TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
almost invariably driven to seek it too early and outside marriage. And there will be no shortage of boys who are only too willing to satisfy your daughter’s unfulfilled “need.”
Remember, fathers, just as you hold a very special place in your heart for your little girl, she holds an equally special place in her heart for her dad. Strive to never shatter, betray, neglect or disappoint your little girl’s view of the most important man in the first third of her life—you!
Mothers and Daughters
Although applied in somewhat different ways, as with fathers and their sons, mothers and daughters also have a unique relationship.
Your daughter will learn more about TRUE WOMANHOOD—about how to be a good wife and a good mother—from you than from any- one else in her life. Paul wrote to Titus that the older women should “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…” (2:4-5).
Think of this list as all the things that you as a mother should be teaching your daughters. After all, they are the ones who will be teaching your granddaughters, and you will be amazed later at how you may hear your voice coming from your grown daughters.
Mothers, teach your daughters all the aspects of true femininity, a quality now almost entirely lost today. Paul’s instruction speaks more to this than meets the eye. Many women today are “mannish” to the point of being outright masculine. This is often because they value a career outside the home in which they must compete and strive to succeed in what has generally been called “a man’s world,” instead of being content to obey God in the career He has given them as a “keeper at home.” If you are working outside the home, and ig- noring Paul’s instruction, you are setting your daughter up to want to do the same. (It is interesting that large numbers of mothers have been returning home from the work-a-day world to be “stay-at- home” moms once again. It has been estimated that 85 percent of all mothers are now back in the home, either full or part-time, with hus- bands again bringing home most of the income.)
Be sure to take a very keen interest in your daughter’s activities, and this includes involving her in all the elements of homemaking that so many women today seem to shun—cooking, sewing, decorat-
ing, house cleaning and so much more. Be sure your daughter under- stands that these things are important—and that the world around her no longer values them, because it is confused, misguided and cut off from God. She must know and understand why she is different.
Mothers and Sons
Every mother understands the extraordinary relationship she has with her sons, beginning from the moment they are born. Similar- ly—and both sides of this relationship directly parallel fathers and daughters—sons usually retain a very special soft spot in their heart for their mother throughout life, and this even continues after their mother’s death.
Mothers, recognize that you have a great deal to teach your sons about how to select a mate. (Take time to read Proverbs 31, and no- tice who wrote it.) Like daughters marrying men similar to their fa- thers, sons often unconsciously look for women similar to their mothers. Be sure that what your son is looking for is a reflection of a wonderful example to him, instead of for something less, because you have been something less.
Sons are often so devoted to their mothers that they try to remake their wives into a clone of her. Mothers, be sure to teach your son to love and appreciate the woman he marries for what she is, not for what he expects her to be, after he “remakes” her. Teach him the most important qualities that he should be looking for in the woman who will become the mother of his children. (Of course, this works in the same way with fathers and daughters.)
Grandparents and Extended Family
Extended families of the past were usually much larger than those of today. Yet, they were much less complicated, because divorce was much less frequent. This meant that children generally had two par- ents and four grandparents, with no half-brothers or half-sisters and no step-siblings, and with most of the other extended family mem- bers living in close proximity.
This meant that nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins were once almost routinely involved in a child’s developing years. While it will take some effort, it is worth the time to nurture your children’s relationships with aunts, uncles, cousins and as many other members