We are leaving a legacy. As women, we are very influential. Even today, as I read Genesis chapter three, I am reminded of that. In order to use our influence to leave a legacy that points others, especially our children, toward God, we need to be focused on following God intentionally and with focus.
My legacy of faith is kind of unique. I was born to a single mom, who didn’t go to church. When I was three, she met my step- dad (and only father I would ever know), and they were soon married. My dad’s mother took me to church from the time I was little, until my parents started going when I was in the fifth grade. It was then that my mom asked Jesus to be the Lord of her life, and accepted His saving work on the cross. It was also then that my life changed. No longer was anything fair game- but regulations and boundaries were put into place. I feel in love with Jesus and surrendered my life to him at the age of 15, and begin to walk with the King by spending daily time in the word and getting into everything my church had to offer. With the exception of a few short years, I have been passionate about actively pursing my Jesus. He is everything to me.
This is the legacy I hope to leave for my kids. A legacy of a mom who doesn’t spend all her time focused on shopping, cleaning, or screens, but on spending as much time as I can with Jesus. I want my kids to remember me for the baskets of Bibles and commentaries that I had. I want them to remember me sitting at one of three tables, coffee in hand, and Bible open. I want to be a woman who lives well before them. I want to break the cycles of sin in our kids lives. I want to guide them in truth from the Word of God.
I love that my husband takes an active role in discipling our children. From quiet times to prayer, my husband leads our home in this area. However, I want my girls to know I study God’s Word for myself. I want to model the example of a strong Christian woman who uses her influence for that of the Lord- and guiding my children and even my husband into closer relationship with God. I know not all women are blessed with husbands who take an active role. Mama,remember, you can teach your child the Bible too. For many of us, we are at home with our children all day. A lot of us home-school. Use these opportunities to teach truth to your children. Especially train in the areas that you struggle. Your children will struggle in the same ways you do – because they are watching! As you work to memorize verses about areas you struggle in – encourage your children to do the same! Learn together from God’s Word! I have learned that I learn more when I teach – so teach to learn!
We also want to joyfully serve our kids- and to teach them to joyfully serve others. By serving them, I don’t mean that we DO for them. Actually, the opposite! We serve our kids by using moments in our every day lives to be teachable moments. By preparing them for the future, we are serving them! Use these opportunities to teach them to serve others.
Some of these concepts are hard, especially as our children are living in a very digital age. Media is at their fingertips more than ever before. However we have to teach our kids to guard our minds, just like we have to teach that same thing to ourselves. We need to teach them to guard their gates: what they see, hear, smell, taste and touch! What we let in, will come out! As Courtney said in her book, Women Living Well, “garbage in, garbage out”. Courtney shared some awesome standards in her guidelines for movies!!! I love the way that they are worded! I think this wording will really help our tweens/teens in knowing if something is acceptable or not to be before their eyes! I also like how she reminded us that it is okay to be strict! We tell our children, especially our teenager, that we are strict because we love her and we want what is best for her! She knows there are a lot of things that she can’t see, but it isn’t because we are being mean- but that we are guarding her heart! I loved the following statement:
This really starts with you Mama. What is your attitude? Do you allow the world to influence you – or do you use your influence to change the world for Christ? Faith isn’t taught- it is caught. The same is true for habits. What they see as important to YOU will be important to them. Do your children always see your face behind a screen – an ipad, computer, or cellphone? I get it – your job may require you to be connected. The screen is not the issue – it is the amount of time you spend on it. and when you choose to do it.
Our kids live in a different world then the one we grew up in. Because of the way that media is – we need to set boundaries on the media.
1) Cell phones- My teenager has a cell phone. However, it charges in my bedroom each night. I have told her I will be checking her text messages on it. She does NOT have a smart phone- and WILL NOT have a smart phone until she needs it for a gps. I don’t want her to hold in her pocket the World Wide Web- and the web that it entangles. I want her to learn to communicate – so she is limited in her number of text messages per day. No conversation happens behind closed doors (and that includes on face time applications).
2) Ipad/Ipods- We have a time limit on their products. None of them have the password to download applications or music. Nothing gets downloaded without me or their dad approving it. We don’t allow face time with anyone that we do not know personally- and their parents! We have a signed internet agreement with them. Video games fall into this same category.
3) Computers- Are all in main areas of the house. We have protection on all of them. There is time limits for how much time can be spent. All emails and/or social medias we have their passwords to- and we must “be friends” with them- and we check theirs daily. The children know we check these as well – we are not snooping- they know it is coming! Also, we do not allow any form of social media until the age requirement for that site has been met.
4) Music- We tend to stick to Christian music, with a few exceptions. All music and artist must clear by us. No song is downloaded without our approval.
5) Television- No cable TV is available in any room but the Living Room. We use Netflixs to know what they are watching. We watch all new tv programs to find out if we think they are acceptable.
In all of this, there are bound to be issues. We are all going to disappoint in some area. Just like there are no cookie cutter marriages, there isn’t one right or wrong way to parent our children- although, if we are reading the same Bible, a lot of our ideas might be similar! The HOW might be different- but not the WHY! We need to give ourselves the freedom to mess up in our motherhood. We need to take our disappointments to Jesus, and leave it at His feet. We need to remember it is HIM we aim to please, and not anyone else. Each day, God’s mercies are new, and we need to give ourselves the room to start over with a fresh start each day. Be honest and transparent with your kids- and admit your mistakes. Let it be a teachable moment for you AND them.
Our lives as a Mom is a BIG part of our life- and so, because of that, we are worshiping God with the way we Mama our babies.
Worshiping With My Life,