I know this blog will arrive amidst fourteen Mother’s Day Sale Ads from your favorite web-site shopping spots. Forbes Magazine reports that Americans will spend 15.8 billion dollars this year on gifts for our moms. Gone are the red, lacy PJ’s that crowded the ads on Valentine’s Day. Front and center for Mother’s Day: comfortable, cotton gowns – that will actually get worn . . .probably until next Mother’s Day. It’s time to shop!
I can give shopping advice for Mother’s Day – but I’m turning to King Solomon this week for other Mother’s Day advice. God appeared to King Solomon and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (2 Chronicles 1:7). King Solomon answered saying, “Give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may lead this people” (2 Chronicles 1:10). King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, illustrating that he didn’t always USE his God-given wisdom, but his life experience led him to write the book of Proverbs. Proverbs is called “wisdom literature” and it is important to understand that a Proverb in Scripture is different from a promise. A proverb is teaching and instruction about the will and ways of God, but obedience and understanding is our choice. Many parents have trusted Proverbs 22:6 as a promise. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” That Proverb can’t be a promise, because our children have God-given free will. It is possible to teach children the way they should go, and then watch them “go” the exact opposite direction. Think Prodigal Son or your eighth grader! If you raise them right they may “come back” when they are older, but you can never parent away their free will. Proverbs does, however, contain excellent wisdom to parent children with. This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, let’s look at some of King Solomon’s Mother’s Day Advice.
1. Proverbs 2:7 – “He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless.” Raise your hand if you or your children have a blameless walk…. Gotcha! Most of you could have raised your hand. Ephesians 1:3-5 teaches, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Our children will never be perfect – unless they are perfected by their faith in Jesus Christ. Your child will never be perfect – but God’s child will be.
2. Proverbs 10:9 – “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” I used to teach my boys that the worst thing they could do to their lives was something that would cause me not to trust them. It is normal for kids to fib – but it is not acceptable. Teach integrity to your 5-year old and parenting them in high-school will be a LOT easier. How do you teach them integrity? By example. It really can’t be taught any other way. I especially like the last part of that Proverb. Teach your kids that they will be “found out.” I used to tell mine that I was a school teacher, a preacher’s wife and a mom who prays. So basically, they were as good as caught. Make sure that if they choose a “crooked path” you are waiting for them at the end of it. Integrity should always be their best option!
3. Proverbs 22:11 – “One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.” I like to pair this Proverb with the beatitude that says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). Moms spend a LOT of time worrying about the friends their kids run around with. Jesus is the best friend your child will ever have. His Dad is a King. How much time do you spend encouraging that friendship? A pure heart is one that is full of God’s priorities and values as opposed to one that is mixed up with the world’s. Does your child speak with “grace” or does comparison and competition rule their tongues? If you teach your children to have pure hearts, they will be blessed. Jesus should be their BFF!
We will continue in Thursday’s blog. Between now and then….if you have some wisdom for other moms, use the comment section and share it with us. We all want to “train them up in the way they should go!” Have a blessed day.