Encouragement for Mothers

When You’re Not Sure How to Parent

Parent

I was a new mom when I accepted Christ as my Savior. My heart and mind were full of questions about how to teach my daughters about the God and His Word. One day as I read my Bible, my eyes landed on Deuteronomy 6:5-7. God amazed me by showing me His guidelines in three verses for raising my little ones. I read those verses so many times I finally memorized them.

Have you had days when you’ve wondered what in the world you’re doing as a mom? Take heart! God goes straight to the heart of the matter and packed these verse with clear communication to us parents. The first step? We must love God first. Why? Because we become what we love.

This is the reason Scripture instructs us straightforward about where we are to place our love. And not just some of it. The Lord goes further and demands all of our love. God wants us to love Him with every breath, thought, emotion and passion, and choice we make. He wants us to think of Him first and to desire to please Him above all else. And He desires for our love to be intense and complete

I’m sure you’ve people say, “There is no love like a parent’s love.” If you’re a mom or dad, you know this is true! From the moment a parent knows they have a baby on the way, all of our prayers, thoughts, and goals are channeled toward our little one. This tiny being completely consumes and preoccupies our time.

Now put the strength of this love into your love for God. This is how much God wants us to focus on Him … even more! The more we love Him, the more you and I will know about love. This will allow us to know how to love. The more we know how to love, the better you and I will love our own children. And this, by God’s grace, will make you a parent who can raise a son or daughter after God’s own heart.

A PRAYER TO PRAY
Dear Lord, You are the best Father, and I long to follow Your example of selfless love. I commit to loving You most so that I can love my child best. Amen.

MORE ENCOURAGEMENT
A Mom After God’s Own Heart offers moms practical advice and real-life suggestions for helping children, no matter what their ages, to incorporate God into daily life.

REFLECTION
“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. And you shall teach them…” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

How does the command, “love the Lord your God with all your heart” simplify the many parenting concerns that I have?

REMEMBER
When all your love centers on God, and when you follow Him with all your heart, you will qualify to lead your children to follow God too!

Teen Tuesday: Dating “A-List”

dating

The choices you make about dating will be some of the most important ones you make in your life. That’s why you should make plans now for when you may date in the future. Wait to date until you’re ready to look for a life partner. But until then, let’s do some homework.

Make a list of ideal qualities for your future spouse.
You can find these in the Bible. God’s Word has a lot to say about a godly woman’s character (see Proverbs 31).
And about a godly guy’s character (1 Timothy 6:11). Take your time to read and study these biblical standards.

Next, ask for God’s help to allow you to spot these qualities
in the lives of the girls or guys in your church or youth group.

And last, remember to ask for your parents’ advice.
Then, with all this input, make your “A list” of things you’d like in a person you will date.

Keep your list handy when you’re ready to date. Refer back to your list when you start the dating process, when you meet someone, and when you think you’re in love. These godly standards will be a useful guide for choosing the right person to date.

Meanwhile, while you are waiting and looking, prepare yourself to match the qualities on your list. Allow God to work on your godly characteristics. And remember to be patient …some qualities take years to develop.

A PRAYER TO PRAY
Dear Lord, please help me control my personal purity. Give me wisdom to do what is necessary to keep myself pure in body, soul, mind, and spirit. I will wait patiently wait for Your best to arrive. Amen.

MORE ENCOURAGEMENT
If you wish to encourage your son or daughter about additional teen-life issues, you will find a great resource in A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices or A Young Man’s Guide to Making Right Choices.

REFLECTION
“… pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11b)

Teens: What’s on my “A-List” of dating qualities?
Parents: What qualities do I desire the most in the person my teen will date? Have I shared these qualities with my teen?

REMEMBER
Godly standards are a useful guide for choosing the right person to date.

Unmet Expectations

Expectations

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

When I was a young mother, I strived to “train a child in the way he should go,” so that, “when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). A decade later, however, the expectations I’d had for my kids weren’t coming to fruition. Angry, I said to God, “This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be for my family! I did just like the Smith family, but I’m getting different results!

Like a child who doesn’t get her way, I threw a spiritual tantrum. I used my time and energy arguing with and battling against God. Then one day, in between my rantings, I took time to listen to what God seemed to be saying. “But, this is the way it is. What are you going to do with the way it really is?” I realized I had to quit fussing, embrace my present, and quit denying the reality that was before me. After all, it wasn’t helping me, my kids, or my marriage.

You see, because of my unmet expectations, I had been postponing doing anything to improve the situation. Since I didn’t like what was on my plate, I decided not to deal with the circumstances. The truth was that as long as I maintained that attitude—as long as I didn’t accept reality—no progress or change could take place.

Maybe you struggle with unmet expectations too. One of the most common areas of disappointment for women is in our marriages. It’s oftentimes difficult to face the less-than-desired reality in them. For most of us, our fantasies, expectations, and dreams about what marriage will be are usually different from the day-to-day realities of married life.

So, the questions that face our unmet expectations are:

What am I going to do about the way it is?
What solution or plan does God want me to pursue as a remedy?

You see, once we accept our reality, we can then use our time and energy to make it better. So, challenge yourself today to acknowledge unmet expectations. Then, accept what is real and commit to trust that God oversees and has overseen every detail of your life —your singleness, your marriage, your family, your job, your every circumstance. This will guide you to act on what is true and real (Philippians 4:8), rather than resent reality and idly wait for fantasies to magically materialize.

A Prayer to Pray
Dear Lord, with a heart full of faith and hope, and with You by my side, I will let go of unmet expectations. By Your great grace, I’ll trust that my circumstances are for my good and Your glory. And through Your strength, I’ll pursue wisdom to make needed changes. Amen.

More Encouragement
You will find more about God’s wonderful character in Loving God with All Your Mind.

Reflection
What action am I postponing by denying the reality of a specific circumstance in my life? When have I faced reality and positively changed the situation that was holding me back?

Remember
God oversees and has overseen every detail of your life —your singleness, your marriage, your family, your job, your every circumstance.

When Everyone Is Looking for You

looking

Do you ever feel by the end of most days that everyone is looking for you? Well, in a small way, you are getting an idea of how Jesus may have felt on one particular day that is described in Mark 1:29-39. No matter how tired Jesus was,

  • He reached out and healed Peter’s mother-in-law in the house (verse 31).
  • He reached out and healed all who were waiting outside the house (verse 32).
  • He reached out to the rest of the city to help them (verses 33-34).
  • He reached out to all Galilee, to those in other towns in the area (verses 35-39).

How do you decide who gets—and truly needs—your attention and care? Here’s one way Jesus answers this question. The day after the super busy day just described, He prepared Himself for another people-packed day by getting up early before everyone else, disappearing to a quiet spot, and praying (verse 35).

The results? Prayer refreshed God’s Son for what would be expected of Him during the new day in front of Him. Prayer also gave Him direction for the day. And prayer can do the same for you. Like Jesus, check in with the Father for His lead. Then begin at home by being available to your family.

Drawn from Finding God’s Path Through Your Trials by Elizabeth George. In this helpful resource, Elizabeth discusses the hard times we all face and reveals how people can “count it all joy.” 

Where the Golden Rule Begins

Rule

How would you describe the atmosphere in your home? For instance, what do you hear? Bickering, yelling, arguing, and angry words? Whining, complaining, tattling, or back talk?

The solution is Jesus’ Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (see Luke 6:31).

Living the golden rule at home starts with…

  1. Living the golden rule. Check your own heart and actions. What’s coming out of your mouth? How are you treating your family members?
  2. Setting some rules. Determine what behaviors are in and out. The goal is family love.
  3. Focusing on the importance of family. Train your children from Day #1 to be the best siblings they can be—sweet, helpful, kind, and encouraging. A family should be “one for all and all for one.”

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31)

In Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George provides an engaging and inspirational resource for every mom who wants to lead her daughter to a godly life by example, encouragement, study, and prayer.

A Generous Soul

Generous

Most people and families—and maybe you too—are simply trying to stay afloat financially. That makes it hard at times to think about giving some of your hard-earned money to your church and to others. But you must realize you are not giving to others or even to a church. You are giving to God as an act of worship.

When it comes to your giving, the issue is not how much you give, but your heart attitude when you give. This is a part of what brings about God’s blessings upon you. As Proverbs 11:25 states, “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”

As you fill your soul each day with God’s Word, your heart will overflow in a multitude of good works. Only it won’t be work! And it won’t be because you have to. And it won’t be to get something back in return. No, giving from your heart will be pure joy, motivated by pure love for God, who has given so much to you.

 

In Proverbs for a Woman’s Day, Elizabeth George takes you on a journey through the 31 chapters of Proverbs, which cover the matters closest to your heart, including how to…

  • trust in God when it’s hard
  • find fulfillment in your marriage
  • train and enjoy your children
  • conquer your bad habits
  • pursue lasting success

The Flower of Motherhood

Mother

We love to honor our mothers with roses on Mother’s Day. Today let’s honor Manoah’s wife with a single beautiful rose for her motherhood.

Known throughout the Bible as “Manoah’s wife,” another phrase can be used to describe this lovely lady: She was “Samson’s mother.” This gentle woman lived her life in the shadow of two men—her husband, Manoah, and her famous son, Samson, a judge of God’s people and the strongest man who ever lived. Being a wife and mother appears to have been enough for her happiness and fulfillment.

Aren’t you glad the Bible paints such a positive picture of parenting? From it we learn these divine truths about being a mom:

  • Children are a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3).
  • The fruit of the womb is a reward (Psalm 127:3).

The Bible also gives parents sound advice for raising children. For instance …

  • Train up a child in the way he should go (Proverbs 22:6).
  • Bring your children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
  • Love your children (Titus 2:4).

If you’re a mom, your calling is a high and noble one, a momentous stewardship as God entrusts precious children—His special creations—to you! Have a blessed and happy Mother’s Day!

 

Start or end your day with the powerful reminders of God’s work in the lives of women in the Bible in One Minute with the Women of the Bible by Elizabeth George. You’ll find encouragement for your own faith journey as you learn how God has comforted, helped, and provided for these women.

Faith in a Fallen World

Faith

All around you is evidence that evil is in this fallen world. But take heart! You can make a difference….like the mother Jochebed did. She lived in an evil world that was growing darker every day. When her third baby was born, the Egyptian Pharaoh put forth his evil hand of oppression. He ordered that every boy born to the Jews be murdered (Exodus 1:16, 22). What could Jochebed—a godly woman and devoted mother—do against such evil? She could take action in faith!

  • CourageJochebed decided to keep Moses, her baby, rather than kill him, thereby preserving him to bless the world.
  • CreativityJochebed made a basket from bulrushes and put her baby in it. He floated in the Nile River close to where Pharaoh’s daughter came regularly.
  • CareDuring the brief time she had Moses, Jochebed lovingly nursed and diligently trained him in the ways of the Lord.
  • ConfidenceAfter giving her son loving care and spiritual instruction, Jochebed returned her son to Pharaoh’s household. She trusted God would care for her boy.

Like Jochebed, don’t fret because of evildoers. Instead, take up the challenge. Devote yourself to raising children who have faith and who love God. And take heart! The prince of darkness is helpless against the power of the truth you plant in your children’s hearts and minds.

In A Mom After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George offers 10 principles to help moms make God an everyday part of their children’s lives. Whether your kids are young or grown, you will learn how to teach your children God’s Word, train them in God’s ways, and pray with and for them.

Praying for Your Daughter

Daughter

As a mom, you are God’s go-to person for your daughter, Number One on His list as someone who prays for her. Each of the following suggestions will help you become the mom you dream of being, and will better your life … and her’s too!

  1. Check your heart.
    Being a mom after God’s own heart is a matter of the heart—your heart. We’ll get to praying for your daughter, but first pray about your heart and its spiritual condition. When you pray, you are acknowledging that God is an active participant in your life, and your girl’s too.
  1. Ask God for wisdom.
    Here’s what I call Mom’s Go-to Verse: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). Pray day and night for wisdom from God about how to raise a young woman after His own heart.
  1. Make a prayer list for your daughter.
    If you’re not careful, your prayers for your daughter can become general or even rote. Yet she has specific issues she faces each day of her life. So develop a prayer list or book just for her. Record your concerns and her prayer requests too. Then bring these concerns before God.
  1. Refuse to miss a day.
    If you, dear mom, aren’t praying for your girl each day, who is? Probably no one. Don’t let a no-one-prayed-for-my-daughter day happen! The stakes are much too high for you to miss even one day of spending some time in prayer for your precious child.

In Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George provides an engaging and inspirational resource for every mom who wants to lead her daughter to a godly life by example, encouragement, study, and prayer.

Church Is a Great Mother-Daughter Time  

church

I don’t know what stage of daughter-raising you are in right now, but it’s never too early to take your daughter to church. Mary took Jesus to “church” when He was only eight days old. We see Him in the temple again at age 12 (see Luke 2:21, 41-46).

And it’s never too late to take your daughter to church. The more she goes, the more friends she will make, the more she will feel like she fits in, and the more fun she will have. And, of course, the more steady and powerful the influence the Word of God will have on her heart and mind.

And what if she’s not too excited about going to church? Well, hang in there. The time is now. Start praying. And be faithful about attending church yourself. As a parent, you are responsible to train up your daughter in the things of the Lord. So make the decision to go to church and hold to it.

Don’t forget to make going to church special—pick up donuts on the way, or have lunch out afterward. Encourage your daughter to bring along a friend. Be sure to include lots of love and encouragement … and prayer that God will break through to her heart and show her the joy of knowing the Lord.

In Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart, with her biblical insight and child-raising experience, Elizabeth guides you through the development of your daughter’s spiritual life of faithfulness, obedience, and joy lived daily.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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