Isaiah 54: 5 “For your Maker is your husband-- the LORD Almighty is his name-- the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”
I was raised in a Christian home, with Christian parents and grandparents. My mother tells me that when I was five years old, I would tell her and my Daddy that I would have six children when I grew up. I was the youngest of five children, and my memories of my parents, and my grandparents and my aunts and uncles are very special, because as a child, I was loved and protected.
It is very important for children to know and to love and to be loved by their parents, by their family, no matter what is going on in the lives of the adults of their families, and in the world around them.
In Psalm 127, the Bible says:
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of Solomon.
1 Unless the LORD builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the LORD protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2 It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.
3 Children are a gift from the LORD;
they are a reward from him.
4 Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.
Yes, children are a gift from God, and God has allowed me to have six beautiful gifts in my life to live and grow up under me, and call me their Mother; as well as nine precious grandchildren. I haven’t been a perfect mother, and I guess there is no such thing. What I have been is a grateful mother. I am blessed by the smiles and the tears of my children and grandchildren, and there is only one greater blessing in my life, and that is my personal relationship with Abba Father, My Lord Jesus Christ and Precious Holy Spirit.
I thank God for the gift of my children. I am also grateful for the lessons on parenting and raising my children that I have experienced during my years at BBCC. Pastor McNair has taught many lessons on how to be a good mother and a good parent. They have made a big difference in our lives over the years.
When I came to Believers’ Bible Christian Church in 1989, I was expecting my sixth child of my nine children; my last child to be born alive. I came to BBCC expecting to receive something in my life. I knew I wanted to be a better person, and a better mother. I remember enrolling in the Believers’ School of Ministry and taking my first class when my last baby was still nursing. It was an amazing time.
Over the next few years, as the children grew older and three of them were registered in Believers’ Bible Christian Academy, I finally began to more fully realize my responsibilities as a Christian mother. By the mid-nineties I had been married and divorced two times, and was raising my children as what would be called a “single mother” these days. This meant that there was no father in the home.
One of my biggest challenges was to make sure that my children knew and had genuine relationships with their fathers even though I was no longer married. That meant learning not to say unkind things about their fathers, teaching them to honor their fathers and their mother. It was hard sometimes, because there were bad feelings among us as adult divorced parents. But at BBCC, under the teaching of Pastor Allen McNair, I began to understand how important love and support would always be to my children.
One of the biggest highlights of my life was to have my daughter participate in the BBCA Coronation. Her father attended and escorted her to present her as a young lady. I remember during those days, she would tell me her favorite scripture was about how Moses picked up a serpent and as he lifted it up it became his rod and the people were healed. She also told me years later how my playing scripture music songs everyday helped her to learn the Bible.
People seem to marvel that all of my adult children enjoy spending time with me. We go to movies, cook together, talk about God together, pray together. The Bible teaches us that we should not provoke our children to anger. When I was a little girl, most of my friends were raised by parents who taught that children should be seen and not heard. My Daddy and Mother and my grandparents were different. We were encouraged to talk to our parents as long s we were respectful. The thing is, my parents and “grandparents listened to us, and then, they corrected our foolish thinking. Oh yes, I remember discipline, whippings and things like that. But my parents took time to talk to us and to teach us.
My mother used to tell us that we could say anything to her, tell her anything as long as we were respectful. As a result, I told my mother many things that other young girls would never tell their mothers. I have raised my children the same way. They tell me just about everything. People don’t believe that, but they do.
Mama used to say some of the things I would tell her made her hold her breath until she could get to her room and pray “help me Jesus.” When she came out of her prayer closet, she always had some good advice for me. She still does. And that’s the way I still talk to my children. Sometimes they bring me a very heavy load, and then they will say, “I know where you’re going now Mom. And away to my prayer closet I go. They don’t mind waiting for their answers until after God gives me His Word.
My friends, we live in some troubled times. The Bible says that we are to expect and beware evil in the last days… Just last Wednesday, when the President of the United States endorsed homosexual marriage, my children had a lot to say. They were not happy to hear this decision at all.
When the news came, they watched me go out the door for a long walk, to pray. I told them I was sad and needed to talk with God. Over the next few hours, we talked about praying for those in authority, and about what God did to Sodom and Gomorrah. They said that some of their friends didn’t see anything wrong with what the President has done. I told them that they shouldn’t pretend to go along with their friends’ way of thinking because they know it is wrong. I told them not to be afraid to share their beliefs; to speak of God’s Plan for sexuality; one man and one woman experiencing loving sex together in the marriage bed. The result? The birth of special gifts from God, children.
Yes, we must teach our children, whether they are little children or grown up. We must teach them what is right. We must tell them about how God changed our lives, how having Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and how Holy Spirit is our teacher, we must tell them that this is how we know what to say and to do in good times and in times of trouble. They must see us repent when we are wrong. They must see that God forgives us because we are not perfect. Then they will have an example to follow. They must see us walk in love and forgiveness, so that they too can learn to love and forgive. When they make mistakes, they need our advice, not our scorn; our love and not our mean spirits. We should never say to them that they are ugly or stupid or worthless. We must never tell them that they should know better if we have not taught them better or shown them better. We must teach them the way, just as someone had to teach us the way. Our children are gifts from God.
Ladies, we are mothers for a reason. Our children need for us to encourage and teach them to obey authority – in the home, at school, at work, in church, and yes in the fullness of their lives; from conception until natural death. They need Jesus.
With a loving touch and a firm yet loving communication, we must make our lives an example of trusting and obeying God, an example of faith, hope and love. Our children are our blessings, our gifts. Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for mothers, thank you for children. Help us today to value the gifts you have given us in our children. Help our children to honor and respect us as mothers, and to receive you as their Lord. Forgive us for all of our sins that we have committed against ourselves, our children and others. We bind every force of darkness that would prevent us from accomplishing our purpose in this gift of life that you have given to all of us. Help us from this day forward to know and appreciate more and more how to be good mothers, and grandmothers, good aunts, good sisters, and cousins, good friends, good neighbors, good co-workers, good Christians, so that our Children will know and fulfill their God given destinies and have bright and shining lights of examples of your love, grace and goodness as patterns for their lives, and bless us all with the blessing of Abraham. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen