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Being A Christian Mother In A World That's After My Children - By Holly Newton

There are so many challenges that come with being a Christian mother in this sinful world. Being a mother comes with many fears. To list a few, you worry for their health, safety, and well-being. A significant fear I have to face is losing my children to satan. I'm sure many mothers fear the same as I do. I've witnessed many of my peers, who were taught to hold to the truth of God's Word, but even with their parent's best efforts, satan won. Watching satan win time and time again, I noticed something interesting. As a mother, no matter how faithful you are to your Bible reading, church involvement, and service to the Lord, the truth is, none of that will save your child. Sin will always be faithful to tempt your child. Just as satan is faithful to tempt you, satan works even harder to snatch your child away from God's loving hands.

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:" – 1 Peter 5:8

So how do you protect your children against the forces of satan? How can you show your children that the only life worth living for is living for Christ?

1. Choose God For Your Family

A child's first experience with anything spiritual will be influenced by their mother and father. A child seeing their mother pray and read her Bible will produce a child who prays and reads their Bible. My child's first little prayer formed out of the many bedtime prayers my husband and I prayed over her night after night. Even though it took many tries to get her to mouth a simple prayer, she now enjoys talking to Jesus. It's essential for me to teach these things to my child because I want her to choose Jesus, just like I have. I want my children to choose Jesus for themselves at an early age, so I must choose Jesus for my family. It's not just my Jesus, but He is also my children's Jesus. I must introduce Him to my little ones.

How do you choose God for your family, and how exactly does that work? Well, you must set the stage for Jesus's importance for your family. It's a hefty responsibility, and if not taken seriously, it can be detrimental to your family.

Your child will never begin praying if they don't hear you praying. Your child will never pick up their Bible if they don't see you reading it. Your teenager will never want to serve the Lord if they don't see you happily serving the Lord in your church and community. It all begins with us. If our children don't see that God is important to us, how can we expect them to view Christianity as important? We sometimes wonder why so many of our kids grow up in church but choose to go the world. The answer isn't because Satan is too powerful but because we aren't using our God-given strength to equip our children. Parents just aren't choosing God for their families anymore. Parents are doing just enough to appear like good Christians by casually attending church and occasionally praying at the dinner table. Still, our children see the hypocrisy and know deep down that mom and dad aren't dedicated to a spiritual life with Christ. If moms and dads are causal with Christianity, you can rest assured that your children will view Christianity as optional. Your children choosing God or not will most likely be influenced by you.

"And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth." – Deuteronomy 11:19-21

2. Nurture Your Children's Relationship With The Lord

Mothers are naturally nurturing. Ever since your child was a baby, you made sure that your baby was fed and happy. Even though it's a 24-hour job to keep your child fed and happy, we happily do whatever it takes to have a healthy, thriving child. So, let's assume that perspective and apply it here. What if you took that same amount of care into your child's relationship with the Lord as if it were your responsibility to develop that relationship?

"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." – Ephesians 6:4

As your child grows, their needs change, and you must adjust to meet them. As your child matures, so does their sinful nature. I think you would agree that temptations arise more for your 16-year-old versus your 7-year-old. What are you doing to help prepare your child for satan’s attacks?

Here are some practical ways to help nurture your children's relationship with the Lord:

  • Age 2-5

This is a very impressionable age. Their personality is starting to bud from baby to little miss/mr personality. This age loves bedtime stories, and I highly suggest making it a nightly habit to read a short bible story and pray afterward; this would be a great way to start the habit of doing devotions. You can even begin having them memorize small scripture verses at this age. I can't think of a better way to help our children fight against satan than by equipping them with God's Word hiding in their hearts.

  • Age 6-10

School-age children soak up so much information; it's incredible. It is easy to get children to memorize multiple verses from the Bible at this age. It's also a great age to get your children into singing hymns and worship songs. Singing the name of Jesus is powerful; remember, this age is when children generally start hearing glimpses of the world's music. It is sad that parents post on social media that their children are rapping to a silly song, but they don't even know the words "Amazing Grace." It's a silly example, but I'd much rather fill my child with holy and pure things.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." – Philippians 4:8

Once they have learned to read, this is a great way to begin having family Bible reading time or devotions together. There are many resources for devotions for young children. Start teaching them the importance of diving into scripture and finding truth to use every day. Show them that God wants to speak to them through The Word.

  • Age 11-15

Pre-teen and early teen years are hard. I believe this is the age satan works his absolute hardest to tempt your children away from God. Here your children are now hormonally mini-adults. In their eyes, they're on the same level as you, and here is when a lot of rebellion starts in most teenagers—rebellion bread's dangerous behavior. Remember first to have a good relationship with your teenager. As much as you want to work on nurturing their relationship with the Lord, you much have a close relationship with your child. I've seen too many parents allow too much independence at this age, and it's a recipe for disaster. Your child needs you now more than ever. Build a strong relationship formed by respect and love. Let them see your relationship with the Lord, and you'll see them want to have the same thing too. Involve them in your walk with the Lord. Invite them to pray with you and study a bible topic that would be applicable for them to use daily. There are also many resources for teen devotionals and Christian books. Getting them around other Christian teenagers will help your child the most during these years. Youth groups at church are essential for a reason. Teenagers love to be around other teenagers, so why not have them worship and serve God with other teenagers? Allow your teenager to get involved with church ministries. What better way to show them the love of God than by allowing them to demonstrate the love of God for others?

  • Age 16-18

You're at the final stretch of your child under your roof. Once they leave the nest, they also leave your constant protection and guidance. The best way to prepare them for adulthood and facing the world is to give your child to the Lord. You may have done this when they were first born, but that baby dedication service was years ago. It's time to dedicate them to the Lord again. Getting on your knees and giving your child's life to His hands will be the best thing you could ever do for your child. Not only do you need to do this, but this is also a decision your child would have to make for themselves. This is the age to have hard conversations with your teenager. They'll soon face the world, and you must prepare them and challenge them to have a strong walk with the Lord.

My walk with the Lord and my service to the Lord sets an example for my children to follow. My children's salvation and budding relationship with God are too important for me to be a poor example of a Christian in their eyes. I often think about Noah in the Bible. The entire world was extremely wicked. So much more sinful than it is right now, yet all his children choose God. Amid every other person on the planet firmly pulling Noah's children astray, they still stood for God. If Noah could get his children to choose God, I know we can too. It's just up to you if it's important enough. After all, if Christianity is not a big deal to me, it will not have an ounce of importance to my children.

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