A note of introduction to this testimony: Please forgive this very patchy, poorly put together attempt at summarising what God’s word says on the huge topic of parenting. For a proper look at the subject please refer to the many more thorough resources that I am sure are out there! Having said that I hope this summary will serve its purpose in the context of this series of posts: that is to start to see what God’s word really does have to say to mothers, and what it really does ask of us in contrast to the many and varied extrapolations that make their way to us via parenting books, sermons, blogs etc.
Witness 6: God’s word concerning children and mothers
1: All of motherhood and family life is happening in a post-Genesis 3 world. Motherhood will be difficult and frustrating: from giving birth, to doing relationships and pressing on through the logistics of life. The narrative surrounding Jacob’s family is a good example of this (not to mention Cain and Abel!).
2: Motherhood is one of God’s gifts – he is sovereign over who is born to whom and when.
3: Celebrate God and his rescue in such a way that prompts questions from your children and be ready to amaze them with God*.
Exodus 12: 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’”
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..
4. Our choices / sin / godliness as parents do have consequences for future generations – Exodus 20:5; similarly there are consequences to children’s obedience / disobedience – Ex 20:12.
5. The consequences of our sin / godliness and the choices of our children do not thwart or change God’s good and perfect will.
Psalm 115:3: Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.
Due to the extensive nature of the testimony from this witness court will adjourn for a brief recess.
* A thread to follow in due course: Old Testament believers had specific scripts for certain meals and celebrations, and specific instructions regarding physical reminders of what God had done. Do we have particular commands along these lines as parents and church communities today? In what sense is the Lord’s supper meant to be experienced in this way? In coming up with ideas to carry the principle of distinct, conversation prompting patterns from the Old Testament to our families and churches today are we in danger of adding yet another item to put in the bag labelled: Things that I probably haven’t done well enough – otherwise our family would be happier and more in love with Jesus.