This post is written by contributing writer, Tasha from Spann-ing the Globe.
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
As a woman and mother, do you realize you are in your own at-home ministry? In the book “The Ministry of Motherhood” by Sally Clarkson, she explains that children need an unwavering spiritual compass to lead them through life, one that we mothers provide as part of our ministry.
This book intrigued me in many ways: 1) I am in ministry as a “career”, 2) I am a mother, and 3) I am a mother who seeks to raise her child in the love of Christ. Using the Bible as an example, the book invites you to re-evaluate the importance of the spiritual nurturing and training of your child. It guides you in ways to show your children how to seek His kingdom by observing faith and actions from your Christ-centered life.
5 Gifts You Can Give Your Children
- The Gift of Grace. There are many times as a mother I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and at the end of my rope! The baby is crying and I have a list of things I want NEED to get done. My feelings begin to influence me instead of grace. We need to extend “the gifts of constant love, grace, and forgiveness. And we can only do this by relying continually on the grace of our own relationship with the Lord.” In practicing the fruits of the spirit, our children will begin to build their foundation of faith based on our actions!
- The Gift of Inspiration. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. We all have special skills and talents that are gifts from God, that are to be used to help further His kingdom. God has a purpose for our lives, all our lives. One of our jobs as parents is to help our children to see those gifts and talents in themselves. We then help our children understand that these gifts are to be used to bring glory to God. This is how we teach our children about stewardship. We are the ones who inspire our children to be stewards of the Word, to further His kingdom so that one day they can give an account of their lives to God.
- The Gift of Faith. One of the most important jobs of being a mother is laying a foundation of truth for our children, teaching them the reality of eternity. Teaching our children faith does not come from simply telling them what to believe and what not to believe. It comes through our actions and examples in our own daily walk with God. We give our children a model of living in faith when they see our compassion towards others, our hunger for the Living Word, and our passion in the Spirit. We want our children to see God daily, not rituals or legalism. John 20:29 tells us “blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” How do we teach our children a belief in a God whom they cannot see, feel, touch, taste, or hear?
- The Gift of Training. Godliness is something we are rarely naturally born with. It is so important for us to train our children how to behave and how to focus on God and not themselves. We must guide our children to find their path in life. Encouragement is necessary for our children to be independent learners, responsible people, and to follow the Savior’s example in word and deed. Training your children is not easy, but how else do they learn the skills and values they need to develop their character, confidence, and integrity? Proverbs 22:29 tells us that the skillful man goes before kings. Are we teaching our children these skills?
- The Gift of Service. How do you teach your child to have the heart of a servant? Our children learn by our example. It is so easy to become overburdened with church activities, spending time with friends, cooking and cleaning, etc., that we miss the opportunity to cultivate our children. John Lennon’s phrase, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” comes to mind here. Sometimes the best character-building opportunities happen by not planning and just by interacting with what’s in front of us. Sally Clarkson said we are God’s love to the world. Are we taking the time to get to know our children, playing with them, developing their talents, and helping them with their daily trials?
I highly recommend this book to anyone who realizes how easily the daily demand of life dictates your parenting priorities. Seeing motherhood as a ministry has helped me to re-evaluate my priorities, and points me ever to the Cross of Christ for the strength to persevere when the going gets tough.
Which gift do you need to impart to your children?
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