, when we live with an eternal perspective, we become so heavenly minded that we actually do much earthly good. The small things that could rattle us if we were focused on the here and now just lose their power. We know that we are alive this very moment because Jesus Christ is holding us together by the word of His power. We are here for a purpose, and that purpose is relevant today. This very hour, God is giving us the strength to lay down our lives for our family, our friends, and our neighbors as we say with Paul, “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.” (2 Corinthians 12:15)
Charles Spurgeon left us these encouraging and heartfelt words regarding his mother’s influence in his young life.
I am sure that, in my early youth, no teaching ever made such an impression upon my mind as the instruction of my mother; neither can I conceive that, to any child, there can be one who will have such influence over the heart as the mother who has so tenderly cared for her offspring. . . .
Never could it be possible for any man to estimate what he owes to a godly mother. Certainly I have not the powers of speech with which to set forth my valuation of the choice blessing which the Lord bestowed on me in making me the son of one who prayed for me, and prayed with me.
All our words and actions say something about our Savior to those around us, especially our children. So I want to say to all you moms out there, live in the Word of God. We have resources greater than our circumstances. We draw our life from our union with Christ, whose Spirit lives in us and is the source of all our fruitfulness.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY dear reader!