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If you had a little boy…your very own little boy…and you knew that at any time Pharaoh’s daughter could come and claim him for her own, what would you teach him?

In those few months, years or whatever time you had to spend with him, what would you try to instill in the heart and mind of that little boy? Moses’ mother had only a very short time to teach him about God and to train him in God’s will.

We do not know how long she was with Moses (Exodus 2:7-10), but that mother surely had her values in order. She had trained him well enough in that little while that his love for God and his faith in Him was so strong that he gave up a life of prominence and luxury later on, for a life of affliction and suffering with the Lord’s people. I am persuaded this training did not come from the king’s palace.

Can we, who have as long as 18 and sometimes 19 years do as well? It depends so much on where we place our values. Imagine with me, if you will, a huge department store where someone has mischievously misplaced the price tags: A curtain rod sells for $150.00 and a wash cloth for $ 200.00, a tea towel for $250.00, but a beautiful carpet sells for 13 cents per square yard and living room suite for 95 cents.

If you can imagine anything that ridiculous can you just see what a state of frenzy we homemakers would be in? We may not stock up on many tea towels or wash cloths at that price, but we would get rather excited over the other bargains! If we could make it past the check-out counter, we would be having a ball!! Wouldn’t we?

Well, this has happened in America. No…not in material things that we can see, but in something of much more value than material things. But mothers, we are not having a ball…we are losing our children! Satan has somehow convinced us that a job outside the home is more important than the home and that things of a material nature are more important than training our children …in the way they should go. (Proverbs 22:6).

So many , many mothers leave their children in day care centers or with a baby sitter to be influenced by these people all day long. I had my first baby at age 18 and my last one at age 20, but young though I was, I thought mine too precious to leave in the care of someone else. We can count on one hand the times we left our children with someone between birth and school age.

Today, some parents’ concern and the concern of Christian psychologists and counselors seems to be whether that day care center is equipped with the proper learning tools for their age and things like attendant and children ratio. These are little insignificant things compared to the mother leaving that child in the first place.

Yes, Satan has really done his job well in convincing most of us. It all happened so gradually over several decades that not many seem concerned about what it is doing to our families in America. The chilling thought that comes to my mind is that we mothers in America, a land of freedom, are doing the very thing to ourselves and to our little children that the governments of some other countries are doing to the mothers and their little ones by force.

Some of the actual remarks I have heard over the years are: “I had to go to work…My child and I were getting too close” and “My working has been so good for both my son and me, because he was getting to be such a mother’s boy.”

This is what it is all about. How can we ever teach our children and instill in them a desire to get close to a Heavenly Father if they are not allowed to even get close to us…their parents? One of the latest and most heart-breaking remarks I have heard was: “I have the fear that someday I will look back on my life and all I will have accomplished is raising kids!”

What a sad commentary on mother-hood in America! If that is all we have accomplished but have trained them up to have favor with God, what an accomplishment! Nothing can compare to that! One of my favorite quotes is from Benjamin Franklin: “It is the eyes of other people who ruin us. If all but myself were blind, I should want neither a fine house nor fine furniture.” What a lesson in those few words! It makes us wonder how many of our children are lost because of false pride in materialism.

Parents, if you are so impressed with the material things of this life that you would rather have a lot of luxuries for your children or grandchildren (grandparents are also guilty of this) than to see them trained in the right way, then no matter how wealthy you are, you are not only poor…you are poverty-stricken.

Even when some gospel preachers preach on this subject of mothers in the home, some of them say, “We are not talking about those cases where it is necessary for the mother to work to help make a living.” As though the reason will make a difference in the neglect of the children. It is better to have a much smaller living than to sacrifice your children on the altar of materialism. As long as we show this attitude, our children are going to continue growing up having a warped view of success far removed from Biblical teachings.

This quote from Benjamin Franklin makes us see that when we put material things, (yes, even necessary ones) ahead of our little ones that we are sacrificing the precious for the trivial. What a tragedy!

When our children were small and we would be traveling, my husband and I would talk about our precious cargo lying asleep in the back seat. It surely made us more aware of how careful we should be in our driving, because of those precious little lives in our care. How much more important are the souls of these little ones than their physical lives! These little ones that are born to us and that we rear up are going to spend eternity somewhere and we are responsibility to see that they are trained in God’s way, because if we don’t train them…the world will!

Young mothers and fathers, you only have one opportunity to bring your children up in God’s favor. Don’t blow it! You can not re-do it after you see that you have failed. You may be able to salvage some things later and you should never stop trying to, but you can not un-do from the beginning and start over.

Save yourself a lot of grief later on. Your children are the most important ‘possessions’ that you will ever have control of and they need to be guarded wisely, loved abundantly and completely surrounded by the word of God while they are growing up. This can not be done by a baby sitter or by a child care center. This is done by parental influence and it must be done early. (Deuteronomy 6: 4-6).

It is ironic how the special-ness of family togetherness works. If it is special because of the rarity of the times you are together as a family unit, then the special-ness will not have the end result you had hoped for.

Family togetherness needs to be so often and so common place that nothing special is noted at the time. It is later on when it all unfolds and it is this kind of family where appreciation abounds from your children when they have grown up and fond memories will linger with them all through life.

Don’t let opportunities pass. We all make mistakes when our children are growing up. No parent is perfect, but God knows this, and still gives the command to train them in the way they should go…If you will pray for wisdom and pray that you will raise them up to be pleasing to God, then He will cause your mistakes to become stepping-stones to greater teaching opportunities for your little ones.

But let me quickly add that unconfessed, unrepented of and unforgiven mistakes will be stumbling stones instead of stepping-stones. Pray for wisdom and show your children an example (model) of faithfulness in all things. Consider each day a new beginning and a new opportunity to teach and train them in God’s way.

-Christian Bible Teacher Magazine, Edna L. Ingram, May 1982


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