Did you know God wanted moms to have some earthly backup? I think that is one of the reasons Paul told the older women to teach the younger women. (Titus 2:3-4) God knows being a mother is one of the greatest blessings on earth. He also knows it is one of the greatest responsibilities.
I don’t know about you, but when I am responsible for something incredibly important, I tend to get a little stressed. Add the love a mother has for her children and the pressure can be overwhelming at times. I remember when my daughter was an infant, there was a part of me that may just have thought it was important to make sure she breathed regularly. After a few days of motherhood, I finally realized she probably didn’t need me to watch her breathe every breath just in case she forgot one!
Some parts of parenting aren’t quite that easy. How do you get a toddler to eat vegetables? Why won’t Johnny take a decent nap? Will my kid get into college if he misses a bath at the age of five? How can I dedicate my child to God?
Oh, there are lots of people with tons of answers. Make your own baby food from scratch. Pacifiers, no pacifiers. Whom do you trust? Actually much of what concerns mothers has a pretty large margin of error. My daughter seems to have not been scarred for life from being allowed to eat only ice cream one day for her lunch on our vacation in St. Louis (technically a concrete!). Other things (like skipping worship) may seem minor, but can possibly have more serious consequences later.
My life line in parenting has been my sister to sister group. This wonderful group of Christian moms adopted a couple of us new moms about fifteen years ago. Their children were already in high school and college. Their husbands were deacons in the Church. They had well behaved children who loved God and served Him even at that age. These days they have grandchildren and their husbands are elders. I love watching as their grandchildren send videos of themselves reciting scriptures, saying prayers or singing praise songs.
Often moms are encouraged to seek out their peers- moms who are at the exact same stage of parenting. While it can have its advantages, it can also get you stuck in a rut. Everyone tends to struggle with the same problems and most of you probably have no idea if what is working for your child now may have long term negative consequences.
My sister to sister group has been wonderful. I am sure there have been many times they giggled silently to themselves at my naiveté. Instead of lecturing though, they kindly give me words of wisdom often backed with scriptures and prayer. In fact, my daughter views them as aunties and whenever she has a serious prayer request, she makes sure they are praying all over it.
If your church doesn’t have small groups for women, start your own. Ask several Christian moms of older children to join you and some of your young mom friends for a Bible study once a week. Most of our studies have been basic Bible ones, a parenting focus isn’t essential. Our fellowship and prayer times gave me regular opportunities to seek godly advice. In fact, if anyone is having a major struggle, study has been known to stop and focus totally on listening, counseling and prayer.
Take advantage of the earthly parenting help God wanted you to have. If you can’t find a small group, seek out a mentor. Spend regular time with her in Bible study and prayer. Be willing to open your life up to these godly older mothers and listen carefully to their advice. Test it with scripture. If it is godly, take my advice and follow it. Why re-invent the wheel, when you have someone who can help you avoid a lot of the mistakes?
I would love for you to share with others about your godly mentors in a comment below. How have they helped you be a better parent?