Mothers of young children need to walk in wisdom, because self-sacrifice and diligence and patience are required around the clock. But God gives more grace when we ask for it, and wise mothers need to be asking for grace as much as their children are asking for drinks and treats and food in general. As soon as my daughter was big enough to get out of bed by herself, she would come to my bedside in the early morning and begin whispering very courteously in my ear, “Ba-na-na, ba-na-na, ba-na-na.” She must have coached my younger daughter a few years later, because she would do the same thing except expand the menu: “Ba-na-na…toast…cheerios…juice….” That is about the time, just as my eyes were opening, that I needed to start asking God for grace, eager, like my children, for results.
A wise mother bestows on her children, she does not demand. She teaches with the law of kindness (Prov. 31:26) on her tongue, builds her house (Prov. 14:1) one kindness at a time, looks well to the ways of her household (and behold, there are many “ways”), and treats her children with courtesy and love, considering their frame.
Hospitality really begins with our own children, and we should set the table with a generous spirit, with large portions of comfort, forgiveness, kindness, and affection toward them.
If it is better for a husband to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman (Prov. 21:19), I think we can extend the application to children: better to stay in bed in the morning than be greeted by a stingy, demanding mother. She turns all the things that God has intended for the family’s comfort into misery for everyone, firing one command after another at her children, or choosing to ignore them in her own idleness and frustration.
You’ve heard the command not to boil a kid in its motherâ€™s milk. This means that we ought not turn that which was designed by God to be nourishment and life (like Mother herself) into an instrument of death. Parents do this many ways, and I have seen it work like a charm to drive the children away. It can be a regimented “family time” where attendance is required “or else”; a family “worship” time that no one likes; an education the kids hate; or it can come from loading them up with too many responsibilities that they are not mature enough to appreciate or carry.
God does not treat His children like that. He offers us food and life, forgiveness and more grace. He never turns us away hungry or tells us to fix it ourselves. And there is no way on this earth we can be like Him without constantly turning to Him for grace and more grace. Try asking for it every time your newborn cries for milk, your toddler asks for a drink, or your teenager asks what’s for dinner. It is a vivid illustration for us. As God supplies you with grace, you’ll find you have enough to give your children, and more.