"Peace isn’t reflected in a decibel level or the amount of dust accumulated on your shelves. Peace is a state of the heart. Peace is a tone of voice. Peace is the ease with which we navigate the torrent of our lives.
So, the first path to a peaceful home is to acknowledge the crazy. It’s our job to teach our children how to grow up, but it’s also our job to let them be kids and savor every blessed, messy moment. Peace is finding the balance between the two."
A Young Girl Reading by Jean Honore Fragonart, 1776
“Educated women in the home? What an odd thing to deplore! What better place to have us “end up”…What more important job is there than sharing the values we are learning to cherish with the next generation of adults? What more strategic place could there be for the educated woman?”
"It isn't that we ignore sin. We deal with it, and children do need to obey their parents. The same applies to us adults- there are consequences to our actions and we must obey God. It's just that when we blow it over and over and over, our God opens His arms wider and pours out more mercy, more grace, and in great and lavish abundance. It melts our hearts and makes us want to sidle up and squat under His protection and wisdom. I want my kids to want to do that too, but that will never happen if all I do is lay down the law and remind them of their failures."
“Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb. Brooks to wade, water lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pinecones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets. And any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of education.”
“You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, and training them up in God’s fear, and minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts.”
"...choose to remember all of the blessings and good things your God has done for you! And then tell them to your children! Praise God to your children, and then later on, to your grandchildren. Don’t pass along all of the “trials” and poor me stories, leaving your children wondering where God was in all of your misery. If you tell of trials, tell of the Redeemer who brought you through the trial."
Dear Lord, So far I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossipped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. I’m really glad about that. But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m going to need a lot more help. ~Unknown
"If your heart is in conflict with the Lord, no amount of organization, planning or scheduling will make you a more effective mother. If, though, you are nurturing your heart for God, strengthening your faith in Him, letting the Spirit control your attitude, and being as faithful as you know how to be, you can be assured you are fulfilling God's purposes for you. Your children will follow your heartbeat."
"...You see very often two opposite extremes of how to raise boys. One ditch says “Boys will be boys! That gives them a license to be posses zero self-control, have no manners and no convictions on personal hygiene.” ...
The other ditch is to squash the spirit of the little boy who is created by God to have more energy and aggression than a female. Little boys get feminized when they aren’t ever allowed to get dirty, bloody or loud. Mommy is so freaked out all the time, fearing that her boy is going to be in the first category that she keeps him under her thumb all the time and doesn’t let him do much living.
Boys need to be civilized but not feminized. It’s up to us to teach them when their wildness is appropriate and when it isn’t."
"How can we tell whether our efforts at parenting are motivated by reliance on God's grace or on self-trust? How can we know whether we're trying to obligate God or serve him in gratitude?
One way to judge is to consider your reaction when your children fail. If you are angry, frustrated, or despairing because you work so hard and they aren't responding, then you're working (at least in part) for the wrong reasons. Conversely, if you're proud when your children obey and you get those desired kudos - Oh! your kids are so good! - you should suspect your motives.
Both pride and despair grow in the self-reliant heart."
~Elyse M. Fitzpatrick
Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus
"A difficult marriage, in and of itself, may not cause us to grow. We have to apply ourselves to understanding, love, and patience - we must commit ourselves to a pursuit of virtue - within that difficult marriage. We can't control how our spouse will act or how the world will act, but we can control how we will act and how we will respond... It is either this - or giving up control and allowing the toxic eruption of bitterness to pollute our souls.
It may sound antiquated to talk about the pursuit of "virtue" in today's world, but this is only because we don't fully understand what virtue truly represents. At its root, virtue means "strength." Virtue is strength - power to do what is right; power to make the right choice; power to overcome the weakness of sin, bad choices, victimhood, and self-pity."
"The gospel seems irrelevant to the smug child who isn't required to do anything he does not want to do. It seems irrelevant to the arrogant child who has been told all his life how wonderful he is.
But the gospel has great relevance for the child who is persuaded that God calls him to do something that is not native to his sinful heart ~ to joyfully and willingly submit to the authority of someone else! Only the power of the gospel can give a willing heart and the strength to obey."
If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, but have not love ~ I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker. If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but have not love ~ my children learn of cleanliness, not godliness. Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh. Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window. Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk. Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys. Love is present through trials. Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive. As a mother there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of all is ... LOVE.
"A mother must have great control over her own feelings...a calmness and composure of spirit not easily disturbed..or she will be occasionally provoked to acts of injustice by the misfortunes of which her children are the innocent cause."
"...when the main source of strife in the home is Mommy, madly rushing about, griping over unmet personal expectations; it’s time to back off. It’s time to put my projects on the shelf, and smile, genuinely smile, at my children, ask their forgiveness, and redirect them to something happy while I make a new plan for the day. A much, much simpler plan."
"If you really want to stop just surviving motherhood, you have to find meaning in motherhood that transcends the day to day-ness of your life. Cooking and cleaning have to stop being tiresome chores, naughtiness has to stop being a personal offense, and the needs of your family have to stop being interruptions to your day.
You have been entrusted with tomorrow’s fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers. You have been entrusted with the next generation of believers, the future servants of our Lord and Savior, the Light-bearers and Truth-speakers of tomorrow. They just happen to bundled up in little, foolish, needing-to-be-honed packages you get to unwrap!"
"Long before he can read, you can teach him to kneel by his mother’s side, and repeat the simple words of prayer and praise which she puts in his mouth. And as the first steps in any undertaking are always the most important, so is the manner in which your children’s prayers are prayed, a point which deserves your closest attention. Few seem to know how much depends on this. You must be careful that they don’t say their prayers in a hasty, careless, and irreverent manner.
Oh, dear friend, if you love your children, I charge you, do not let the early impression of a habit of prayer slip by. If you train your children to do anything, train them, at least, to have a habit of prayer.”
Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there,
Ours boasts it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere.
For smears on the windows,
Little smudges on the doors,
I should apologize I guess,
For toys strewn on the floor. But I sat down with the children,
And we played and laughed and read,
And if the doorbell doesn't shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.
For when at times I am forced to choose,
The one job or the other,
I'd like to cook, and clean, and scrub,
But first I'll be a MOTHER.
"We can be a lighthouse to grace for our children by offering them grace. Grace is not a replacement for correction or discipline. It is the manner in which you deliver these necessities to your children.
Are you accusing? Belittling? Exaggerating? Impatient? All these lack grace. Grace forgives. Grace walks alongside. Grace empowers and encourages. God is our beacon of grace and we need to allow His light to shine through us, to our children, so they will praise our Father in heaven–because of grace."
"If a goal for our children is holiness, then we will teach them the truth about sin in generalities that they can understand. We have to be honest with our children so that they understand sin is enticing, fun, and pleasurable.
We will also want to teach our children the consequences of sin from a biblical perspective. It should cause them to view sin not only with a disdain but also with an awareness of its pull."
"When a child knows that all his life you have sought to see the world through his eyes, he will trust you. When he knows that you have not tried to make him like you or like anybody else, but only sought to help him realize his full potential as a creature God made to know Him and live in the relationship of fellowship with Him, he will trust you."