I think being a mama is one of the scariest but most rewarding callings the Lord can give. Not to say that women who are not mothers are of any less value -absolutely not. However, if you have children, then you know that being a mama brings with it a very sobering realization:
I am to train this child up in Jesus.
This is more than teaching our children to be good humans. This is more than making sure our children are kind and respectful. In this role, we get to walk alongside the Holy Spirit, and introduce our babies to Jesus -The Creator and Savior of their soul.
Mama, that’s big.
So, what does Jesus actually say about parenting our children?
What Does the Bible Command of Us?
So, what are we supposed to do? How do we introduce them to Jesus?
The Bible actually has a lot to say about parenting. In fact, it references parenting more than 1,900 times!
But, that would be a SUPER long article. So here’s 9 things Jesus says about parenting:
1. Love your children (1 Peter 4:8)
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.“
Before you start pointing fingers, yes, I realize this isn’t a commandment specifically for parents. However, it is a commandment nonetheless and we would be silly to think it doesn’t also apply to the way we mother our babies.
I know what you’re thinking. Loving our children is natural! No one has to tell me to love my babies.
Well, you know that super sweet passage in 1 Corinthians that everyone likes to reference at weddings?
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” -1 Cor 13:4-8
Guess what, mama? We are to love our children in the same manner.
I’ll be honest. I am not always patient and kind to Jackson. Sometimes I am rude to him (like when I’m trying to get work done and he wants to push my computer onto the floor).
No, I will never love my children perfectly, but I would be doing them and God a great disservice if I weren’t intentional about growing my love for them.
How do we grow our love for them? God is love. Doesn’t it make sense that we would know how to love our children better, the more time we spend with God?
2. Train Them Up In Christ (Proverbs 22:6)
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.“
As mentioned earlier, us mamas have been given the important (and sometimes scary) role of training our children up in the way they should go (which is in Jesus’ footsteps). But what does that mean?
It means we teach them about their Savior. We help them to understand that when we are weak, He is strong. We show them over and over again that Jesus is our hope and freedom, and that we would be completely lost (literally) without Him.
3. Speak In Wisdom (Proverbs 31:26)
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.“
This is another passage not directly aimed at mamas, but one that should still impact our parenting all the same.
What we say to (and around) our children MATTERS. While actions do speak louder than words, our words still make a great impact on our children’s lives. Proverbs 18:21 says,
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
Our words have the power to build our children up, or tear them down.
What we say can draw our children closer to Christ, or leave them doubting His goodness.
4. Do Not Leave Your Children to Learn For Themselves (Proverbs 29:15)
“The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.“
We live in an age that really encourages independence in our children. I don’t believe independence is wrong, however, it IS wrong when we lay down our role as mother and teacher so that our children can “learn for themselves”.
Mama, our sweet little babies are sinners -just like us! To believe that our children will naturally know to be kind, modest, respectful, self-controlled, etc. is simply foolish.
And believe it or not, our children WANT us to teach them.
Let’s think about this practically. Imagine you’re learning how to bake cookies but you’ve never been given a recipe to know where to even start. Think about the confusion you would feel.
Here’s another example:
Imagine you’re entering into your first romantic relationship, but have never been taught about what it looks like to love and respect one another. Not only will you probably hurt them, but it’s likely that they will also hurt you and you won’t even realize it because you’ve never been told that you are worthy and precious in the Lord’s sight. Not good, right?
Do you see where I’m going here?
As mamas who love our children, none of us want to see our children in pain. This is why we must teach them! So much pain can be avoided if we take the time to walk with and teach our children.
5. Recognize Your Children As Blessings (Psalm 127:3)
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward...”
Do a quick scroll through FaceBook or TikTok and you’re sure to find “funny” videos of moms talking about how awful their kids are or how terrible it is to be a mama.
Hey, I know kids can be rough. I know there are some really bad days. However, allowing those rough days (or weeks) to push us into believing our kids are anything less than blessings is a great way for us to begin to resent our babies.
No, being a mom isn’t always easy or fun, but it is unquestionably one of the most fulfilling roles one could ever experience. Being a mom is not just about dealing with tantrums or messy rooms, it’s about shaping the future, molding a life, and witnessing miracles unfold daily right before your eyes.
Every laugh, every word learned, every milestone achieved, they are all precious blessings that can be easily overlooked if we give into the false belief that motherhood is a trap.
6. Teach Them What it means to love god (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.“
As parents, it is our duty to teach our children what it means to love and serve God. Something like this can’t be limited to who we are when we walk into a church. “Serving” out of obligation or guilt also doesn’t work, as He commanded us to serve Him with all our heart and soul.
Maybe it’s just me, but it’s usually pretty obvious when someone is doing something because they feel like they have to versus when they do something as an overflow of the love that they have for someone.
So how do we teach them this? Well, Jesus is kind enough that He gives us the answer when he says you “shall talk of [loving the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might] when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
Practically speaking, that means we will talk about Jesus and our love for Him with our children.
We will show them compassion because He shows us compassion.
We will be patient and kind because He is patient and kind to us.
We will desire to spend time with them just as He desires to spend time with us.
Mama, some of this will not come naturally to you! Good grief, I had no idea how little patience I had until I had Jackson. And I’ll be honest, I’m still not as patient as I should be.
However, in my yearning to reflect Christ’s love to Jackson, I have had to be intentional about breathing, choosing not to snap at Jackson, and asking Jesus for His strength.
7. Show Them By Your Life (Titus 2:7)
“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, ….”
Now, as I mentioned earlier, actions do speak louder than words. You can tell your kids what they’re supposed to do all day long, but if they watch you do the exact opposite, your words aren’t going to get you very far.
My mom was a little on the rough side. I can remember her saying multiple times, “Do as I say, not as I do.” And I think that is one of the most ridiculous things you can ever tell your children.
Our babies are sponges, constantly soaking in everything we do -especially when we think they aren’t watching.
Go ahead, complain about all of the tasks that come with being a mom. Tell your children you need a “break” from them. Treat your husband poorly and think of yourself first.
This is the fastest way to teach your children to be insecure, rude, and self-centered. Harsh, I know, but also true.
So mama, be kind. Serve those around you. Cry out to God when you feel overwhelmed. Apologize when you’ve let your anger get the best of you.
We are to show our babies the heart of Jesus in everything that we do. Your actions matter.
8. Correct Your Children (Revelation 3:19)
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.“
I am not about to tell you how to discipline your children. I am not nearly experienced enough to give any type of advice in that area. But I will say that verses like these do not give you permission to beat and abuse your children.
However, I do know that the Lord has made it clear that we are to reprove and discipline our children.
It’s impossible to read the verse above and picture an angry man beating a child because the child did something to upset Him. Instead, I see a loving Father who is intentional about teaching His child right from wrong.
Like I stated earlier, the more intentional we are about teaching our children, the less potential there is for them to experience unnecessary pain.
Discipline and reprove your children, but do it all in LOVE. Do it because you care for their wellbeing and, even more importantly, their souls.
9. Provide For Their Needs (1 Tim 5:8)
“But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.“
I couldn’t believe it when I read “worse than an unbeliever.” But this is just proof that your role as a mama, protector, and caregiver for your family is HUGE in God’s eyes.
Your children need you. They need your love. They need your care. They need your hard work.
I know that sounds like a lot, and has the potential to be extremely overwhelming. However, we know that when we are weak, He is strong (2 Cor 12:9).
That we can cast all our anxieties on Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
That when we wait for the Lord, He renews our strength (Isaiah 40:31).
That we don’t have to be afraid because He is with us. He strengthens us, helps us, and upholds us (Isaiah 41:10).
I can keep going mama.
Wrapping It Up
What is most beautiful about all of this, is that we can see all of these commandments lived out in how Christ Fathers us.
- He loves us.
- He teaches us.
- He sees us as blessings.
- He disciplines us.
- He is The Great Provider.
We don’t have to feel like we’re falling, because when we truly seek the Lord’s will for us as mothers, then we can have peace in knowing He will finish the good work He started in us.
Believe it or not mama, God loves our babies more than we ever could. But that also means He loves us more than we could ever imagine.
My goal for this article isn’t to make you feel like you are less than. Just as you are, I’m just trying to figure this whole mama thing out. And I think it’s helpful to see exactly what the Lord desires from us.
It proves that He cares, and it proves that He is eager to help us with parenting our babies if we will only be obedient to His calling.