I’ve often thought that one day, I should sit and write down some of the things I wish younger moms could know… the stuff I learned the hard way… After all, the best way to learn is from someone else’s mistakes instead of your own, right?
But I’ve never actually done it. Wrote it down, that is – because I always figured it would just make me sound like a know-it-all, (and who likes a know-it-all?) Or that it would make me sound as if I’ve done it all so perfectly, and that couldn’t be further from the truth! But that doesn’t mean I don’t know a thing or two. Cuz, I do, actually – know a thing or 10. After all, shouldn’t I, after all these years?
Some time yesterday while I was out of town, my close friend texted me from Atlanta. She mentors young women and one of them is going to have a baby! She sent a text asking if I would share some Scriptures that helped me during my “early Mommy days,” but I was too busy traveling to answer right that moment. I did, however, think a lot about that question over the weekend. I wanted to send her some good stuff, but…
During my early Mommy years, I was not digging into any Scriptures. So I suppose that’s a good place to start.
I may have called myself a Christian, but that doesn’t mean I actually followed Christ back then. In fact, I didn’t own my own Bible until 1996 when my friend Charlene gave me a pink Women’s study Bible. And I didn’t actually take following Christ seriously until my kids became Christians a few years later! Please don’t wait until your children are toddlers to open up your Scriptures and read to them.
You won’t want your kids to skip breakfast, right? Don’t let them skip time with God in His Word, either. So dig into the Scriptures with your kiddos, Mama!
Jesus says, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
I remember being a brand new mom and being more tired than I had ever imagined possible. We were living in Germany and I was babysitting a 5-year-old girl during the day to earn extra money for our family. She didn’t take naps, but my son still did, and since he had me up sometimes a couple of hours a night, I soooo badly wanted to take naps when he did! But I couldn’t. I had to entertain the little girl I was responsible for. I didn’t know I could be that tired, but looking back – I know it was God’s grace that got me through it.
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me… 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Sprawled across my bed, I remember reading John 3:16 to my kids. One of them told me that they remembered me crying, as I was saying that they needed to know this. They didn’t understand why, and I didn’t understand how I was going to “get them there”… But I was sure glad to own that Bible from Charlene.
Memorize Scripture together. Set aside a time of day to read it together. I really wish I’d have done that. My grandchildren are memorizing Scripture with my son and daughter-in-law, and Lyla and Owen are so excited to share with me what they’ve learned!
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
Make sure your children understand that Christ died for them, and that there is nothing they can do to ever repay Him for that. The gift of salvation is free.
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
Pray that your kids will really understand the seriousness of our sin, and what a gift repentance is. Kids are imitators, so be humble and transparent, and model repentance for them. It doesn’t matter how old they get, or how old we get… we can still have influence by modeling repentance.
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:10-12
Be mindful of who they hang with because again, kids are imitators! (It’s okay to be all up in their biz!)
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
There’s going to be a lot of days when you wonder how you’re going to do it all. I remember wondering how I was going to give my kids a good life, especially when I got divorced and felt like a failure.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Find some good friends, some older ones who’ve got some wisdom. Include your mother (or your mother-in-law) in caring for your children. Don’t try to be a hero and not ask for help – you’ll be robbing them of something they’ve spent decades waiting for – not only to help you, but to snuggle their own grand babies. (And then, take a nap!)
“Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.” Job 12:12
I feel pretty blessed to have a couple of older women in my life who I frequently call for advice. They are full of wisdom, and are some of my life’s biggest blessings these days! They’ve already walked the roads I’m currently trotting along, and they are my biggest encouragers. And do you know what else? I think it could be said that the encouragement happens in both directions 😉
We women – we need each other in so many ways, not just for parenting advice, but for all sorts of things. And I happen to know for a fact that my friend who asked for encouraging Scriptures for a new young mom, is benefiting more than she ever anticipated she would from her friendship with you. The whole idea that she has reached out and asked some of us for Scriptures to encourage you by is such a gift to both you and me. How cool, that God gave her friendship to both of us 🙂
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Sister – Your whole life is about to change. You’ll never lay your head on your pillow the same way again. Savor every moment because as I said… blink! And they’ll be shaving and chasing girls before you know it. (Or getting chased by boys)…