Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 4: Think on THESE Things---Your Thoughts Matter!

(Click here if you've missed the other posts in this series.)

30 Days of Practical Grace-Parenting Tips
Day 4: How Does God Want Us To Think (And Talk) About Our Children? 

Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Many dedicated Christians are guilty of applying Philippians 4:8 to everybody and everything...except those they know best: their family. 

Some wives will complain about their husbands, in a flippant way, to other women (when he's not around to defend himself). 

(I'm sure many men complain about their wives, but I'm not usually around to hear any of I'll leave that one to the men's blogs.) :)

What I want to address today, however, is the way many mothers will think, act, and talk negatively about their children.

I'm sure it's not a conscious decision mothers make, to tear down their children. 

It's just acceptable in our society.

After all, children are such an inconvenience, such a bother, such a hindrance to our lifestyles.

So much so, that we abort them at alarming rates. 

Now you're probably thinking, wait just a minute, Selina!  I'm a Christian! I would never condone the murder of innocent children!

Probably not.

But do you have a spirit of abortion in your home?

Do you treat your children as if they are a bother? 

Have you ever said NO to the Lord's prompting for more children because it might change your current lifestyle? 

Do you complain about your children to your husband, your sister, or your best friend? 

Are you wishing away their childhood so you can finally "have some time to yourself"?

Are you flippant about your children ("my kid" this or "the little brat" that)?

Maybe you don't openly talk negatively about your children.

Maybe the problem lies deep within your heart, in your thought life.

They're too "needy". Too "stubborn". Too "strong-willed".  Or maybe there's just "too many of them". 

You wake up dreading the day, knowing how much you will have to give to your children.

Before you defend yourself :) (something we all like to do, myself included)........take some time to really think.

Are you dwelling on the "pure", "lovely", "praise-worthy" attributes of your children?

Or are you swapping "Let me tell you about my kids!" stories at the local play date?

Do you FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE aspects of motherhood, and your children in particular---or are you dwelling on the negative, hard, challenging, difficult parts? 

Because God's Word is clear.....we are to be thinking (and therefore talking!) about the good.

I'll be honest, this is a topic that bothers me sometimes. Maybe it stems from years of infertility, maybe it comes from holding unwanted, abandoned, neglected children in my arms......I don't know.

I just know that I'm exhausted of the way Christians are talking about--and therefore treating---their children. 

Most of the time it wouldn't inspire anyone to desire to have what "they've" got. 

I don't care if they're not sleeping through the night. It doesn't matter if they're getting into everything. The Bible doesn't become null and void because they've reached the "terrible-two's" or adolescence.

"Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His REWARD."

God calls children a heritage. A reward. A blessing. 

Your children are hand-picked by GOD Himself---and He makes no mistakes. 

You see, the Bible also says, "As a man thinkest in His heart, so IS HE." 

Our thoughts MATTER because our actions will follow our thoughts!

Have you ever found that the more you complain about something, the more you are annoyed by the situation?

It's that way with our children, too. If we are thinking of them as blessings and talking of them as a heritage, we will soon be acting as if mothering our children was one of the greatest rewards on earth.

Because it is. :)

The more we CHOOSE to see the "good" in each situation, the more GOOD there will be! :)

True joy in motherhood comes from within. It is not affected by the circumstances, the trials, the valleys of the journey, because its peace is found in knowing that what we are doing matters. It's important. It's valuable. 

Mothering your children in a way that points them to Jesus is the absolute most important thing you will ever do in this life. 

Yes, it's exhausting. Self-sacrificing. And surely under-appreciated in our generation.

And YES, it's tempting to complain about it, to groan under the weight of it all. 

Jesus said the world will know we are Christians by our LOVE. 

And LOVE "thinketh no evil". 

Would anyone ask you about your faith in God, simply by watching you parent (or listening to you talk about) your children?

The next time you're tempted to think a negative thought about one of your children, let God "take every thought captive" and think about one of their positive aspects instead. 

Determine to share something sweet, something funny, something creative, something amazing about your child with others.

Focus on the positive.

If you're having trouble dwelling on the negative, wait until they're asleep, and then crawl into bed with them. 

Listen to them breathe. 

Smell their soft little head.

Remember what it was like the first time you held them in your arms, the first time they said, "Mama!", the first time they took a step....

Let Jesus fill you with a love so deep, so unconditional, so compassionate, so FULL OF GRACE that it could only be from HIM.

And then "think on THESE things".

Blessings, sweet friends, on your parenting journey! (and thank you for the overwhelming feedback regarding this series!)


  1. Good stuff! :) It's easy to get into the worlds mindset when parenting! I told my husband the other day that when I was around my Godly friends I was convinced I could do it (as far as raise my kids and homeschool and keep the home in a decent condition.) But when I get around others that are convinced children are just a "burden" I really start to believe it and wonder what I was thinking. This series you are doing is such an encouragment and I will recommend it to others! Thanks for helping me to regain the right perspective! :) Emily

  2. Excellent! Thank you, Selina! You are right, parenting is one of the greatest joys and greatest responsibilities that God has blessed us with. Thinking about how precious they are makes me want to go wake mine up just to hold them. :)

  3. Selina, after I read your recent blog post, I opened the Scriptures and went straight to.....Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. I surely don't want to tear my house down....especially something so dear as our children. I loved your post today!

  4. Thank you for this post!!! I really needed to hear that tonight!

    I'm really enjoying your parenting series.


  5. The Holy Spirit has been impressing me with these exact same thoughts for the last few weeks. It really is a terrible and accepted habit in our society and takes true surrender to overcome it. If you grew up hearing those things and now are parenting that way it's life changing to choose to create new habits and daily surrender your thoughts and what passes out of your lips. BUT, what an amazing change Jesus can make in our lives when we let Him.


I welcome any and all comments as long as they are Christ-honoring. Please let me know what you think!