Some Tips To Mothers From A Longtime Observer
Dr. John S. Waldrip
1. We live during a time of great spiritual decline. We live during a time when antifamily forces are in control in our government and when, for many decades, the tax code and government programs have actually worked to weaken and to destroy family units by supporting unmarried and non working women and their children without a father in the home.
2. At the same time, feminists have engaged in an assault on men and the roles they have historically and Biblically occupied in the home. The result? Men who are less than they should and could be and women who do not think motherhood is a viable or a valuable role for a woman. The tragic result for you ladies is all too often a lack of the kind of preparation for motherhood that you deserve and need, and would want if you only knew such preparation is available.
3. Think of it. Women who have had children but who don’t know how to mother them. It’s an ever increasing problem. And don’t think that changing diapers and keeping a child fed is mothering. That’s not mothering, that’s nursemaiding.
4. Such motherhood training is normal in societies where a concerted attack on the adult male has not been waged and where families are pretty well intact. Such training is also normal in societies where women’s roles in their family units have not been forgotten as the result of an energetic and an, in the main, successful feminist agenda.
5. The tragedy for our society is that the damage that has been done to our culture, to families, to men and women, is really beyond all hope of repair. Because of decisionism I am afraid that western civilization is too far gone to retrieve. But in the midst of this darkness there is the light of God’s Word for His people.
6. So, to be an encouragement to you moms, and to provide for you a bit of a pastoral boost to help you in this great task and privilege God has given to you to be a mother, I offer some suggestions, tips really, from a longtime observer of mothers.
7. Now, under ideal circumstances I would not be giving you ladies this kind of advice. This kind of advice would be coming from an aged woman who has been a Christian for a long time. Turn to Titus 2.3-5: "The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."
8. But the current state of things in our nation, and in our Church, because of decisionism, there are no aged women who have been converted for a long time, and trained by the pastor during their mature years, after having been trained by aged women when they were themselves young. So, I stand here prepared to offer my advice.
9. Allow me to divide my suggestions, my tips, into two general categories: Things Moms Should Not Do That Many Do, and Things That Moms Should Do That Many Do Not Do.
10. Please recognize that the things I suggest to you are not politically correct. The things I recommend to you are not softened by a concern that you may think me insensitive or chauvinistic. The things I recommend to you will certainly not be appreciated by either women who have been unduly influenced by the feminist agenda or men who have been feminized by that same agenda.
11. I make no apologies for the suggestions that are forthcoming. Take them or leave them. But leave them at your own risk and at the risk of your children, your marriage, and your own welfare.
1A. THINGS MOMS SHOULD NOT DO THAT MANY MOTHERS DO
#1 DO NOT MOTHER YOUR HUSBAND - Many contemporary men are extremely immature and were not raised by their own mothers to be manly. They were coddled, pampered and babied, and without even knowing it have an unconscious expectation that their wives will treat them as their mothers treated them. But the role of a wife and the role of a mother are startlingly different, according to God’s Word. Mothers lead their sons while they are children, while wives follow their husbands while they are adults. A mother’s correct desire is for her son to grow up and no longer need her in the way he did when he was a child, but a wife’s correct desire is to be a fit helper to her manly husband all the days of her life, Genesis 2.18. Act like you are mothering your husband and your sons will expect their wives to mother them, and your daughter will think she is supposed to mother her husband. And if that doesn’t create confusion for children I don’t know what will. And if your sons grow up expecting to be mothered by their wives, how reliable do you think your sons will be when you are old and need to be taken care of by them and are no longer able to take care of them?
#2 DO NOT CRITICIZE THEIR DAD - Husbands and ex-husbands are men, and men have many faults. But they should not be criticized by their children’s mothers in the hearing of their children. If your husband or your ex-husband is a truly worthless man, deserving criticism, let the kids find out the truth about their father on their own. If their father is a bad man your children won’t need your help to discover the truth about their dad, but they may very well resent you for destroying their childhood illusions about their dad by telling them what they do not want to hear from you. When you criticize your child’s father you place your kids in the unenviable position of having to choose who they will be loyal to, their mother or their father. And for more reasons than we have time to go into this morning, it is likely that both boys and girls will be loyal to the one with the critical spirit, not the one who God has ordained as the leader in the home. What should you do instead of criticize your husband? Reverence him, Ephesians 5.33. Admire his admirable qualities and be silent about his other qualities. And he must have some admirable qualities, since you did marry him. Many a mother who criticizes her husband has succeeded only in persuading her child to honor neither his father or his mother. He will not honor his father because he cannot honor who his mother criticizes. And he will not honor his mother because of her critical spirit toward his father.
#3 DO NOT WEIGH DOWN YOUR CHILDREN WITH YOUR PROBLEMS - Children are children and are not adults. Because they are children they should not be weighed down with adult’s problems, particularly the insurmountable problems you face that are of a spiritual nature. It doesn’t hurt a child to know that there is no food. It doesn’t hurt a child to know that there is no money. It doesn’t hurt a child to know that there won’t be a big present for his birthday or for Christmas. Those kinds of things are necessary parts of life in the real world. But you have no right to use your child as a personal crutch during times of spiritual difficulty, in times of marital difficulty, or to buoy your spirits when you are depressed. You are the adult, mom! And your child is still a child, even if he’s a teenager. He’s to be taught and trained to live for God by you, not taught to be sad, not taught to be depressed, or taught to carry the load God placed on your shoulders as the mother, Psalm 34.11. You should be the kind of woman whose children can rise up and call you blessed, Proverbs 31.28. But that’s something they cannot and will not do if the words that come out of your mouth convince them that you are beaten down by the circumstances of life and not blessed of God.
#4 DO NOT IN ANY WAY CONDONE A PERSON’S SIN TO YOUR CHILD - Perhaps you remember several sermons I preached some weeks ago on Sunday evening. One sermon dealt with fornication and the other sermon dealt with adultery. I mentioned in one of those sermons how the fornicator or the adulterer tempts the family to modify their view of the sin, and how this is especially true in the minds and hearts of the children. Why is it that no one gets angry at an aunt or a sister for living with someone she’s not married to, but the entire family gets angry at the one person who stands up to that sin and refuses to condone it? Moms? I call on you to be courageous in the face of sin. I call on you to make sure your sons and daughters see that sin is exceedingly sinful. How do you go about that? By refusing to participate in the birthday parties of fornicators, by refusing to attend the baby showers of children born out of wedlock. "But pastor, shouldn’t we be willing to forgive?" Yes, when that fornicator humbly asks for the forgiveness of those sinned against then be eager to forgive. But unless you want your own daughter to have a child out of wedlock, or unless you want your son to father a child out of wedlock, then you’d better be pretty determined to stand against anyone’s sexual sins, even if you have to stand alone. And I would advise that you talk to family members who jump on you or your kids for treating fornicators or adulterers like they are doing something wrong and straighten them out a bit. The fornicators and adulterers are the ones doing something wrong. By the way, am I suggesting that you be mean-spirited or nasty? Not at all. I do my best to make sure I am the first person to the hospital to give an unwed mother a nice outfit for her baby. And I tell her that I want to be a blessing to her in any way I can. But don’t come to Church unless and until I say it’s okay. You see, I think it’s reprehensible for a Christian to attend a baby shower in such a case, because it seems to me to be condoning wicked behavior, the very kind of behavior that is tearing our country apart and the kind of behavior that God condemns. By the way, the same attitude toward drug addicts or car thieves or murderers should be shown. You do not want to behave in a manner that would confuse a child and cause that kid to think sin is acceptable, or to minimize the damage that sin seems to cause in a person’s life.
#5 DO NOT SUMMON OR GIVE ORDERS TO YOUR HUSBAND - Oh, how it grieves me to see a woman beckon her husband like a dog owner whistles for Rover, or a Marine drill instructor tells recruits to fall in. When a group of men are working, or a husband is talking on the phone, or when men are just sitting around doing nothing, a wife should never point to her watch, or tap her foot on the ground in a disapproving way, or place her hands on her hips and tilt her head, or gripe to her husband in a way that can be heard by the person he is talking to on the phone. When I pastored in Brawley, a predictable event occurred every time we had a men’s work day. About fifteen minutes after we started, the Church phone would ring, I would answer it, and it would always be the same woman calling her husband. Then, when I would pass him the phone and the men in the Church would look at each other and smile, we could all hear this woman screaming at her husband. Then, after he talked for a few minutes on the phone to her, he would walk up to me and say, "Pastor, I need to go home." Excuse me, but Ephesians 5.23 declares that "the husband is the head of the wife." I think there is something wrong with a man who puts up with that from his wife, but even if a woman is married to a complete pansy she still shouldn’t act like she’s the head of the house. And what terrible confusion is caused for the children to see their mother giving directions to their dad, giving orders to their dad. "Don’t you dare get my car dirty. Don’t you dare track that stuff into my house. I don’t want you letting my kids do that." My, how that prepares boys to be real men when they grow up. And what a wonderful example that sets for your daughters, which is one possible reason they get as sassy and as snotty as she they sometimes get.
#6 DO NOT ASK THE PASTOR QUESTIONS DURING CHURCH SERVICES - This applies, of course, only to moms who are married and whose husbands are in the Church service with them. You should delight in submitting to your husband whenever you are together, but especially in public and in front of your children and other’s children. Some kids don’t know who is supposed to be the head of the home, because their parents aren’t Christians, which is not a problem with most Christian men, who usually have the compunction to rule their homes and lead their wives. So when a woman asks me questions in Church in the presence of her husband, during one of our frequent question and answer times, she is dishonoring him, she is in effect going over his head to ask the pastor a question instead of asking him. According to First Corinthians 14.35 questions should not be asked by the wife in the Church in this way. If you did not marry a man you are not content to submit to, are not content to sit quietly next to while he is talking and asking questions in Church, are not content to publicly display your submission to, then you made a mistake that you need to learn to live with, because it’s too late to marry someone else. And again, what confusion is wrought for the kids when they see mommy always trying to ask the Bible questions, and not daddy. That teaches the kids that Christianity is not so much for men. Is that the message you want to convey, ladies?
#7 DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LEAD YOUR HUSBAND TO LEAD YOU - It is terribly dishonest for a man to let a women think, by allowing her to boss him around before they are married, that she is going to lead him in any way after they marry. But though some men do just that, most men who are very passive with a woman before he marries her will continue to be passive toward her after they are married. As is sometimes the case, when the woman gets converted she faces the absolute shock of being out of God’s will when she attempts to rule her house and lead her husband. So, what is she to do? All advice from me to the contrary, it is not uncommon for the genuinely converted woman to try and make her husband go to Church, to try to make her husband show interest in the things of God, to try to make her husband lead the family in prayer before meals. Ladies, think about it. You cannot lead your husband to lead you. If he is going to be a pantywaist do nothing who only goes to work and comes home, and is afraid to do right and act like a spiritual man, you can’t make him change. First Peter 3.1 shows clearly that you are not to even try to lead your husband to lead you.
#8 DO NOT IMPOSE YOUR RULES ON THE KIDS WHEN DAD IS HOME - Two adults will rarely have exactly the same standards of behavior. Dads and moms can come to amicable agreements on major things most of the time, but it is unlikely that a mom and a dad will always be in agreement regarding the acceptable level of noise or fooling around in the home. There is almost never perfect agreement about everything required of children by the parents. Generally speaking, however, unless you have worked things out in a way he is comfortable with, behavior should be the way he wants it to be. For example: If dad likes to rough house in the living room, it’s okay to rough house in the living room, even if you don’t like it, mom. If dad likes to play catch with a big beach ball in the living room, then it’s okay to play catch with a big beach ball in the living room, and you are out of line to attempt to veto what he permits. When you voice your objections and to try and impose your will over your husband’s will you are behaving like a feminist. What are you trying to accomplish with your children? Do you want to raise daughters who will seek to rule their husbands? Do you want confusion to reign with your boys, because they can’t figure out who is in charge in the home when you and your husband are both home? When you are home alone you are the boss. Whenever he is home he is the boss, even if you are home, and you should do nothing to weaken his position. To ask again: What possible justification can a woman have for challenging her husband’s decision to play in the living room and horse around with the kids? Are you so afraid your husband and the kids will make a mess that you will interfere with the one thing every mother in America would give anything to have her husband do with her kids? Besides, if you were any kind of a mom you would have realized long ago that mothers don’t do house work. That’s what maids and kids are for. Your kids make a mess, your kids clean the mess. Not you. A mother who does the housework is a woman who hasn’t gotten into her mind what her function in the home is, no matter how much she tries to justify her confusion by saying she likes to do house work. Bunk. She’s tetched in the head and is compensating for something by being a super clean freak.
#9 DO NOT NATTER, NATTER, NATTER, NATTER, NATTER - Several years ago I watched a television program in which two Harvard psychologists, both Lesbians and strident feminists, admitted that their research showed that men and women interact with children differently. They said that the word that best describes what most women do with their children is "natter." To "natter" is to pick, pick, pick at children to do things. Criticize, criticize, criticize. Men, they said, will direct a child to do something once or twice and then put their foot down and demand obedience. But women "natter." Ladies, Pam will admit that I catch her doing this with Sarah from time to time. And you may very well do the same thing and you need to stop. If you do natter your children (and it’s a very destructive habit, even if your own mother did it), I’m convinced that it’s the result of forgetting that you and your child are not peers, are not equals, and that you are supposed to wield parental authority over your kids. Children are commanded to honor you, mom, Exodus 20.12. Children are commanded to fear you, mom. Leviticus 19.3, "Ye shall fear every man his mother. . . I am the LORD your God." So, you need to stop the "nattering" and grab hold of the situation with your child who is arguing with you, or who is ignoring you until you scream at him. Instead, issue a clear directive. If that clear and well understood directive is ignored, a good swat on the behind will generally improve the hearing. But do not degrade your standing as a mother by nagging your children, by crabbing at them, by nattering.
#10 DO NOT SEEK TO CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND’S MIND - If rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry, then more of you than we would all like to admit are guilty from time to time of witchcraft and idolatry. Why so? You try to change your husband’s mind when he has made a decision. Now, I know what you are thinking. "My husband makes some very stupid decisions sometimes." I know that. I am a husband and I am willing to admit that I make some pretty stupid decisions about things that greatly affect my wife, and she doesn’t like it. But you only make matters worse when you try to change your husband’s mind after he has made a decision. Working to get your husband to change his mind will do at least three things: First, it convinces your children that you have the right to veto your husband’s decisions, and you do not. Second, it convinces your husband that you are not the truly godly woman he would like to think you are, because godly women do not engage in rebellion and stubbornness against their husbands. And third, it gets you used to acting like a feminist and an unbeliever instead of like a spiritual woman. My suggestion is that you learn to trust God, instead of getting frustrated by your inability to trust your husband, following the example of godly Sarah in First Peter 3.5. As well, learn to make a Scriptural appeal to your husband instead of trying to change his mind. You see, if you try to get your husband to change his mind you are challenging him to admit that he made a bad decision, that he made a mistake. When you do that you dishonor him, something that is foolish for any woman to do. But if you ask him, very politely and very properly, to make a new decision, based on new information or facts he may not have previously considered, then you honor him and demonstrate to your children that you trust God to work in your husband’s life to lead the family. As well, when you make an appeal in this fashion you are winning the heart of your husband by reinforcing his position in the home, making it far more likely that he will try extra hard to please you and to honor you in return. But the feminist will ignore such advice as this because she is proud.
#11 DO NOT LET YOUR CHILD CHANGE YOUR MIND - I think it is a sin for a mother to tell her child "No," and then to allow him to ask her to change her mind. "Mom, can I have a Coke?" "No, it will spoil your supper." "Oh, mom, why can’t I have a Coke? Why? Can I please have a Coke? Please? Please?" That kind of conversation only occurs between a mother and a child who is being trained by his mother to dishonor her. Such a conversation is a contest of wills, as it is when that same woman tries to change her husband’s mind. Just as a woman should demonstrate that she has submitted to God’s will by not trying to change her husband’s mind by contesting his will, so a mother should make very sure she never allows her child to win a contest of wills with her. Not when the child is an infant, or when the child is a toddler, or a grade school child, or a teenager. You should make an inviolable rule to never lose a battle of wills with your child. If you do you are only encouraging your child to be rebellious toward God. Let’s say your son asks for a Coke and you say "No." If your child says, "Why can’t I, mom?" you should make it very clear that your decision has been made and that if he dishonors you by trying to change your mind you will give him a spanking he will remember. But, if you’ve trained your child to appeal to you in the same fashion you appeal to your husband, perhaps you will let him say, "Mom, may I ask a question?" "Yes, son?" "Mom, do you remember that you said that when I finished my homework I could have a Coke?" "That’s right. I did say that. Okay, you can have that Coke, because I promised, but no more Cokes this late from now on." You see? He appealed to you without challenging your authority. That gave you the freedom to make a new decision, and you could have answered him in any way you chose to. The appeal process is the safety valve God outlines in the Bible that gives a spiritual and submissive person the recourse you need to deal with someone in authority, whether it be a worker with his boss, a wife with her husband, or a child with his mother or father. Mom’s? You take a giant step toward raising your children to be submissive to God when you decide and follow through on your decision to never allow your child to change your mind, while at the same time training your child to make proper appeals that do not challenge or threaten your position or authority.
#12 DO NOT DISOBEY YOUR HUSBAND’S DECISIONS - It is hard to grow a good husband, especially in this day in which we live. So many men have grown up in broken homes or with lousy fathers that they don’t really have a handle on how to be a good dad and a good husband in some areas of family life. A smart wife, a wise woman, a great mom, can cultivate her own husband into being a better husband by carefully appealing to him in different ways. Turn to Proverbs 12.4: "A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones." Now turn to Proverbs 14.1: "Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." I am convinced that the advice I am giving to you ladies will work to strengthen your marriage, to make you better mothers, to transform you into better wives, and to show you how to work according to God’s plan to build your own house. Each of these bits of advice contribute in some way to that overall goal. But this business of disobeying your husband, along with trying to change his mind and criticizing him, can be very foolish behavior for a mother to engage in, very destructive to her home. To disobey your husband, of course, is to do what he directs you or asks you not to do, or to not do what he directs you or asks you to do. But few women are wise enough to take their relationship with their husband to the next level. Ladies, do you want your children to do what you tell them to do, or what they know you want them to do? Obviously, a wise woman wants children who seek to please their mother, not just children who do only what she remembers to tell them. A wise woman also strives to be that kind of wife, thereby setting an example for her children to follow. You certainly need to do what your husband asks you to do, with a sweet attitude. But you should strive to go even farther than doing what he asks you to do by doing what he wants you to do, even if he hasn’t actually asked you to do it. The opposite of this, of course, is to disobey him. My, how a woman damages herself when she disobeys her husband. How she trains her children to be disobedient when they notice that mother is not seeking to please dad. Ladies, for your own protection, so you will succeed in raising children who will take care of you when you are old and infirm, so they will honor you when they are no longer forced to, please obey your husband. I have in mind a woman in my Church whose son is lost. Her husband made a decision to discipline her son that she disagreed with. So, when her husband went to work the mom would disobey her husband and do with her son what her husband told her not to do. The result? It’s virtually impossible for the now grown son to honor his dad, because his mother trained him to dishonor his father when she disobeyed her husband. As well, it is also very hard for the son to honor his mom because he remembers his mom dishonoring her own husband. And the son is not a Christian. I hope the mother is happy with what she has done. Do not disobey your husband’s decisions. Even if he is a poor decision maker there are things that can be done that are not rebellious and stubborn.
#13 DO NOT TALK TOO MUCH - Proverbs 21.9 and 19: "It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house. . . . It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." Proverbs 25.24: "It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house." Proverbs 27.15: "A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike." Ladies, I do not know if you are a brawling woman, or contentious, or angry. I do know that some women, whose husbands don’t talk to them very much, who feel very lonely because their husbands aren’t around much or are unwilling to talk, simply talk too much. Some of you just talk way too much. You need to be quiet. Though I am not a quiet man, my father was, and I think I know how many quiet men think and what their opinions are about people who talk a lot. First, if you talk a lot you may be perceived by your husband to be like a continual dripping, like a dripping faucet. He just can’t imagine that someone who talks that much hasn’t run out of important things to say, so he has concluded that what’s coming out of your mouth can’t be worth listening to. If you want him to actually listen to what you actually say you are going to have to drastically reduce the number of words that come out of your mouth. With a wife’s words, Dr. Timothy Lin’s oft quoted saying is oftentimes true; "Less is more." Your husband will listen to you more if you talk less. As well, many husbands, and this has been studied and documented, feel like they are being assaulted by the sheer volume of words. Ladies, that means your husband may perceive that you are contentious and brawling when you have no intention of being that way. If your husband thinks you are overwhelming him with the volume of your words, or if you fuss with him, argue with him, brawl with him, are contentious with him, he will find a way to spend less time with you. Is that what you want? Is that your goal? I have found that many wives want their husband’s company more not less, but that their behavior guarantees that they get their husband’s company less not more. How so? By overwhelming him with words, or by being contentious or angry or brawling with words when they are together. That hurts you, as a mom. It causes your children to think less of their father, thereby decreasing the likelihood that they will follow his spiritual leadership. But they will also not like you as much, because who wants to be around a woman who gripes, or who is angry, or who argues, or who talks so much that no one can get in a word edgewise? Learn to read people’s body language. When they are not listening they are not listening. That’s when it’s time to stop talking. As well, if your husband is like my dad, he will not speak when you stop talking. Instead, he will wait a few minutes. And it will only be after several minutes of dead air that he will actually begin talking. Therefore, if you want to communicate with your husband, and the same may be true if you have a quiet child, you are going to have to be quiet and you are going to have to learn to be patient. . . unless you just like hearing the sound of your voice droning on.
2A. THINGS MOMS SHOULD DO THAT MANY MOTHERS DO NOT DO
#1 READ GOD’S WORD BEFORE, NOT AFTER - Turn in your Bible to Psalm 63.1: "O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." There is much to be made for reading God’s Word before you do anything else in the morning. Perhaps you need to wash your face and brush your teeth to feel like a human being, but I would be careful about doing much more than that before you read God’s Word. Ladies, as a mother you are engaged in an intensely spiritual enterprise, for which an abundant supply of God’s grace is required to properly function. But God’s grace needed is not necessarily God’s grace appropriated. Turn to First Corinthians 1.3-9. Before we begin reading, let me point out that in this passage Paul is pointing out that God’s abundant grace had always been available to the Corinthians, was presently available to them, and would be available to them in the future, in so many words. But despite the availability of God’s grace for living, those people were a mess. Why? Because they did not appropriate the grace God had made available to them by various means. Let’s read: "Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 4I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 90 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." I submit to you that great grace is needed by each and every mother to take on the unforeseen difficulties of the day, to wisely deal with your children and the spiritual dangers that will be faced, and that it is prideful presumption to think you will please God over the course of a day until you have first met with Him in His Word. So, I challenge you to read your Bible first, before you feed the kids, before you feed your husband if that’s possible, before you otherwise get yourself ready for the day, and certainly before you take on the day.
#2 PRAY BEFORE, NOT AFTER - I would suggest the same approach regarding prayer. Now, maybe you like to read God’s Word and then pray, or you are one who likes to pray and then read God’s Word. It might even be good to intersperse a pray and Bible reading regimen during your daily devotional time. I do know that I cannot imagine a Christian taking on the challenges of the day without at least one full hour spent with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading. But that’s me. Maybe you would be better to start with ten or fifteen minutes to start off the day and then come back to more Bible reading and prayer later. My concern is just that you get caught up in the rush of the day and end up not spending needed time with the Lord in prayer, bringing your petitions before Him, asking Him for wisdom and grace and provision and insights and blessings that you are in need of. If you are not careful the day has slipped by, you have pillowed your head, and the Lord gently nudges you to remind you that you completely forgot Him today. Oh, what a sin practical atheism is, and how it must be avoided at all costs. That’s done by seeking God early and seeking Him first. Let the kid’s breakfast wait a few minutes if you are running behind schedule. It’s more important for mom to feed spiritually than it is for your kids to eat breakfast.
#3 SPANK YOUR CHILDREN - You show that you’ve been brainwashed by this ungodly world if you refuse to spank your child when he needs it. And where in the world have parents been so deceived by this Christ-rejecting world more than when they show their ignorance of a child’s depraved nature by trying to reason with an unreasonable child. Instead, many women will natter, as I mentioned before, which accomplishes nothing but to enrage a child and make him resentful. But what says God’s Word? Several verses for you to read with me: Proverbs 13.24: "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." Love is the proper motivation for spanking and those who spare the rod do not love their children as God would have them. Proverbs 22.15: "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." This verse lets us know that one valid reason for spanking a child is foolishness. No wonder we have a nation of complete fools; they were raised by mothers who refused or who didn’t know to spank them when they did things that were just plain dumb. Proverbs 23.13-14: "Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." This verse lets us know that spanking should be used to correct a child’s behavior, and that spanking him will have a profound spiritual influence on him if done properly. Proverbs 29.15: "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." Who is shamed by a child who runs wild, who is undisciplined, who is unmanageable, who is out of control? It’s you, mom, because the way a child turns out is most greatly the result of your influence on him. Why else would God assign shame to you if the child turns out to be a bum? This is because the real spankings that have the greatest impact on a child are in the early years, when the child is quite young, and mostly under his mother’s control. And the spankings don’t have to be all that hard to have the desired effect of breaking the child’s will and producing tears for foolish behavior or rebellion. So, be sure and spank you child, mom, when he needs it, and be careful about waiting until dad gets home to have it done. Especially for the younger child, when too much time passes there will be no connection between the offense and the spanking in the child’s mind, which will result in no lesson learned. Mom? You need to be willing to spank your child, and you need to be willing to spank properly. Don’t substitute nattering for spanking.
#4 TRAIN CHILDREN TO HONOR THEIR FATHER - I don’t know where my wife got this, but this is the one I think she absolutely excelled at when Sarah was a little girl. Pam really started that little snot of mine off right when it came to honoring her father. Though I have never asked her to do so, Pam has always, since we were first married, been a wife who has served me. I’m telling you, when it comes to some things my wife absolutely makes me feel like a king. I love it, by the way, and am glad that feminism did not affect that part of her thinking. But I have said that to say this: Her commitment to honoring me as a husband seemed to naturally lead her to train Sarah to honor me as a father. One incident stands out in my mind, particularly. I had parked the car and was walking to the front door one evening, when I dropped my keys and bent over to pick them up. As I bent over, right in front of the door, I overheard Pam, just inside the door, coaching Sarah, who was at that time about two years old. I can still hear her words: "Sarah, run to daddy when he opens the door. Run to daddy and hug daddy. Run and hug daddy." Ladies, my daughter is commanded in God’s Word to honor me. But because she is sinful she will not naturally do that unless she is trained to do that. My wife trained my daughter to honor me. What do you think I am very prone to do with regard to Sarah honoring her mother? You’re right. I insist on it. I think more mothers should concentrate less on fussing with their kids, with fussing with their husbands, and should concentrate more on training their children to honor their husbands, first by setting the example of honoring him yourself.
#5 WARN YOUR SONS ABOUT THE DANGERS OF WOMEN - Why don’t more mothers warn their sons about the dangers of women? Some of you women have really handsome sons, but I wonder if you have spent any time warning them against the wiles of women. Of course, every mother should spend considerable time warning her sons about the wicked and trashy woman who dresses immodestly, who tries to seduce men, and who is promiscuous. But there is another kind of woman who is a different kind of danger to your sons. Turn to Proverbs 31.3: "Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings." These are the words of king Lemuel’s mother, warning him about the wiles of women who seek to subvert their men and influence them in ways women ought not to influence men. Now, it is quite obvious that a king would have nothing to fear from a harlot or from a promiscuous woman. But what about his wife, who is faithful to him in all ways, except that she tries to influence him in ways that hurt him? Moms, you should not seek to influence your husbands by devious and subtle means, or by griping and complaining and crabbing at them. Instead, you should openly and willingly submit to them with a heart that’s right with God. And, of course, if you can submit to your husband in this way then, and only then, can you warn your sons against the wiles of women without yourself being a hypocrite. And don’t you want your boys to grow up to be real men, to be manly men, to be leaders in their homes, to not be some pantywaist "Yes, dear"? There is nothing worse to observe that a young man chasing after a harlot. It’s a terrible thing, a disgusting thing. But next to that, there is nothing that irritates me worse than watching some married man tuck his tail between his legs like a scared pup for fear of his wife’s temper or continual dripping. Would it break your heart to see your sons behave in that fashion with their wives? Then begin to warn them now about the dangers of women, scheming women, conniving women, griping women, crabbing women, ungodly feminists, who prey on their husband’s weaknesses and bully them around or lead them around by the nose, or whatever else it is that women do to improperly influence a man. Moms? It’s up to you to prepare the next generation of boys to stand up and be men in their homes.
#6 TRAIN DAUGHTERS TO KNOW WHEN AND HOW TO TALK - Consider some of the fine ladies in our Church. Janice Isenberger, Pam Waldrip, Melinda Moyer, Shirley French, Nancy Arnold. This list is not complete, by any means, but these are women who don’t shoot off their mouths and bark at people, snap at people, gripe at people. Since when did it become a virtue for a woman to be sharp tongued? Since when was it considered commendable for a women to verbally read someone the riot act? Yet I have noticed that younger women are more prone to engaging in verbal jousting matches with young men than I remember happening when I was much younger. I have pondered God’s Word on the subject and I find nothing to commend the trend. We live in a world dominated by feminists, by political correctness, by loud and boisterous women, and by passive and quiet men. And I think there is something wrong with that. I think daughters need to be trained when to talk and when not to talk, how to talk and how not to talk. And the sight of adolescents, one boy and one girl, engaged in a verbal duel in which he is attempting to defend himself against humiliation and she is attempting to publicly humiliate him, shows me that something has gone terribly awry. I don’t want my daughter to grow up to be some loud mouthed, bra burning feminist who argues with men, who tries to shout them down, who’s contentious and boorish, who gripes and her husband when no one is around, and who would shock and amaze people should she suddenly behave demurely and in a feminine manner. Excuse me, but I think girls should be trained to deal with matters after the feminine fashion and not after the masculine fashion. It requires more wisdom on the part of the girls. But then again, being a woman oftentimes requires greater wisdom than being a man.
#7 RAISE EACH SEX TO FULFILL THEIR GOD ORDAINED ROLE - What are you raising your daughter to be? Just what is it you are seeking to accomplish in her life? If you set aside the feminist agenda and look solely at God’s Word you can clearly see that God’s plan for men and for women are obviously not the same. Their spheres of interest and concern are not the same, and they are not supposed to be the same. According to the Word of God, Adam was created by God first and Eve was created by God to be a help to Adam, a fit help for him. According to the hermeneutical law of first mention, that which God established in that first husband and wife relationship established a pattern for husbands and wives that has only been modified by later revelation, not abolished or turned on its head. Are you raising your son to be the leader in the home he will someday establish? And are you training your daughter to be her husband’s help in the home she will with her husband someday establish? I am of the opinion that many mothers are subconsciously, or perhaps even consciously, emotionally fitting their daughters for professional life instead of domestic life. I see young women who are well suited for the executive suite, but do not appear to me to be at all suited for the bridal suite. Now, I know that single moms feel particularly vulnerable to being caught unprepared for the job market, and you want to make doubly sure that you prepare your kids, especially your daughters, so that they will not be caught as unawares and unprepared as you were. I am not suggesting that you ignore their preparation for the job market, but that you emphasize their preparation for marriage and motherhood, which is a far more important role for a woman than an ordinary job. Prepare your boys and your girls for those roles in the home which will provide for them the greatest personal fulfillment. Be sure what you are doing as a wife enhances the leadership role in the home you want your sons to occupy when they get married and sire children. And for crying out loud, do everything you can to dismiss from your kid’s thinking the ungodly and humanistic notions about controlling the size of their families with "family planning." Urge them to let God be God in determining the size of their families. Let’s trust God. Amen?
#8 REVERENCE YOUR CHILD’S FATHER - You are all very familiar with those passages in God’s Word where your husband is commanded to love you, as Christ loved the Church. But find a passage for me where you are commanded, specifically, to love your husband, ladies. Can you think of a verse? There may be such a verse, but I can’t think of one off hand. Your husband should exhibit toward you a sacrificial love. But what should you exhibit toward him? I refer to it as the "admiration factor," that’s missing in many, many marriages. Turn to Ephesians 5.33: "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." Ladies, do you reverence your husband? What respect do you show toward your children’s father when no one else is at home? First Peter 3.5-6: "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord." Do you want your sons to follow the leadership of their father? How can you have any hope of them doing that if they do not perceive their father to be a man worthy of admiration? Do you want your daughter to reject her father and marry someone with wildly different values? How can she be expected to do otherwise so long as you do not reverence her father? Let me tell you how my mother’s attitude toward my father influenced my life. Don’t you see mom? The eyes through which your children see their father are your eyes, not their own.
#9 BE PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY INTIMATE WITH YOUR CHILD - I am of the opinion that you will not be spiritually intimate with your child if you are physically and emotionally distant from your child. As well, I think it is vital to the emotional and spiritual well being of a kid to be embraced and touched by his or her mother. I think this is critical for a father to do, as well, but you are all moms, so I will confine my remarks to moms. Want a clue as to how important it is for a mom to touch her son and daughter, and to embrace them? A fact that may be related is the result of a study done on waitresses in coffee shops frequented by men for breakfast and lunch. It seems that waitresses who touch their customers get fully 50% more in tips than those who do not. Now, I don’t mean waitresses that walk up and hug men who order coffee, but waitresses who touch the shoulder of a man while they are pouring his coffee with the other hand. On an unconscious level men respond to that. I think men need that from their wives. How much more do sons need that from their moms? And I have no doubt that daughters need that. But such emotional and physical intimacy is, I believe, prelude to spiritual intimacy. Listen to this quote from Charles Spurgeon, volume X, sermon # 586, page 477, line 3: "It is said of the Rev. John Angell James, ‘Like most men who have been eminent and honored in the Church of Christ, he had a godly mother, who was wont to take her children to her chamber, and with each separately to pray for the salvation of their souls. This exercise, which fulfilled her own responsibility, was molding the character of her children, and most, if not all of them, rose up to call her blessed. When did such means ever fail?’" How can a mother do this who is physically and emotionally distant from her child, who is verbally jousting with them, who contends with her own children instead of quickly spanking them and moving on with life when they do wrong? Oh, mom, it is so hard to be a good mom with a child you are not tender with, you are not kind to, you are not empathetic toward. But if you hug, and caress, and talk softly and intimately, and personally and privately with your child, you have opened a gateway to dealing with your child about spiritual matters that you will have no other opportunity to deal with.
#10 BE QUIET LONG ENOUGH FOR YOUR HUSBAND TO TALK- Some of you are married to men who are considerably more profound than you realize, for two reasons: First, because a prophet is not without honor, save in his own house. It’s just human nature to underrate the person you are married to, if you are not a Spirit-filled woman who reverences her husband. Second, your husband may be more wise than you imagine because he is quiet and rarely speaks. If you are married to such a man, or if there are just times when he is unusually quiet, you might give serious consideration to being silent during those periods of time, as a way of drawing him out and enjoying, delighting, in his wisdom. Now, I do not mean to suggest that you are not wise, or that your thoughts and ideas should not be entertained and considered. But God did not make you the man of the house, did He? Isn’t that a fair question? That’s not a mean question, is it? Since God did not create you to be the leader in your home it would be good for you to practice listening to the leader talk. "But he never talks." Then demonstrate your wisdom by asking him well-timed questions that are designed to draw him out. Then, after you’ve asked the question, patiently wait for his answer. If you are patient enough you will be surprised at what comes out, even if you do have to finally admit that you married a terrible conversationalist. At the very least, recognize that if a meek and quiet spirit is well thought of by God for dealing with an unspiritual or unsaved husband, 1 Peter 3.4, think of how such a spirit will benefit you with a godly husband?
1. I my suggestions are received in the spirit in which they are offered. I want to strengthen your families, because I am convinced that strong Churches are the result of strong families.
2. And I am convinced that moms have a profound influence on the making of men and women, on the development of husbands, and on the curing to ripeness and soundness of fathers.
3. It’s too bad that so many moms have moms who are themselves unstable and foolish, making it so much the harder for a Christian wife and mom to learn how to love her husband and to love her children.
4. But with God’s help, and relying on His infallible Word, we can press on until God raises up a generation of seasoned, aged women whose influence on young women runs deep, because of their own private family life being spiritual and blessed of God.
5. By God’s grace, those women will be you, ladies. My prayers are with you that you will wholeheartedly abandon the worldly ways of motherhood and seek to be a Hannah, a Sarah, a Ruth, an Elizabeth.