Sure, we all have books on a myriad of subjects that we enjoy reading in our spare time. Spare time….Wait, does a Mom have spare time?!
Call me crazy, but within the past year I’d say, I’ve become a reader more than ever before. Well, except for maybe high school and college; even then, I was always on the hunt for the CliffsNotes version. While I’ve always been interested in self-help type books, I often feel overwhelmed or even a certain heaviness after finishing said book. My husband has encouraged me over the years to pick up a good fiction book now and then to help balance my reading. Now, I never really had much time for fiction reading. I suppose I had considered it a waste of time. In my mind, self-improvement reading was reading for a purpose. Since digging for some fiction that might capture my attention, I have changed my opinion and enjoy a few here and there weaved into my reading diet.
As a Mom, I have a library of sorts within the confines of my home on every subject under the sun as it pertains to raising children. Quite honestly, I believe I burned myself out on the subject. Everyone has his or her own opinion on the subject, Christian or non-Christian and frankly, I had my fill of it. Quickly I discovered that there is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to parenting. What works for one parent, may or may not work for the next parent. It was then that I came to the conclusion that I needed to permit myself a hiatus and pick back up on my newfound, yet limited love of fiction.
Recently, however, I discovered a book that has quite challenged me in my role as a Mother. Now, I had a wonderful godly Mother who raised her girls well by training and example. If only she were here to help me through some of the pitfalls of the hardest job on the planet we call parenting, I would be so happy! I have searched for godly women in my life through the years to grant me the wisdom I was searching for as my own Mom is years deceased. I believe one such wise woman was brought across my path via a MOPS meeting. This woman shared principles with us that day which she had learned from a mentor mom herself and consequently employed with her own 3 children. When she shared that she had written a book full of these treasured principles, I was among the first to attain one.
Once I began reading the book, I very quickly read the first 4 or so chapters. Raising A Temple: A Mother’s Guide to Raising Godly Kids written by Lori Jane Hensley, is chocked full of rich biblical truths to aid in training your child(ren) to become a temple. Much of her writing points back to scripture. She teaches young Moms, or older ones like me, how vital it is to have your own heart right before you can teach your child(ren). One nugget I read pertaining to the Proverbs 31 woman:
We all want to be the Superwoman of Proverbs 31, juggling everything, doing it well, and having everyone singing our praises at the end of the day. As a young woman, I would read that chapter, and if I wasn’t performing at Superwoman status, I would begin to feel like I was not measuring up. A very wise woman told me years ago that the Proverbs 31 woman didn’t accomplish it all at one time. There are many seasons of life, and her accomplishments were over time.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with comparison, as I believe most women do. The Proverbs 31 woman is like THE ultimate woman. I mean really, who can measure up to this woman? Reading Lori’s book helped me to see this seemingly perfect woman in a different light. Sure, she is someone to be admired and esteemed, but as Lori so beautifully stated, she didn’t just become this person all at once, it was over time. Freedom! Perspective is a great thing, isn’t it?
Being a great Mom requires yielding to the calling of motherhood and that taking our children to church every Sunday or having them in Christian school is not nearly enough. We must be intentional. We must saturate our minds with God’s truth daily to renew the mind and strengthen God’s spirit within us. We must call upon Him for wisdom and invest time in prayer with Him both privately and corporately. We must ask God for wisdom and knowledge to understand our role as Mother, to look for opportunities for teachable moments to build character in our children. Ultimately, we are raising temples, not just “good kids”.
Whether you choose to read this particular book, or another on parenting, be sure to seek out God’s wisdom in choosing the right book. Speak to God often to fully realize and understand your purpose as the Mother to the children you were blessed with. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Be the best you can be by consulting daily with the One who created you. Most importantly, have a teachable spirit. He will not disappoint.