Sometimes The Book on Motherhood is Missing Chapters!

I often hear parents, specifically mothers, longing for a parenting manual…a spelled out book that gives detailed instructions to follow. The good news is there IS a book that has no missing chapters, is tried and true, and guarantees positive results. The instructions are written on pages and are accessible to the majority of us on every technological device we own…it is the Bible.

The Bible teaches us how to love and instruct the body of Christ. It shows us how to operate as the Body of Christ, but we miss one very important fact: our children are a part of the body of Christ.  As I read through Ephesians, a letter from Paul, a disciple of Jesus, his words spoke deep in my heart about child rearing. As you read this excerpts, read with the filter of parenthood.

1I therefore, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, 3bearing with one another {in the Greek, this means to put up with one another} in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 11And he gave some…teachers; 12for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. 29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Eph. 4:1-3, 11-16, 29-32 ESV)

Many of you may be familiar with this passage and never saw its parallel message in regards to mothering. The words of Paul influence our “Ministry” in the church, our Bible Studies, our Outreach programs. We find it easy to follow the advice in these verses as applying ‘church’  and how to treat others in the ministry. We see that it is for building up of the saints, for the building up of His body, but we miss that we have the same charge as mothers.

As moms, we are called to be righteous teachers to our children. We are called to walk in humility, gentleness, patience and to “put up” with one another in love. God did not write a love letter to His own children about life and leave out how to raise Godly children. The vocabulary is just different.

For those that really like to do lists and manuals, I have put Ephesians in to a mini parenting manual…sort-of-speak.

Parenting Advice from Ephesians:

What character traits should I, as a Mother, have and show toward my children?
1. Humbleness
2. Gentleness
3. Patience
4. Forbearance- the ability to put up with one another in love
5. Kindness
6. Tenderheartedness
7. Forgiveness

How do I speak to my children?

1. Teach/Instruct them. We speak with word of instruction and encouragement. We don’t lord over them our authority, but lead them in the way they should go.
2. Be a Truth Speaker- Speaking TRUTH and life, into your children in love. We correct and edify them IN LOVE because we are the body of Christ and are to fit together to work properly and to grow as we build one another up in love.
3. Speak with words that are uncorrupt- Corrupt means ‘rotten or worthless.’ The words we speak to our children should be good for building up that it administers Grace to the hearer. Building up our children doesn’t imply puffing them up and giving them only “pleasant” words. Correction and rebuke build up a child as well. It helps steer them down the path of righteousness. If the Lord, who loves us enough to die on the cross for our sins, rebukes and corrects us, then we do well to show our love to our children when we correct their ways and teach them what is good and pleasing to the Lord…we just do that in a manner that is loving and not rotten and worthless.

What to avoid while parenting:

1. Avoid bitterness and wrath taking root in your life. The end result of a life of bitterness and wrath to the one who is harboring these feelings is loneliness and misery. To those on the receiving end of bitter and wrathful words is despair and sorrow. Be a life speaker.
2. Avoid living in anger or outcry (clamor). Don’t let your children feel like you are angry about their very existence. Don’t let them feel that there is an outcry of your heart, a deep regret, that you had children. Show them love.
3. Avoid slander (name calling) and malice (hatefulness) flowing from your lips toward your children. There is no place for mean and hate-filled words in parenting. Period

Why purpose to walk worthy of our calling as parents? In order for our family to be unified in the Spirit and bonded together in Peace. The end goal is a family who loves and serves the Lord, unified in what they believe and a family that lives in Peace with one another. We purpose to walk worthy of our calling so we can bring up a generation that walks in the fullness of their callings. We walk worthy in order to edify the body of Christ…your children are part of the body! We want our children to walk in maturity and in the fullness of Christ that they will be strong in the faith and not swayed by the doctrines and teachings of the world around us that tickles our ears and lulls us to sleep or beckons to us to follow.

This may seem overwhelming. The enemy may be whispering in your ear all your failures and shortcomings…DON’T listen to the lies. The Lord is with you and He love you more that you can think or hope. When we fall short…His loving hands pick us up, dust us off and set our feet back on the path of righteous parenting. Because of His great love for us, we can walk worthy of the calling of motherhood that is on our lives. We can know that our Father in Heaven is, in His perfect love, raising up His children to be examples of His love to the generations to come. Walk worthy of your calling as a mom and rest in the hands of a Loving Father as you parent the body of Christ living under your roof.

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Comments

  1. Samantha says

    Great stuff, Katie. I love this especially: “God did not write a love letter to His own children about life and leave out how to raise Godly children. The vocabulary is just different.” And Ephesians 4 and 5 are two of my favourite chapters in the bible for practical Christian living. I love how you spelled out some of the implications of those chapters for us as parents.

  2. says

    This is wonderful!! I had never thought of how that passage could be applied to parenting, but now that I think of it, all of Scripture about relationships can be applied. My favorite is Philippians 2 – ex: v3 don’t parent through selfish ambition; v4 don’t just look out for your own interest but for the interest of your children; v14 parent without complaining or arguing; and here’s a good one – v17 be glad when you feel you are being poured out as a sacrifice for them!

    Thank you for giving new insights and applications in applying the Word to parenting!!!!

  3. Erica says

    Wow! This spoke directly to my heart today. I just went through a hard experience with realizing the amount of anger, resentment, and bitterness I was carrying with some things in my life and marriage. I see how that can seep into my parenting. This was a very meaningful post for me. Thank-you for sharing.

  4. says

    Thank you Katie for taking the time to research and share this passage with me today. I believe the Bible wholeheartedly and also believe, as you have stated, God does not leave His ‘mothers’ in the dark. I only need to look to Him for all the answers to life’s problems.

    God loves children and throughout the Bible He as always giving mothers full instruction on how to care and raise them. When I am feeling overwhelmed I just have to look back at the lives of the great mothers of the Bible. Women like, Hannah, Ruth, Bathsheba and Samson’s mother to name a few. God use and instructed all these women on how to raise mighty men for His glory. And God expected me to do the same.

    Peace to all.

  5. Mary says

    Hi Katie,
    Thank you for sharing what God has shown you. What an amazing perspective on such a familiar passage. I have a lot of thinking, praying, and meditating to do on those verses!

  6. says

    Katie, this is lovely. What a great gift He has given us in the bible if we only take the time to study it. Thank you for sharing this unique perspective on these verses.

  7. Michelle Clinton says

    Thank you!! I’m printing this to keep with me for encouragement. It’s so easy for me to say..”I didn’t have a godly model for parenting…I just don’t know what to do!” But ‘There is a Book’. Love it! Thank you. This is just what I needed to hear!

    Note to Sally: I’ve already applied some of your teaching from last night with my kids today and it worked!! We were doing our reading at the end of breakfast and I told the kids if they were silly or crazy I was going to read the chapter again. It was amazing!! They were so quiet. I also asked them to tell me 2 things they learned or remembered and they did!! I decided to start with two instead of three since it was the first time. :)

  8. Terri Lynn says

    OH WOW this is such a helpful blog from Katie! Thank you so much. It hit me right in the heart. As I’ve been wrestling with a lot of issues regarding raising a teenager, as a single mom. I’ve been a Christian a long time, however, it is refreshing to be reminded to look to the Word of God! There are all the answers to our questing hearts as parents desiring to raise up our children to serve the Lord!

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