A Mom's Perseverance

Leslie Basham: Moms don't always get recognized as soon as they should. Here's Sharon Jaynes. 

Sharon Jaynes: In Proverbs 31 it says: "Her children rise up and call her blessed" (verse 30). Well, that is probably not a three-year-old speaking. It's probably not a thirteen-year-old. It might be that the child would be a grown up themselves, maybe even when they have children of their own, that they will rise up and call you blessed. That's when we might see the fruit.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, July 6th. Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I know that for some of our listeners listening to Revive Our Hearts each day is a little bit of a challenge because you're trying to do it while you're toting youngsters to school, carpooling, or you perhaps have some toddlers making a little bit of noise around you as you're trying to listen.

Trying to be a mother and listen to the radio at the same time may be a challenge, but I wonder if you're one of those moms who have children as a big part of your lives right now if you realize the significant responsibility and the calling that God has entrusted to you at this season of your life.

We've been talking this week with Sharon Jaynes who is an author, she's a host of a radio program, she's a conference speaker, and most importantly, she's a woman who fears the Lord. She loves her husband. She loves the son that God has given them. She's the vice-president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Sharon, thank you so much for being with us this week as we're talking about a Proverbs 31 woman--what she looks like, and today particularly, her role as a mom.

Sharon Jaynes: Thank you Nancy.

Nancy: We've been talking about the 7 foundational principles, not only of Proverbs 31 Ministries, but those principles actually came right out of Proverbs chapter 31. We talked about the very first and most important principle that a Proverbs 31 woman, a virtuous woman, is a woman who fears the Lord. She loves the Lord; she has a relationship with Him. And then remind us what the second principle was.

Sharon: Well, the second one is that she loves, honors, and respects her husband as leader of the home.

Nancy: So the relationship with her husband needs to come before her relationship with her children, which is why you made the third principle number three. I know when you are a mom it's easy to make the children number one.

Sharon: It is. We really do believe that putting that husband second only to God is very important. I think about back in history a long time ago, when a woman stayed at home she used to be called a housewife. Now that same woman is called a stay-at-home mom. While we might think that's kind of a nice thing because people don't want to be married to their house, I think it's really kind of sad because it's taken the primary focus off of the woman from being a wife to a mom. I think we've got that mixed up a little bit.

God tells us first and foremost to love our husbands, and then out of that overflow we nurture those children that God has given us.

Nancy: So as we're keeping this in order: first the relationship with God, then the relationship with your husband, then comes this third principle we're talking about which is the relationship with the children. Tell us how you state that at Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Sharon: Well, our third principle says the Proverbs 31 woman nurtures her children and believes that motherhood is a high calling with a responsibility of shaping and molding the children who will one day define who we are as a community and nation.

Nancy: Now that's a mouthful but a really important one. You said a lot there. You talked about nurturing your children and then having the vision for the mission of motherhood that it is a high and a holy calling in the will of God. Now God gives some women a lot of children. God only blessed you and your husband with one child, but we can't say "only" because your son, Steven, was God's gift to your family.

Some women God has not given the privilege of having any children. So we're saying, in the will of God, the children that God does give to you, it's a high and a holy calling to nurture those children and to realize that in the shaping and molding of those children you are really leaving a legacy for the next generation.

Sharon: Nancy, I want to interject something right here. For that woman who is listening who doesn't have children, look around and see what children God is bringing into your life. That same mission, that same high calling pertains to you whether you have birthed children or not. You can still be a mother.

Nancy: I would really affirm that. Even as a single woman I thank the Lord for the privilege, and it's been a responsibility too, of taking other people's children under my wings over the years and nurturing and investing the heart and the life of Jesus into them. Now I've watched some of those children grow up. They're having their children, and I do feel like a bit of a spiritual grandmother. It is a privilege, a high calling. God has made us as women to be bearers and nurturers of life. It is a high and holy calling to motherhood.

Now we talked yesterday about the verse in Proverbs 31 that says, "Her children will rise up and call her blessed" (verse 30). You've made a little acronym out of the word blessed that highlights some of the principles of nurturing children. Yesterday we looked at the "B", "L", "E". Remind us Sharon what those three letters stood for as it relates to mothering.

Sharon: Well, to be a great mom, I think number one we need to be "B", a beacon. We need to be a beacon for our children. Number two, we need to "L"; we need to listen. Listen to them with our heart, not just with our ears, but with our eyes. Pay attention to them when they're talking to us, put down what we're working on and focus attention--really pay attention--to what our children are saying. "E" is we need to be an encourager. We need to be the chief cheerleader for those children because if you aren't, they're going to look for someone who is.

Then that takes us to the first "S" which is be a self-esteem builder. Now I know a lot of Christians have problems with self-esteem building, but I just want to give a definition. The way I look at self-esteem is how a person feels about himself, how much he likes the person that he is, how comfortable he is with his weaknesses and in tune with his strengths. When I go back and look at that I thought Nancy, "who is the person in the Bible that I see has the most self-esteem?"

You know who it was? It was David, little David--a teenager. He had his self-esteem not in who he was, but he had his self-esteem built in who God was. When he went up against Goliath he said, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine who dares to taunt the armies of the living God? The God who delivered me from the paw of the bear, from the paw of a lion, He will deliver me from this giant" (1 Samuel 17:26, 37). See it wasn't that he thought he could do anything himself, but he knew what he could do through God working through him. That's the kind of self-esteem I'm talking about.

Nancy: So you're really talking about helping your children develop confidence in the Lord.

Sharon: Confidence in the Lord. Confidence in who they can be when they learn how to depend on God. That's a lot different from the worldly view of self-esteem.

Nancy: We're not talking about a self-centered worldview, but really a God-centered worldview. They see themselves as God sees them.

Sharon: Exactly.

Nancy: Now take us to the second "S" which is to be a seed sower in the lives of your children. What do you mean by that Sharon?

Sharon: Seed sower. You know my grandparents were farmers on both sides, and I remember watching aunts and uncles as they worked on the farm. I would watch them scatter the seed. They didn't leave those seeds there and hope for the best. They nurtured those seeds. This was a time when they didn't have irrigation systems. They prayed for rain to come and water those fields.

I think of mothers as being seed sowers. We are constantly sowing seeds in our children's lives whether we realize it or not. Some are good seeds and some bad seeds. I think we need to be very intentional about sowing good seeds into our children's lives. Seeds of Scripture, sowing seeds of prayer into our children's lives, watering those seeds with prayer. Every word that comes out of my mouth is basically going to be a seed that is sown into that child's life.

Nancy: Yes, and that's a heavy responsibility when you think about it.

Sharon: It is a heavy responsibility. Not only are seeds being sown by us, but seeds are also being sown by other people. I think of when we first built our house, and we planted seeds in our yard to have fescue grass. Well, the first year fescue grass did come up, but I started to see some weeds. I asked Steve, "Where did the weeds come from?" He said, "Well, actually they had blown in from our neighbor's yards."

Then the next year we had more weeds and more weeds. I knew that if we didn't do something about the weeds, pretty soon we were going to have a yard full of weeds with no grass. Well you know Nancy, that's what happens in our children's lives. As they go out into the world, they're having weeds that are sown into their lives from outside influences.

So not only are we sowing seeds and nurturing those seeds, as a seed sower we have to go back and pull some weeds. The only way we know how to do that is to listen. It goes back to listen. We've got to listen and pay attention. We've got to be there and know what those weeds are.

Nancy: That's why, Sharon, I'm so glad that you emphasize the importance of sowing seeds of prayer in your children's lives because if you as a mom are not praying for your children, who is going to? In fact, before we got started today hereat the studio you said, "Let's pray for my son. He's got a Spanish exam today." As a mom now with even a grown child you're thinking, "How can I be sowing seeds of prayer in the life of my son?" He's away from home, but you're still covering him; you're still watching well over the ways of your family as a Proverbs 31 woman does as you pray for your child.

I think we can't overestimate the importance of moms being praying moms for their children. We need to move to the "E" in blessed which is . . .

Sharon: . . . example setter. No matter what you do for your children--you can be there, you can listen, we can sow seeds. If you're not setting an example for your child, it's not going to really make much difference because most likely no matter what you say, they're going to do what they see you doing.

Nancy: The fact is you are setting an example every day for better or for worse.

Sharon: Every day they're watching every move we make. I remember when my son was 15, and he got his driver's permit. He swung in that neighborhood; he was going a little bit too fast, and he almost clipped a mailbox going around the corner pulling onto our street. Then I thought, "You know what? He's doing what he's seen me do for 15 years." So every day they are watching and most likely they're going to do what they see us do.

If they see us on our knees in prayer, most likely they're going to end up as adults being on their knees in prayer. If they see us with a fuzz-buster in our car trying to break the law and get by with as much as we can, most likely they're going to do that. They're going to try to press the law and get by with as much as they can get by with.

If as women our children see us not respecting our husbands, if they see us being critical, most likely when they get married, that's how they're going to treat their husbands. And our sons, how they see our husbands treat us, most likely that's how they're going to treat their wives. So it's very critical that we make sure that we realize that they're watching us.

Nancy: Jesus said in Luke chapter 6, "Everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher" (verse 40). He didn't say he'll know what his teacher knows, but he said he'll do what his teacher does. Who is the most important teacher in the lives of these children? It's the mother; it's the dad. The example that is being set is so important. Tell us quickly what the "D" is in blessed.

Sharon: Well the "D" stands for diligent. That means to not give up. We talked a few days ago about the Chinese and how they grow bamboo--how they planted seeds and for five years nothing happens. Then all of a sudden in the fifth year, in a period of 6 weeks, that bamboo grows 90 feet. Well, for the mom who feels like she is just not doing any good--keep that picture in mind that the seeds thatyou're sowing today and the work that you're doing, you might not see results. I know in my life I want to see some results. I want to see fruit right away, and it's not going to happen in motherhood.

In Proverbs 31 it says, "Her children rise up and call her blessed" (verse 30). That is probably not a three-year-old. It's probably not a thirteen-year-old. It's probably a grown child. It might be that the child would be a grown up themselves, maybe even when they have children of their own, that they will rise up and call you blessed. That's when we might see the fruit. So don't give up. Keep going. Keep doing what God has called you to do.

Leslie Basham: That's Sharon Jaynes. If you're a mom who needs some encouragement to keep going you'll find it in Sharon Jaynes' book, A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life. She'll give some parenting tips along with helping you prioritize parenting, marriage, hospitality, time and money.

Just call 1-800-569-5959 and say, "I'd like to order A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life." Here's the number again: 1-800-569-5959. Or order online at ReviveOurHearts.com.

When you're in the middle of cleaning yet another mess, it's a perfect time to be thankful. We'll consider that tomorrow with Sharon Jaynes. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

 

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