One day I sat down and wondered and prayed, “Where does Christian childrearing really begin? And what is Thing 1, Goal 1 for a mom?”
In a few seconds I had the answer! And it came from God’s Word. It was packaged in three verses I had discovered as a young mom, and also as a baby Christian. I flashed back on those early new-believer days of excitement, of newness, of need as I hungered to find out for the first time what God teaches about…everything! And especially “What in the world am I supposed to do with two little toddling girls?”
I’m so glad a wise woman had advised me to read in my new Bible every day. Well, the day arrived when I made it to the book of Deuteronomy. And there I hit gold when my eyes landed on Deuteronomy 6:5-7. I was stunned. Amazed. Thrilled! God was actually showing me His guidelines for raising my own little daughters, then only one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half years old. And in only three verses! How practical is that?
Here’s what I read over and over again and finally memorized:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
I adore these verses because they are packed with clear communication to moms. God goes straight to the heart of the matter — the parent’s heart, the mom’s heart. He knows we become what we love. So He is utterly straightforward about where we are to place our love: We are to love Him supremely.
Believe me, I thought through this powerful passage — a lot! Then I took it apart word by word and thought by thought. And I came up with two questions I constantly asked my heart during those days with little girls, and still ask even today with two married daughters who are now raising their daughters. (After all, a mom is always a mom!)
Heart Question #1: What — and whom — do I love?
We “love” a lot of things for a lot of different reasons. But God prescribes perimeters and scope for our love. He tells us what not to love: “Do not love the world or the things in the world” (1 John 2:15). And He tells us what we are to love and where our love is to be focused — we are to “love the Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:5) with every fiber of our being.
Heart Question #2: What’s in my heart?
I don’t know what’s in your heart, and I’m working on what’s in mine! But God tells both of us what is supposed to be there, what He wants to be there. Here it is: He says, “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart” (verse 6). So…God’s second assignment for you as a mom is to be committed to His Word. You are to do whatever it takes to embed the teachings of the Bible in your heart, soul, and mind. As the saying goes, “You cannot impart what you do not possess.”
To teach and guide, lead and raise a daughter after God’s own heart presupposes and requires that you love God and that God’s truth be in your heart first. Then you possess something to impart. Then you have the most important thing to pass on to your precious daughter — the truth about God and His grace.
Dear God, please help me to love You and to love Your Word, so much so that it accelerates me down the path to being a more dedicated mother after Your own heart. Amen.
A Mom After God’s Own Heart—This updated version of Elizabeth’s classic will encourage you as you meet your children's daily needs, influence their lives, and guide their hearts.
Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart—An engaging and inspirational resource for every mom who wants to lead her daughter to a godly life by example, encouragement, and prayer.
When do you spend time in God’s Word? What is the last Bible verse you memorized?
The more you love the Lord, the better you shall love your earthly dearest daughter.