I have always wanted to be a mum. Growing up, I knew that having children was part of my life plan. I met my husband when I was 17 and took him to my school formal, basically knowing only his name and the honesty of the deep attraction I felt towards him.
What drew me to my wonderful husband was his involvement at the church we attended (at the time) and his incredible good looks. It wasn’t until I took him to my school formal as my ‘friendly date’ that we sat and talked about big life commitments like getting married, where we wanted to honeymoon, how many kids we wanted, our faith and what we believed in – pretty much all the things one would usually talk about with someone they were dating.
Without being corny and imitating a scene out of Frozen, it was love at first sight (or date because I pretty much fell for him the moment I met him a few months prior). I knew my formal date was ‘the one’. And three years later we sealed the deal and got married.
Our faith in God has been the foundation of our relationship. We knew that when we started a family, we would immerse our children into the faith we grew up with and the God we believed in. Both sides of our family have a Christian heritage that dates back through generations. While some members have strayed, my husband and I are committed to raising our children, aware that there is a God and He has a purpose and plan for each of their lives.
In a world where everyone has their two cents worth to share on how to parent my kids, I choose which influences I listen to and proactively use to parent. My faith has played a major part in the way I mother my girls. And it gives me clarity to raise my girls, when the world has gone mad with selfish ambitions and diabolical behaviour that causes grief to others. It’s my hope that raising my girls to know about God helps them understand the uniqueness of each person they meet, to be inclusive of all people, no matter their race, skin colour, sexuality or gender and to set an example of tolerance.
Here are just a few ways my faith helps me parent my girls.
While my husband and I played a part in conceiving each of our girls (!), I believe God played a part too by allowing us to fall pregnant. Our girls are our responsibility to raise and look after while on this Earth, but it’s up to God when he brings them into life and when he chooses to take them to be with him. This ownership is a blessing but also needs to be recognised as a privileged role in raising girls that will make the world a better place. Understanding God’s love for my children puts me in a place of wanting to be the best steward and mum to these beautiful daughters I have been blessed with, and to ensure that I raise them to their full potential.
Developing each child’s unique gifts
Since I believe that God created each of my girls, I also believe he has given them wonderful gifts that should be explored and used to help others. I encourage my girls to do things they love to do, but also as they grow older I will encourage them to explore new experiences so they can discover new hobbies or skills that may help solve a problem in the world. I don’t want to be a mum that offloads her own dreams onto her children. I don’t expect my daughters to follow in their mother’s footsteps and become a plumber, but I do hope that they feel supported enough to follow their dreams no matter how big or small they are.
Prayer for protection when I can’t protect
I believe in the power of prayer and pray daily for my girls, for protection when I can’t be there to physically protect them because they aren’t with me.
I pray over their thoughts. I pray against nightmares and I pray against lies that become disguised as truth through the media. Right now, my five-year-old doesn’t believe she looks pretty unless she wears a dress. I’m not sure where she got that idea, but I pray and lead by example by putting effort into my appearance, yet consciously and purposefully using language that doesn’t degrade my appearance. I have never underestimated the power of prayer and pray consistently for the welfare of my children. I pray for their future and their future partners – that they are being brought up in a way to respect my daughters.
Fear of the unknown and future world
Like most parents, my first reaction is fear when I hear news of yet another terrorist attack or something closer to home where another girl has been raped simply for walking home alone at night. These were never part of God’s plan for the world, but there is an evil spiritual realm that is hell bent on trying to prevent closeness to God. I find these horrible life events make it more imperative to raise my girls to know God so they can know how to respond and not live in fear. I want them to know that even though there is trouble in the world, that’s not a reason to deny God. It’s the time to seek Him and understand what His plan was for the world and the people in it.
Be The answer to someone’s prayer
There are people in our own backyard who struggle and our faith teaches us to help others and be the answer to someone’s prayer. It could be simply being a friend to someone who has no friends in the playground or accompanying me to church to help give gifts to people in need at Easter and Christmas time. God is very clear about helping others in need and it’s my desire for my girls as they grow up to be drawn to help others, without my prompting. Here is an example of my girls helping put packs away at church for new mums.
It’s my prayer that my girls will have their own personal revelation from God, but in the meantime, we take our girls to church, get involved in church events and pray each night before we go to bed. For us as a family, it’s been important to attend a church we enjoy going to and are committed to serving in.
These last few years, we haven’t served as much as it’s been crazy hectic with three little ones, but we’ve consistently attended services each week. I often don’t tap into the power of prayer or relying on God’s strength to get through the boring and tedious moments of motherhood. But as I reflect on these last few years of being a mother, I see how God has miraculously planned my children’s conception and their existence in this lifetime is not a mistake. It’s my hope that they come to know Jesus and have faith in a God which helps them and others to live life to its full potential.
What influences do you listen to that help you raise your children? Has faith in God helped you be a better parent?
More on parenting:
- Tips for Keeping the Kids Quiet in Church
- Should We or Shouldn’t We Have Baby #3?
- 5 Things We Do to Bond as a Family
Images: Rebecca Seynard