Children carry the kingdom of God inside of them (Luke 18:15-17). They were born, to be “born again” (1 Peter 1:23). Our role as mothers is to go into labor twice. The first time, we go into physical labor to bring them into the natural world. Moms endure nine months of a physical travail—nausea, weight gain, mood swings, swollen ankles, back ache, and then finally hours of pushing to deliver that tiny marvel. Is it worth it? Yes! Ask any mom who holds her bundle of joy for the first time.
But, Mom’s job is not over yet. There is another little infant inside the baby who also needs to come to life—the child’s spirit (John 3:2-7). Mom must now go into “spiritual labor” to deliver him into the Lord’s hands. This is the spiritual process that leads to the child coming to salvation through Christ and then transformation into the image of Christ.
Sometimes the pregnancy is easy. Everything goes according to plan. The growing child reaches all the benchmarks without a hitch. The baby is healthy, in the right position, and is born in a normal amount of time.
But, just like in the natural delivery process, sometimes there are complications, spiritually. Some children do not come to the Lord easily. They are not in the right position. Some have attitudes because of their innate personality (strong-willed, stubborn or proud) that are resistant and have to be turned around. The labor becomes arduous and long overdue. Finally, some children have to be surgically cut out of the womb to save their life.
What should moms do when there are complications in the spiritual delivery? Travail. Push in the spirit realm through fervent prayer, fasting and declaring God’s promises until the child breaks through. Some deliverances only occur through prayer and fasting (Matthew 15:17-21). Faith alone is not enough. We must add action to our faith (James 2:26).
Finally the child’s spirit is born again. Whew, now Mom can rest, right? No, a mother’s work continues. When our children are born again they receive the Spirit of Christ inside them as a seed (1 John 3:9). Our child’s spirit goes through growth phases just like an infant does—she must be loved, nurtured, and trained until she reaches maturity.
Mothers have the responsibility of loving, nurturing, teaching and training both the natural child (body, soul) and the spiritual child through the entire process. His spirit-man must grow to the full measure of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-14). He will experience many phases–toddlerhood, childhood, tween, adolescent, regressions/backslidings, and finally adulthood–before that occurs.
This is the scary part—children do most of their learning by imitation and play-acting. Who are they imitating? Mom and Dad. What games do they play? They “pretend” to be adults, like Mom and Dad. They play house, doctor, getting married, having a job, running a business, etc. In other words they first “play” at everything they will eventually do.
Any bad habit we don’t break, they imitate. Every sin we embrace, they emulate. This is what Jesus calls offending a “little one” or causing a “little one” to fall into sin.
Matthew 18:2-10, New Life Version
“Jesus took a little child and put him among them. He said, “For sure, I tell you, unless you have a change of heart and become like a little child, you will not get into the holy nation of heaven. Whoever is without pride as this little child is the greatest in the holy nation of heaven. Whoever receives a little child because of Me receives Me. But whoever is the reason for one of these little children who believe in Me to fall into sin, it would be better for him to have a large rock put around his neck and to be thrown into the sea. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. Better to enter heaven with one eye than to be in hell with two. “Beware that you don’t look down upon a single one of these little children. For I tell you that in heaven their angels have constant access to my Father.”
Amazingly, we can be endanger of hell-fire for causing our children to fall into sin. One of the best ways we can prepare our children for eternity is by first preparing ourselves. The Apostle Paul advised the new believers in the town of Corinth with these words…
2 Corinthians 13:5-9, Living Bible
“Check up on yourselves. Are you really Christians? Do you pass the test? Do you feel Christ’s presence and power more and more within you? Or are you just pretending to be Christians when actually you aren’t at all? I hope you can agree that I have stood that test and truly belong to the Lord. I pray that you will live good lives, not because that will be a feather in our caps, proving that what we teach is right; no, for we want you to do right even if we ourselves are despised. Our responsibility is to encourage the right at all times, not to hope for evil. We are glad to be weak and despised if you are really strong. Our greatest wish and prayer is that you will become mature Christians.”
So if we don’t want our children to sin, then we should not practice sin (1 John 3:9). For example, why are there two standards for what’s appropriate–one for children and another for adults?
There is one standard for what is appropriate—does this activity or imagination have God’s stamp of approval (Matthew 5:48)? Think of it this way: Would they be watching this in Heaven? Could Jesus sit right next to me and enjoy this movie, that song or this conversation? Are these the kind of thoughts Jesus would have? Is this the kind of book Jesus would enjoy reading? If not, cut it off. Indulging in sin is the same as encouraging our children to sin. Jesus even equates this to “hating” your child.
Matthew 18:2-10, New Life Version
“It is bad for the world because of that which makes people sin. Men will be tempted to sin. But it is bad for the one who is the reason for someone to sin. If your hand or your foot is the reason you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to go into life without a hand or a foot, than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the fire of hell. If your eye is the reason you sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better for you to go into life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. Be sure you do not hate one of these little children. I tell you, they have angels who are always looking into the face of My Father in heaven.
Remember, God gave us the gift of children so those same children could be born-again into His kingdom. As mothers, we can prepare our children for eternity by:
- Sharing the Gospel with them.
- Praying for their salvation.
- Reading the Bible and/or teaching them to read the Bible.
- Taking them to Church.
- Teaching and modeling biblical principals.
- Living a godly lifestyle.
The Apostle Paul gives Timothy’s mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois both credit for setting a good example for Timothy, who became a pastor in the early Church.
2 Timothy 1:5, Living Bible
“I know how much you trust the Lord, just as your mother Eunice and your grandmother Lois do; and I feel sure you are still trusting him as much as ever.”
God gives all moms this promise…
Proverbs 22:6, King James Version
“Train up a child in the way that they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.”
If we do our parts as mothers, when our children become adults, they will not lose their faith in Christ.
Image courtesy of Nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net