A Mother’s Influence

Yesterday we talked about courageously cherishing our children and ridding ourselves of the sin that entangles us. Today we look at just how dynamic a mother’s influence can be. Kevin reminded me last night that although we bear the heavy responsibility of creating a picture of God to our little ones, we can never be God to them in essence because we are still sinners. And so let us remember that our influence comes when we rest on God’s grace towards our own sin. Might I add, never be afraid to let your children see your sin and hear you confess it and watch you on your knees before the Lord seeking His forgiveness. There have been many times when I’ve had to humble myself and literally get on my knees before my girls (so that I could be on their level) and tell them that what I did was wrong and ask for their forgiveness. In fact, if you are not doing this, you may want to search your heart and root out pride. We as mom’s are going to mess up but it doesn’t mean that our influence is not important.

Jani Ortlund (“Fearlessly Feminine”) reminds us again that “you are the most important influence in your child’s life…for this powerful force of love between you and your children to have its fullest effect, you need to study them. This takes time – constant exposure day afer day. Play with them, read to them, eat with them, nap with them, walk with them, get down on their level, and explore life through their eyes.”  I don’t know about you but this is hard for me to do. I like to check off all of my mommy chores for the day because it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. Getting the laundry done, finishing my sewing project, making my phone calls and responding to my emails…those have tangible results. Getting on the floor to play with my girls is hard for me. I get tired of making up stories with the puppets or creating a block tower good enough for my girl’s imagination and it certainly doesn’t come natural to me to pretend to be a kid again. But I will never gain access to my children’s hearts if I’m not willing to get on their level and see the world through their eyes. How can I expect them to comply to my discipline if there is no real relationship there? Even stay-at-home moms are in danger of never truly connecting with their little ones. We can so busy ourselves with the duties of the home that we waste the precious years away of really getting to know our children. Are we busying ourselves so much that we are in the car all day long going from place to place? Are we engaging in “good” ministry opportunities that are taking us from the home? Are we focusing on fixing fancy meals that take hours of preparation and steal from the time we could be spending with our children? The list goes on. None of these things are bad in and of themselves but they can become dangerous if we don’t slow our lives down and simplify enough to understand and love the little ones God has put in our lives.  The results are up to Him, but we have the responsibility of influence.

Whether we like it or not, we as mom’s will influence our children. It will either be for good or it will be for bad. Let us walk by faith and not by sight and give it all we got.