Have you ever moved from a place wishing you had more time to get to know someone? That’s how I feel about Naomi, today’s mentor mom. I was just getting to know her when we left Iowa. Her spirit is calm and peaceful and she takes all things before the Lord. She always has scripture on heart. God’s gentle reminder through Naomi will bless you this morning, no matter what issue of motherhood you are struggling with.
Naomi’s daughter Ruth will graduate from high school this year. And the title of this post? The name came to me after reading and rereading Naomi’s words this past week. Enjoy. And please leave a comment to encourage my friend.
I’ve been thinking and praying about what the Lord wants me to say. Where do I begin? What makes up a person has so many facets: the environment she grew up in, the cities, friends, community of believers, education, and the parents’ relationships with each other, the child, with God, and with other siblings…
I think most importantly in reviewing Ruth’s life is a realization that she is God’s. God is her Father, and He has a plan for her. He knows exactly what environment, education, and experiences she needs to become who she should be, and to play her part in ultimately fulfilling God’s eternal purpose.
So, our learning should be to humble ourselves and ask God in all of our decisions, great or small, what Hewants in our children’s lives. Just when I think I know God and know how to rear my child, God shows me how mistaken I am. Not all the time, but often. The more I grow in my walk with the Lord, the more I realize that all my wisdom is nothing and God is everything.
Don’t get me wrong, we can probably raise really good Christian children with our Christian principles and world views, but is that what God wants for that particular child? And is there Christ gained in our own journey of parenthood?
I’m often reminded of Abraham’s experience in sacrificing his only son. Just when Abraham thought he had gotten God figured out, God told him to do something so pagan. Are we willing to lay aside what WE think our Christian family should be and give God the full right to lead us?
A few things come to mind in our experience with Ruth, who is 18 now. The first big matter was schooling: home school vs. public school. Before Ruth was in kindergarten, we prayed for about a year, seeking God’s will. We eventually had peace and felt led to put her in the public school.
I’m sure God knew more in depth what impact this path would have on Ruth, but for sure it wasn’t the easiest way for us or for her. Ruth struggled from middle school until last year with peer pressure and worldly influences. We all grew a lot, not just her. God also used this period of life to perfect us as parents. We had to be very prayerful and vigilant all the time not just for her future but moment by moment how we should interact with her, what we should or should not say.
Another way God had to adjust my thinking was family worship. I had the ideal in my mind that good Christian families should have regular worship time and Bible reading together. We did practice it here and there but not on a regular basis. At different times, I would “pick up the lack” and read the Bible or a book with Ruth. Brian, too, read a book with her one summer which brought out excellent discussions. I, at times, blamed Brian inwardly and murmured that he was just not a scheduled person. I even doubted his leadership at times. But he just told me recently that he never wanted the Bible to be so familiar to Ruth that when she grew up, reading the Word would become routine. Today, Ruth is reading the Word daily and is very excited about the freshness of every new revelation. I worship God for my husband’s wisdom.
What we do have in our family is a fun and loving atmosphere. We live godly lives in our daily activities and life goals. Our top ambition is to please the Lord and to build His church. So, our daily life reflects that. When we are fed by the Word and excited about what we read, we share with one another those nuggets. We have people over all the time for meals and also minister to them in their homes. We pray for unbelievers and those who are in sin. We live a life of reaching out to people. Almost daily we have family or one-on-one conversations about topics concerning the Bible, the world, or a spiritual issue. God’s Word is alive in our family.
Going to public school also exposed Ruth to a diversity of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over the years, we’ve had many opportunities to talk about the different religions since Ruth has had friends who were Muslim, Mormon, Jewish, and Atheist. These interactions gave her a chance to understand and love people whose backgrounds were different than ours.
We have a sweet relationship with Ruth. When she was going through a period of rebellion and darkness over a year ago, what hurt her most was that her relationship with her parents and God was suffering. She had lost our trust. But now her conscience is free of guilt and she loves that more than anything else.
Recently, the music store where she teaches private violin lessons offered to let her teach full-time if she would stay. She had already committed to go to Truman State University. But this came as a total surprise. It really shook her up. Even though both Brian and I had some feelings about the matter, we wanted Ruth to learn to hear God in this very important life decision. We encouraged her to continue to pray and learn which way God was leading her with the peace of God being the umpire (Col 3:15). She prayed and felt God leading her to Truman and we both confirmed that was also our feeling.
While your daughters are at home, teach them life skills with ease, cooking, cleaning, submitting, and most importantly, hearing God so they will be equipped to go out to the world, live a healthy life, and be a strong testimony for Christ.