The Challenge to Nurture Your Children

My heart ached, feeling like it was breaking in two, when I heard she didn’t want him, her two-year-old son and second child. The first she put up for adoption. Now after trying her hand at raising him, exposing him to a sexually abusive and otherwise violent man, she says she “doesn’t want him.” She tried to be a mother but hadn’t healed from what hindered her nurturing instincts when she birthed the first child. She gave up on her calling, too weak to focus on mothering, let alone accomplish it. She’s a victim herself and now will likely place her son in the care of the State, diminishing his chances of going from victim to victor.

My heart aches for this woman and child and so many others that I have heard too often in the news: a mother sells her 7-year-old daughter for crack; a mother turns a blind eye at her husband molesting her children; a mother abandons her one and four-year-old children in a home for days, leaving them to fend for themselves; and a mother locks her child in the closet, only feeding her every few days, stunting her physical and emotional growth. There are many others; I’m sure you’ve heard them, and like me find it hard to imagine doing these things. I cry as I type this because of the incessant abuse that I can’t fathom but understand can happen when women don’t understand they are called to nurture their children.

“Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. . .”—Genesis 1:28 (KJV).

Too many women stop at being fruitful (getting pregnant), multiplying (having a lot of children) and replenishing the earth (so those children occupy various parts of the land) and don’t consider for what purpose. First, God called humans to have children so they can control the animal species, and, second, to produce a godly offspring, children dedicated to serve Him (Malachi 2:15). And the only way children will be dedicated to serving God is if they are taught to do so; they must grow to this point, and this is the job of a nurturing mother.

Most mothers I know are dedicated to nurturing their children in some way. Whether it’s imparting good hygiene skills and manners or helping to cultivate academic or sports prowess, they are constantly teaching their children in these areas that seem to be of the utmost importance for their children to succeed in this physical world. But the calling on a child’s life, including any mention of excellence for a believer in Jesus Christ, is always to benefit God’s kingdom, a place that we help control in the spiritual world while on this earth.

So with learning good hygiene skills and manners and academic and sports prowess, teaching your children that God should get the glory in each is the key to nurturing. We must focus here because we will get off track, on one extreme grossly abusing them like the mothers above or on the other extreme building up their humanity apart from God; either way we fail to impart to them the ultimate purpose of their existence: to give God glory. Let’s nurture our children based on God’s call to mankind to fill the earth with people who will live for and worship Him.

Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith


One response to “The Challenge to Nurture Your Children

  1. I really enjoyed reading this

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