In this article about the covenant responsibilities of the woman, her task is seen as mother, in the upbringing of children, as an example to her children. In the woman's task as homemaker, something like the place of television is also discussed.

Source: New Horizons, 1990. 2 pages.

Covenant Responsibilities For the Mother of Young Children

Being a mother of young covenant children is the highest position to which the Lord has ever called me. The awesome privilege and responsibility can be quite overwhelming at times. However, when considered in the light of God's commands and promises, it is a job that can be well done.

My greatest desire, as a mother, is to see each one of my children trust Jesus Christ as savior and Lord. If you also share this desire for your children, take heart! We need not be tossed by every wave of child psychology and better-parenting tactics that come along. God has given his Word!

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Deuteronomy 6:5-7

If we want to be good mothers, we must first be good children of the heavenly Father. We must love him. His ways must be upon our hearts. For our love of the Lord to grow continually we need to be faithful in prayer and reading his Word. Mothers of young children are very busy and might use this as an excuse for not having a quiet time with the Lord. I'm a mother of four children spanning five and a half years, and I have learned that our problem is not how much time we have, but rather how we spend the time we have. It is true that the time we have to ourselves each day may be less than that of someone at a different stage of life. But we do have some time, and we need to choose wisely how to use it. Even the precious nap time, the time to catch up on house work, read a good book or make up for lost sleep, could begin with a time of prayer and Bible reading. God will bless us richly with wisdom and understanding and make us better mothers through these times spent in communion with him.

The second thing that God says to mothers is: impress these commands on your children. How do we impress our children? Young children learn largely by means of example and instruction. We need to demonstrate our love for God by the way we act. Our children need to see us reading the Bible and praying. They need to see us serving others in need. They need to see us loving and respecting our husbands. We should be able to say with the Apostle Paul,

Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.1 Corinthians 11:1

The instruction time you give your children is not just during family devotions after dinner or at prayer time before bed. It's "when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." It's when your four-year-old asks, "Mommy, what is heaven?" When you take your two-year-old for a walk and talk about how God made the grass, the trees, the birds and us for his own glory. When your four- and six-year-olds get into a fight and you explain that God wants us to forgive each other. Use these opportunities to look at God's Word, and pray with your children. This instruction starts the minute they wake and goes on until they lie down to sleep.

Be very careful then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.Ephesians 5:15

The most obvious prerequisite to making the most of every opportunity is to be there. We can't be an example and teacher for our children if they are with someone else. We simply cannot squeeze all the impressing that is needed into two or three "quality" hours a day. If our children are spending eight hours a day or more with someone else, whose example and instruction is going to leave the deepest impression? Even if you have full confidence in your child's caretaker, he or she is not you. God, in his sovereignty, has given you to your child for a reason. He is not looking for generic parenting for his children. He intended a very specialized upbringing when he entrusted those children to you.

Consider reducing to a single-income lifestyle. It can be done, by the grace of God, even in this day and age. The rewards will far outweigh the sacrifices. My husband and I were given this invaluable premarital counseling advice: Never live on two incomes, even now, while you are both working; this way you will never grow accustomed to a double-income lifestyle and will find it much easier when one of you can't, or shouldn’t, work.

However, spending even 24 hours a day in the same house with your children does not guarantee that you will make the most of every opportunity. You could park your youngsters in front of the television amongst a sea of toys while you talk on the phone between loads of wash. That would take care of the morning. Then there's lunch and naps. Now we're at the tough time – 3 to 5 p.m. You need to make dinner and get at least a pathway picked up so that your husband can enter the house. You could turn on the TV again. Get the picture?

It's hard to use unstructured time well. Pray! Ask God to help you make wise and careful decisions. Ask God to remove stumbling blocks and replace them with rich opportunities to impress upon your children the ways of the Lord. When I prayed this, the Lord caused our TV to break. I didn't realize what a stumbling block it had been. Once it was gone some amazing things began to happen. Our eight-year-old, who would have watched TV 24 hours a day, if allowed, stopped asking to watch it. And I stopped having to say no! The source of tension between us was removed. She began to read, and read, and read. Now she enjoys writing her own stories. The other day I had to go into her room at 5 a.m. – there she was with light on and book in hand – and tell her it was too early to start reading.

Our four-year-old took to creating his own stories and adventures. Since he can't read or write yet, we act them out. I have referred to myself as the brunt of his imagination, but it actually has been a blessing. The time we spend interacting is never enough for him. Our role-playing has given us opportunities to talk about everything from why we go to church to why Daddy thinks he's a Viking.

Not only did my relationship with my children improve, but my husband and I spend more time talking than before. We no longer spend our time sitting silently in the same room staring in the same direction. And I hadn't considered us heavy TV watchers. Maybe the TV is not a stumbling block for you; but pray and see what God does.

I can't show you how to make your young children grow up to be Christian adults. Only through the working of the Spirit in their hearts can they be changed. But we are God's agents in achieving his purposes in our children's lives. Let's embrace this commission with love and obedience.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, forever and ever! AmenEphesians 3:20, 21

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