3 Lessons Learned From Parenting By A Christian Mother
Getting to Know Enlightium Academy’s Chief Administrator – Part 3
Lessons Learned from Parenting
No one is born a parent. Coming into this role can be a difficult transition, and there are so many lessons that a new parent can learn. If you are actively seeking to look at the lessons learned from other parents you are on the right track.
My story in the role of a mother began 30 years ago when God blessed me with my first son. At that time I lived in Kyrgyzstan. We didn’t have computers, the Internet, or Google. I learned how to take care of my firstborn son from my mom, mother in-law, and books. Even with today's availability of resources, motherhood is a journey. Both the new mother and the child learn about each other every day. As learning occurs, a mother adapts to her child’s needs, and so responds accordingly.
Here are 3 of the most important lessons that I have learned from parenting:
Lesson #1 – Love
The love of a parent for his/her children is something that is truly special. Love develops throughout a pregnancy and then flourishes day after day. The first tender feelings of love I sensed when I held my child in my arms, when our eyes met the first time, his first smile, and first breastfeeding. I search for ways to show my love to my son from examples of Bible mothers: Jochebed (Moses’ mother), Hanna (Samuel’s mother), and mother of Proverbs 31. Love is an action verb and so requires actions from a mother first. Pray for your child and with your child. Be an example. Children mimic everything they observe. Never argue with your spouse in front of your child at any age.
Lesson #2 – Gentleness
The gentle touch never creates a negative response. Motherly hugging, playing, and kissing a child is the primary way of showing that the child is loved. Next, a child needs a safe atmosphere. Before a child is born, a mother should arrange her priorities. If college or work was the first priority before, now her child is a primary concern. Money can do many things, yet cannot buy happiness and time. I took naps with my son at noon. While putting him to sleep, I sang songs, and then told Bible stories. I substituted his names with Bible heroes. Interestingly, when my first born was a teenager, he shared with me some Bible stories I told him when he was 3-4 years of age.
Lesson #3 – Patience
Patience is developed over time. Having three boys within six years of marriage makes someone wonder how it was possible to have a peaceful atmosphere at home. We established rules from early days. In our home we did not argue, yell, or fight; we solved any disagreements with respect. Even when we adopted five children, the same rules applied to all. That doesn’t mean that it happened over night, yet with practice and consistency, the results were obvious. I remember having five teenagers from 12-18 years of age and things were normal. Of course, I prayed for patience, making Bible verses personal. “(I) do not (need to) be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, (I) present requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Scheduling your day is very important, even though it might not work from the beginning. Yet, eventually, a child will learn when to wake up, play, eat, take naps, and go to bed for a full night’s sleep. It is important to spend quality time with your child while he or she is awake. Five to ten minutes of attention, multiplied by three or four times a day is better than giving your child attention once a day for 30 minutes, since a child’s attention span is very short.
Meanwhile, it is wise to practice Christian living daily. Have an evening time with your family to read the Bible and pray together, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. That activity will strengthen your relationship with your spouse. Importantly, God will work in your hearts and in your children. “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).
Maybe my lessons echo your own journey, and maybe some of them will be new to you. Either way, I hope they will be a blessing.