Last Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is always well-celebrated, and for good reason: Mothers deserve to be appreciated for the immense work that they do for the family. I am sure mothers feel appreciated whenever their children remember them on Mother’s Day. However, more importantly, I believe mothers want to see their children grow up well and to succeed in life.
1. A Mother’s Loss
What is the worst thing that could happen to a mother? Perhaps the worst thing that a mother could ever experience is to witness the loss of her children. In Luke 7:11-17, we read of funeral procession happening in the city of Nain: a mother had lost her only son. She had already lost her husband previously; she was a widow. Imagine the grief she was going through as she endures this second loss. To see the death of your own children: this is a loss no parent wants to witness.
I believe this fear of losing our children is real for all parents. Hence, we take great pains to ensure the safety of our little children. We hold their hands when they cross the road. We install window grilles in the house. We teach them not to go near the kitchen stove. Yet, despite our best efforts, things will happen. As they grow up and experience the world, accidents may happen, and they may get hurt. We pray to God that they grow up wise and strong, so that they will be able to protect themselves from unnecessary harm.
Yet, there is another kind of loss that is even worse than physical death: that is spiritual death. I believe all Christian parents want to see their children grow up to become faithful Christians. Unfortunately, some of them may fall from the faith, and turn back to sin. God warns us of those who had obeyed the gospel of Christ, only to turn back to the mud of sin (2 Peter 2:20-22). God also warns us that those who remain in their sin are doomed to a place of eternal fire, which is also called the second death (Revelation 21:8). This is a potential loss that ought to make every Christian parent very fearful.
2. A Mother’s Gain
In the midst of the grief happening in the city of Nain, we see that all was not yet lost for the grieving widow, because Jesus was there! (Luke 7:11-17). Jesus, having compassion, raised the young man back to life. The mother was reunited with her son, and her sorrow was turned to joy! Today, Jesus may not be physically on earth to raise the dead back to life. However, He did promise that everyone who has faith in Him will never die!
“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25)
On this earth, physical death is inevitable. Spiritual death will always be a struggle. However, we know that Jesus can save us, and grant us eternal life. As Christian parents, is that not our greatest desire, that we can lead our children to Jesus Christ? Should not our top parenting goal be to help our children remain faithful and to go to Heaven? What are some ways that we can help our children stand in the faith?
Assemble (Hebrews 10:25). We can help the children by making the Sunday assembly a weekly commitment: it is something we prioritize and look forward to every Sunday.
Bible Class (Romans 10:17). We can help the children grow in the faith by regular attendance in bible classes; also, checking into what they had learnt, and re-emphasizing the important take-aways.
Christian Fellowship (Hebrews 3:13). We can help the children by encouraging them to join in the youth fellowship activities, so that they can grow close to their family-in-Christ.
Discipline (Proverbs 13:24). We can help the children by disciplining them at appropriate times, to teach them obedience and good behaviour.
Education (Deuteronomy 6:7). We can help the children by teaching them God’s word at home, through home devotionals, and through daily application.
First Priorities (Matthew 6:33). We can help the children by teaching them to prioritize Jesus and the Lord’s work over their secular activities.
Good Example (1 Corinthians 11:1). We can help the children by showing them how to prioritize God through our own example and actions.
Head Start (Proverbs 22:6). We can help the children by kickstarting their spiritual education early, even from the time of their infancy.
Involvement (Matthew 7:24). We can help the children by getting them involved in the Lord’s work, starting small, and eventually progressing to bigger things.
Parenting is indeed no small task: we are molding these little souls and preparing them to stand on their own two feet. Truly, there are many things that we want our children to succeed in, and when we teach them to prioritize God, they may be forced to sacrifice success in some secular endeavours. However, when our children prioritize God first, they will reap the greatest blessing of salvation: that is worth infinitely more than all the secular achievements in this world. I commend all mothers (and fathers) who have been striving to nurture the little ones in the way of the Lord. May the Lord bless all Christian parents, that we lose not our children to Satan, but rather, we can lead them in the right path towards Heaven.