Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Intentional Motherhood: Teaching Children To Honor

“Honor your father and your mother,
that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Ex 20:12

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
“Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise),
“that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 
Eph 6:1-2










Twelve years. Exactly 4,392 days. About 105,408 hours.

That is how long I have been a mother.

Many of you can easily more than double those numbers. Many of you are right there with me or somewhere in the earlier years. Perhaps some of you haven't started counting and maybe yearn desperately in your heart to be counting along with the rest of us. But we are all somewhere on this mission of motherhood. And we are better to do it intentionally.

I don't know about you, but I wish I knew how much I did not know when I first started out on this journey.

I wish I truly understood that it wasn't a list of rules that I had to enforce to make my children obey. I wish that I could be brave enough to believe that love and affection will bring children to the place of obedience.

Children don't need a list of rules or this list would have been provided for us. They need to be loved and honoured and taught how to honour and obey by loving parents.

The one command in the Bible given specifically to children is to honour their parents. This is reinforced in the New Testament. To honour and obey.

The thing is, as children, they must be taught. And the greatest teacher doesn't just tell, but will demonstrate and inspire the student. Such as it is for the parent to teach the child to honor and obey.

I thought if I simply could follow a formula then my job would be pretty straightforward. But, I soon found out that children don't do formulas. They need love and to be honoured and to see what living a life of honor looks like.

This is why this post is so long in coming. I hesitate to post something that I feel I have failed at doing.


We've been given this responsibility to train the child to honor and obey. It won't just happen naturally. But, the beautiful thing is, honoring others "creates a pleasant home atmosphere". We need to study how to train our children to fulfill this children's commandment.


Developing Manners in the Child

In all their attitudes and conduct we are to train our children to show honour. We see that a lot of their behaviour and speech will develop due to habits. Often times these habits are passed down by us.

"Manners are of more importance than many people think. The neglect of good manners not only reveals a lack of respect and courtesy, but it fosters selfishness and indifference that show little concern for the feelings of others. Manners are the most important thing in education, more so than learning."
Let parents remember that by training their children to show honor and respect, even in insignificant things, they are forming habits in them which will afterward repay all their labor. "Them that honor Me I will honour" is God's law . . . This also has its reflection in the life of earth. None have received higher honor on earth than those who have learned to honor all men, to honor the poor and needy."

One of the most difficult things about developing manners is staying consistent in the training. But as we exercise diligence and self-control in our own lives our children bear the fruit of this training. It brings harmonious relationships in the family and that is worth the effort to remain consistent.


Developing Honor in Children.

Again, it is our job to do this. But, we don't do it harshly!

"The young child is guided, not by disapproval or argument, but by feeling and affection. He cannot realize and honor the unseen God. He cannot yet honor the unlovely and unworthy or see the value of their creation in God's image. The child can only honor what he sees to be 'worthy of honor.'
"This is the parent's high calling: and to speak, to act, and to live in the child's presence in such a way that honor may be spontaneously communicated. This can only happen when the parent lives in God's presence, and walks worthy of this calling . . . let the parent . . . rule and reign in love and the fear of God, and his honor will be given him."

In reality, the way to train our children to honor comes from us honoring God in our own lives. I need to put to death my own selfish desires and honor God and others above my own self. I do not take the place of God, and He alone can change the heart, but I have the privilege and responsibility, as their mother (along with their father), to train my children.

"Above all, let parents remember that honor really comes form God. Let them honor Him in the eyes of their children, and He will honor them there, too. Let them beware of honoring their children more than God. This is the surest way to grief for parents and children together. Children will learn to honor God and their parents when they see their parents honoring God in everything they do. The parent who teaches his child to obey the fifth commandment has guided his feet into he way of all God's commandments. A child's first virtue is the honoring and obeying of his parents."

A Mother's Prayer

"Lord God, fill my own soul with such honor and reverence for Your holy majesty that both I and my child may learn what honor is. Teach me to claim honor from my child with the holy aim of leading him to honor You above all. May honoring his parents and honoring his God create in my child a spirit of humility  Lord, I look to You for grace to secure the keeping of this, the children's commandment in my home. May the training of young souls to keep Your commandments, to honor and serve You, be fruit of Your own Spirit's work in me. I ask in Jesus' name. Amen."

*****


{all quotations taken directly from 'Raising Your Child for Christ' by Andrew Murray, unless otherwise noted}

IMG_2469-sz-250There's a little book, 'Raising Your Children for Christ' by Andrew Murray, on my shelf that I keep bringing down and leafing through and, Lord willing, on Wednesdays I hope to share snippets of my gleanings from it.

I don't claim to know all the answers. I need to dig deeper so that I can be even more equipped to be the mother that God intended. 

Join me on this journey? It is not a list of rules and how-to's but rather a chance to look into your own life and heart and be challenged to live a life wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord

For the first post in this series on Intentional Motherhood you can find it here.

For all posts in this series you can read them here.



4 comments:

  1. Your children are blessed to have a mother like you. :-)

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  2. Encouraging to read this...one must have a standard or anything will go. Last night we had some folks over, one with a one year old, another with a 4 year old grand daughter. Both were closely watched and so it was pleasant to be with them. It's all starts at home, discipline with love, correction according to age, making sure the rules set are followed closely. They will rise up and call you blessed someday. Good post

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, I dearly love this. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "In reality, the way to train our children to honor comes from us honoring God in our own lives." Yes. YES!

    ReplyDelete

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