The Gift of Peace
One of my greatest fears entering parenthood was that my children would not come to know the Lord or follow His ways. What a heavy mantle to wear: teaching and training our children in the ways of the Lord. With so much confusion and false truths, it is intimidating to raise children in a world that seems to grow more and more worldly by the minute. How can I raise children who are in the world but not of it?
The Lord graciously grants the gift of His perfect peace to His children. He grants peace to mothers in the child-rearing process. God gives the gift of peace to mothers in providing instructions for training children in the Lord, in the reminder that salvation is a personal experience, and through a hope-filled purpose and calling.
God gives the gift of peace to mothers through His instructions in training children in the Lord. God knew our limitations and how difficult it would be to teach our children in an area where we are also learning and growing. He graciously provides guidelines and commands for instructing our children in the ways of the Lord. A popular parenting proverb states, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) It it important to remember that a proverb is not the same as a promise. If our children stray from the straight and narrow, we can have peace that we have taught them the Word and way of the Lord. We are commanded to “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.” (Deuteronomy 6:7). We have peace that the Word has entered their minds and pray that their hearts will be fertile soil that produces fruit. We pray that our children understand that “for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11). God gives mothers the gift of peace through His instructions in training children in the Lord.
Mothers can have peace in the knowledge that salvation is a personal experience. When we begin to worry that we are not doing enough to stir our children’s hearts towards Jesus, let us remember that He is the one who calls His children to Himself. In John 6:44, Jesus says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” Our children’s salvation is not dependent on our effort as parents, praise the Lord! We are called to train our children in the ways of the Lord, but we cannot teach or preach them into a saving belief in Christ. When we feel burdened by the importance of discipling our children, let us listen to the words of Jesus Himself. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We are not called to carry the weight of our children’s salvation. We are not called to be their Savior. So often we try to take control over the salvation of our children, but God gives us the gift of peace in the knowledge that salvation is a personal experience.
God gives mothers peace through a hope-filled purpose and calling. We have the blessed calling to know God and make Him known. We are the first line of earthly offense to evangelizing the hearts of our children. We may not feel prepared or adequate, but God equips those He calls and provides where He guides. We can take encouragement from Paul who says, “To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11). When God has blessed you with children (whether biological, adoptive, foster, step, or spiritual), He is faithful to equip you to serve them. When we feel unmotivated and lack perseverance, let us continue to pray, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13). Let us remain hopeful in our calling and mindful of our mission. When the days seem too long and when salvation seems unattainable, let us rest in the arms of our Father who gives the gift of peace in our purpose and calling.
Child rearing can seem impossible at times. The eternal fate of our children can seem impossible at times. The burden is too big to bear and we may feel hopeless. Praise the Lord that He grants us His peace with the knowledge that He alone is our Savior and the Savior of our children. He does not ask for us to teach, train, or guide our children to salvation. He asks that we know Him and share His Word and work with our children. He gives us the gift of peace as we follow Him and shepherd the hearts in our home.