Mother’s Day is right around the corner. My Facebook feed is filling up with all sorts of gift ideas for moms and heart wrenching stories about moms. My Pinterest account is full of cool crafts to make for moms. And I love all of this. It is awesome to honor moms.
The Bible tells us to honor our parents in the 10 commandments. Exodus 20:12 states:
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
I love this verse, and have been known to remind my kids about the honoring mom part, especially when they have been a little “sassy” but I want to concentrate on the 2nd clause, “so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God IS GIVING YOU.”
What a beautiful promise! If our kids honor us they will live long in the land the Lord IS giving them. “Is” is future tense. This is something God will do in the future!! I don’t know about you, but I want my kids to live long in the land the Lord is giving them.
Now my kids are adults, but I want to plant this verse in their hearts. I want them to know this wonderful promise. This is a verse they can stand on when times get tough.
So, how do I help them to honor my husband and myself?
- Honor them. That’s right, our kids are kids, but they need to be honored. Treat them with respect. Listen to them; their ideas are important. That doesn’t mean we have to do what they say, it simply means they are important enough to be heard.
- Be careful how you speak to your children. Yes, I know they will drive you crazy at times, and I know that it is our responsibility to set them straight, but it’s not what we say, but the way in which we say it. Ephesians 6:2 states
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.”
Ouch, my toes just got stepped on, hard. I have been known to react instead of instruct. And when I do that, I’m wrong. This is hard and we have all failed at it. But the good news is that it is never too late. Lock this into your heart and go forward. And never call them unkind names or say derogatory thing about their character. That speaks volumes to our kids. Sometimes our negative words haunt our kids for years.
- Apologize when you are wrong. This is hard. We don’t like to admit when we are wrong, but our kids will respect us when we apologize.
- Be truthful with your children. I never promised my kids something that I wasn’t 100% sure that I could deliver on. I would say I’ll try. That always gave myself a way out if I couldn’t come through.
- Be consistent with your discipline. If you say something, do it. This is hard. We as parents are tired and our kids know it. Sometimes it is easier to look the other way and let them get away with something, but in the long run, our kids will respect and honor us for being consistent.
- Love your children unconditionally and make sure they know it. I tell my kids I love them every time they leave the house. I want those words to be the last ones they hear before they enter the world.
- PRAY FOR THEM!!! THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO AS A PARENT. I have spent many a sleepless night praying for my kids. There have been days when I’ve prayed off and on all day when they were going through a trial. I always tell parents to pray until your knees hurt and then pray some more!
Parenting is not a sprint, it is a marathon. My oldest child is 27 years old and is established in her profession, yet I still parent her. I don’t parent her the same way I did when she was a child or a teenager. I don’t tell her what to do (most of the time). I make suggestions and it is up to her to do the right thing.
My children playing scrabble. They are very competitive toward each other, yet are best friends and love each other dearly.
Blessings and honor to you as you prepare to celebrate this Mother’s Day. May you enjoy the day and know you are doing great things as you raise up your child in the way he should go.