The Mission of Motherhood – Ch 6, The Teaching Mother

Among the many roles a mother has, that of a teacher is hugely important, but often overlooked.  But, what will we teach our children?  Ms. Clarkson offers insightful direction as to what the teaching mother ought to teach her children.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”

That, in a nutshell, is why it’s so important to train our children’s minds to think biblically–because their thought processes and beliefs will, in the long run, determine the kind of people they will be.

Everyone has a philosphy of life, whether he or she knows it or not.  We all base our actions on what we believe.  What we think about creation, life, God, our marriage, our jobs, and eternity determines both what we do and what we become.  If our philosophy is not based on truth, then our whole life will be a lie–or worse.

More than that, in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, we are commanded to teach our children the ways of the Lord “when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”  To be sure, this is a command that was primarily given to fathers.  They will be ultimately responsible and should take the initiative when it comes to teaching biblical principles.  However, we are also given the task especially since, generally speaking, we spend more time with the children on a day to day basis.

Our task is to train ourselves and our children to think clearly, truthfully, and biblically about Jesus and the world.  We want to help them develop a Christian world-view based on the truth of Scripture, our personal trust and application of Scripture to our own lives, and our testimony of God’s faithfulness to us.  This task requires us to understand the scope of the biblical knowledge our children need and to develop a plan for helping them acquire it.  In addition, we help them understand biblical principles and guidelines and learn how to apply them in everyday life.

I really appreciate the clarity with which Ms. Clarkson speaks on the importance of Scripture serving as the foundation for all of life and thinking.  This is extremely important for us to understand, not only when teaching our children, but in our own lives as well.

For the rest of the chapter, she lays out the five areas she and her husband wanted to focus on in their own children’s lives:

1.  Scripture: teaching Biblical literacy

2.  Christian law and morality: teaching right and wrong

3.  Theology: teaching the knowledge of God

4.  Wisdom: teaching God’s point of view

5.  Faith: Teaching trust in God’s reality and reliability

Each of these aspects of the faith are principles taught in Scripture.  While not every family will come up with a detailed plan on how to approach teaching Scripture to their children, I believe it’s very important to at least think through our goals.  It helps me to look toward the future.  What is it I want my children to understand, to be like, to demonstrate in their lives as they mature and when they are adults?

This does require time, attention, and prayer!  It has helped me in my days of teaching and training a toddler.  It is crucial that teaching and training begin when they are very small.  I’ve heard many a wise godly person of the faith speak about the first three years of life being some of the most crucial.  We must gently shepherd their hearts always!

The Holy Spirit changes the heart, but we are instruments in His hands and the shepherds of our children’s hearts.

Have you thought through how you can be teaching your children the principles laid out in Scripture?

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