Biblical Womanhood Bible Study

Imperishable Beauty: Lesson 12- Beautiful Motherhood

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Read These Selected Scriptures

In lesson 11, we looked at God’s design for women who are wives. Lesson 12 focuses on the beauty of being a godly mother.

Questions to Consider

1. In lessons 2 and 3 (links above) we took a look at some of the attributes of a godly mother that we can emulate. What are some of those attributes or character traits from Proverbs 31? In today’s lesson, rather than attributes to emulate, we’ll be focusing on God’s instructions to obey for mothers. We’ll examine how we’re to regard motherhood and our children, how we’re to train our children in godliness, how we’re to discipline our children out of ungodliness, and the example we’re to set for our children. Some of these instructions can also apply to childless women in their relationships with their spiritual children (i.e. younger women or children they disciple) and others. As you read over today’s passages, explain how childless women might apply some of these Scriptures.

2. Examine the first three passages (Psalm 127-Titus 2) together. What do these passages say about how we are to regard motherhood and our children? What should the attitude of our hearts be? In what sense are children a reward? How do we know that Psalm 127:3 does not mean that if you act in a way that pleases the Lord He will reward your good behavior with children? What does this verse mean? Is loving your children (Titus 2:4) simply a feeling of affection toward them? If so, why would young women need to be trained to love their children? When you finish today’s lesson, come back to Titus 2:4 and give a fully-orbed biblical definition of what it means to love your children.

3. Examine the next five passages (Proverbs 22-Ephesians 6) together. Why does God want us to train our children in godliness? Explain the phrase “in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). How does the gospel figure in to training your child? Look carefully at the three Old Testament passages. At what age should we begin training our children in godliness and the Scriptures and how long should this training continue? Is Proverbs 22:6 an iron-clad guarantee or promise from God that if we raise our children in a godly home they will definitely get saved and turn out to be godly adults? Why not? (Scroll down to the Deuteronomy 21 passage if you need help.)

To whom are the Colossians and Ephesians verses addressed? Does this mean they don’t apply to mothers or that it’s OK for mothers to provoke their children, but not fathers? If they apply to both parents, why are they addressed to fathers? How are we not to deal with our children according to these verses? What does it mean to provoke your children? Why are we not to provoke them (Colossians), and how are we to deal with them instead (Ephesians)? Compare Ephesians 6:4b to the Old Testament verses in this section. How are they similar?

3. Examine the next three passages (Proverbs 29-Deuteronomy 21) together. What is the purpose of godly discipline? What are the biblical definitions of the words “discipline” and “reproof”? Are discipline, reproof, and training the same as punishment? Why or why not? What are some of the consequences of disciplining your child? The consequences of refusing to discipline your child? According to Proverbs 13:24, what motivates someone to discipline her child? What motivates someone to refuse to discipline her child? Are “love” and “hate” simply emotional feelings in this verse or an attitude, posture, or orientation of mindset toward the child? Look closely at Deuteronomy 21:20. Is this passage most likely talking about a very young child or an older child/teenager? According to the Deuteronomy 21 passage, does godly discipline always result in an obedient son or daughter, or can there be exceptions to the rule?

Why is it important to both train your child in godly ways and discipline him out of ungodly ways? Explain how this fits into the “put off the ungodly, put on the godlymodel of biblical sanctification.

4. Examine the last five passages (Deuteronomy 21-Matthew 10) together. What do these passages teach us about the godly example we need to set for our children?

Sometimes we see implicit instructions to parents in passages that explicitly teach children how to treat and regard their parents. For example, if there were a verse that said, “Children, love your parents,” we could learn from that verse that we need to act in a way (lovable) that makes it easier for our children to obey that Scripture. Considering this concept, look at the Exodus 20 and Proverbs 1 passages. If your children are to honor you, in what manner should you behave? What should your teaching be like if your children are not to forsake it and to consider it a “graceful garland” and a “pendant”?

What is the context of Ezekiel 16? To whom is the parent/child metaphor in this  passage addressed? Explain the phrase “like mother, like daughter”. Why is it important to set a good example for our children with our own behavior, and why was this a good metaphor for God to use in addressing Israel’s unfaithfulness to Him?

Examine the Deuteronomy 21 and Matthew 10 passages together. What is to be a mother’s highest priority – her relationship with her child, even the life of her child, or her love for, obedience to, and loyalty to Christ? Do you love Christ more than your child? If you had to choose between your child and Christ, whom would you choose? What message does it send to our children when we show and tell them that we love Christ more than we love them? How can you demonstrate to your child that your highest love and loyalty is reserved for Christ?


Homework

Examine each of the instructions in Deuteronomy 6:6-9. Make a list of practical ways your family could put each of these instructions into practice and discuss it with your husband. Together, pick one of these practices and implement it with your children this week.


Suggested Memory Verse

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:37

Mailbag

The Mailbag: How Can Christian Moms Raise Godly Men?

mailbag

How would you, as a Christian woman, raise a son to become a man in our modern effeminate culture? Obviously, fathers are ultimately responsible for this task (a woman can teach a boy many things, but she can’t teach him how to be a man), however, mothers do play a critical role.

This is such a great question. So great, in fact, that when I went to start answering it, I discovered I already had! Here’s an article I wrote for Kaylene Yoder’s blog last year: Six Ways to Raise a Godly Man.

godly-man

Boys. Aren’t they phenomenal? My husband and I have five boys ranging in age from 12 to 28. They’re loud, they’re gross, they’re physical, and I wouldn’t trade them for girls in a hot minute. While I love my daughter and the precious relationship we have as girls, I genuinely feel like God specially crafted me to be a mom of boys.

But boys will be boys, and girls will be girls, and sometimes, as “girls,” we moms need to think outside the pretty pink box of femininity in order to relate to, and rightly raise, these extraordinary creatures God has blessed us with. Here are six ways I’ve learned through the years to raise a Godly man.

1. Remember you’re raising boys.

Despite what you might hear from the scientific community, boys and girls are not the same except for genitalia. The way God wired them to see and relate to the world, think, react, and solve problems, is completely different from the way God wired girls to do these things. In 1 Corinthians 16:13, Paul tells the men of the church at Corinth:

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.

There’s a certain way that men (and boys) act, and it’s not the same as the way girls act. God made them that way, and we must parent them like they’re boys, not anatomically male girls.

2. Make way for Daddy.

There have been so many times I have been tempted to baby my boys over bumps and bruises or give them a light scolding for disobedience. It took a lot of lip biting to stand out of the way while my husband told them to walk it off or got out the paddle for correction. But husbands know better than we do what it’s like to be a little (or big) boy. Point your boys to your husband as an example, and make sure you’re not getting in the way as they relate to each other “man to man”.

3. Tell them to take a lap.

One thing that moms often don’t realize about boys is that they are wired to need physical activity for their emotional, behavioral, and educational well being. Require them to sit still and be quiet for hours at a time, and you may have a son who gets that need for physicality out of his system by acting out behaviorally. God created boys with a need to run, throw, and hit, so honor His design by letting them.

4. Show them what a godly woman looks like.

They won’t be able to find a godly woman to marry one day if they don’t know what one looks like. Show them. Study your Bible. Pray. Repent and apologize when you sin. Submit to your husband. Manage your home well. Be hospitable. Serve your family and your church. Give them a gold standard to shoot for.

Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.
Proverbs 31:29

5. Instruct them, from a woman’s point of view, godly ways to honor women.

Because boys don’t think the way girls do, they need to be taught how women like to be treated by men. Boys tend to have an “every man for himself” mindset, so things like “ladies first,” opening doors for women, keeping bodily functions to themselves, and helping out around the house don’t always occur to them. They have to be proactively taught these things as a way of “serving one another in love” (Galatians 5:13).

(Oh, and by the way, they will never learn to keep bodily functions to themselves. Ever. Sorry.)

6. Realize the impact of your role in building godly men. 

Samuel, Jesus, Timothy. Godly men, all. And every one of them had a godly mother – Hannah, Mary, Eunice – who raised them to love and serve God. Don’t ever think of yourself as “just a mom.” God has given mothers the enormous responsibility and privilege of pouring the gospel into little boys and raising them to godly manhood. Thank Him for that and steward your influence well.

Boys are strange and wonderful little beings. There’s nothing like being a mom of boys to drive you crazy, drive you to your knees in prayer, and drive you to rise to the challenge of being a godly mom raising godly men.


If you have a question about: a well known Christian author/leader, a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Parenting, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ Parenting: What a Child Wants, What a Child Needs

Originally published June 10, 2014picsart_1402192749374

It’s a funny thing about parenting articles– they’re always written by doctors or psychologists or parents, never by the people being parented: the kids. I mean, think about it, if you were a waitress and you wanted to know how to serve your customers better, would you take advice solely from other waitresses, restaurant managers, and the guys at corporate? Wouldn’t you, at some point, want to hear from the people you actually serve regarding what they want out of a waitress? So how come we never ask our kids what they want out of a parent?

Well, I decided to.

My husband and I have five boys, ages 26, 24, 14, 12, and 11, and one girl, age 18. The two oldest boys are grown and out on their own, so I interviewed the four still living at home: my daughter and the three younger boys. They’re average kids from an average, church-every-Sunday-and-Wednesday, Christian family. My husband and I are imperfect parents who make a ton of mistakes, but we’re doing our best to raise them in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

The interview consisted of one question: What advice would you give to parents?

M (18 year old daughter) has spent the year since she graduated from high school teaching pre-schoolers at a Christian day care, so much of her advice is drawn from that experience. She has learned a lot about parenting that will help her to be a great mother some day.

  • Don’t be scared to discipline your child. Children need discipline, and that’s part of your job as a parent.
  • Kids are smarter than you think they are. Take the time to work with them.You’ll be amazed at how much they can learn!
  • Giving in to tantrums will ultimately make parenting more difficult because you’re teaching your child that tantrums work when they want to get their own way about something.
  • When considering names for your baby, imagine one of your adult friends introducing himself with that name. If the name doesn’t work for an adult, consider another choice. Also be aware of any acronyms or foul words your child’s initials might spell.
  • Never lie to your children to give them a reason for telling them yes or no about something. (For example: one of my children was constantly begging to go to the park. Her mother finally told her, “No, we can’t go to the park because it’s closed.” Naturally, a few minutes later, they drove by the park and saw plenty of people there. The child said, “I thought it was closed!”)
  • Before buying your child any DVD, watch it several times to make sure it doesn’t drive you nuts.
  • No child ever died from a dog licking him in the face.
  • A little sugar from time to time isn’t going to kill your child.

J1 (14 year old son) just finished eighth grade and isn’t interested in doing anything that taxes his brain during summer break. After we got past, “Mom, you’re the perfect parent! You don’t need any parenting advice from me!” (so he could go back to watching TV), here are the few gems I was able to extract from him:

  • Teach your kids not to be aggravating to other kids.
  • Don’t let your kids date too early.
  • Don’t force foods on your kids that they have either tasted and don’t like or think they won’t like.
  • Don’t make your kids write your blog articles for you. It’s pretty boring for them!!!

B (12 year old son) is a take charge kind of guy who would have gladly written this article for me (and probably would have done a better job!) He just finished the 6th grade. B says:

  • Give a thirty minute bed time extension with every birthday. (He calculates this based on a baby from birth to one year having a bed time of 6:00 p.m. A one year old would go to bed at 6:30, a two year old at 7:00, etc.)
  • Have a large Christmas budget.
  • Buy your kids go carts.
  • Take more vacations.
  • Don’t make things sound better or worse than they actually are. (“Mom, one time I was going to get some shots and you told me it would hurt really bad. I didn’t think it hurt that much.”)
  • Set a good example for your kids.

J2 (11 year old son) just finished 5th grade and lives life wide open with his hair on fire. He had lots of great 11 year old advice for parents:

  • Spend more time with your kids.
  • More bacon. Also, more junk food and cokes.
  • Let us do good April Fool’s tricks.
  • Mud fights whenever we want.
  • Let us run around the house nekkid! (That’s “naked” if you don’t live in the South.)
  • Don’t make your kids go to school.
  • Be less demanding and don’t criticize your kids.

Awesome parenting advice, no? Maybe my husband and I should just change all our rules around to fit what the kids want. After all, going back to our waitress analogy, the customer’s always right, right?

Wrong.

The Bible says in Ephesians 6:1 (a verse every child in our family memorizes as a toddler) “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right,” not “parents obey your children.” If we decided to become the parents they wanted, we’d have a bunch of naked, bacon-snarfing, go cart riding, uneducated pranksters who stay up until midnight.

The reason God gave children parents is so that we can exercise the wisdom, experience, and discernment they don’t have but so desperately need. As godly parents, my husband and I must listen to our children and take to heart anything that is wise or biblical (“Set a good example for your children.” “Never lie to your children.”) and say a firm “no” anything that isn’t (large Christmas budgets and living room streaking).

Because God has told us to train our children up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6), not the way they want to go.


THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT SATISFACTION THROUGH CHRIST.
Parenting, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ The 10 Commandments of Parenting- 10

Originally published August 14, 200810 Commandments Parenting 10

10.
Thou shalt love.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11

Loving our children isn’t something that just happens. It also isn’t just a nice fuzzy feeling. It’s a duty. A responsibility. A command from the lips of God Himself.

“…if God SO loved us…” What does that “so” mean? It’s talking about the way God loves us.

By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10

God loved us enough to do what was best for us even though it cost Him that which He held most dear. He loved us sacrificially and unselfishly.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Even when we were living in outright rebellion against Him and didn’t care that he wanted what was best for us, God loved us.

For whom the LORD loves He reproves; Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. Proverbs 3:12

God loves His children too much to allow us to continue in our sin, so He disciplines us.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us Ephesians 2:4
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32

But, even as God disciplines us, in His mercy he forgives us when we repent of our sin.

The steps of a man are established by the LORD; And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong; Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. Psalm 37:23-24

God delights in our obedience to Him and our love for Him. And even when we fall, He’s right there holding our hand and helping us get back up.

He who has clean hands and a pure heart; Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood; And has not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from the LORD; And righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm 24:4-5

God rewards and blesses obedience to His word.

Do we love our children the way God loves us? Do we…

  • love them sacrificially and unselfishly?
  • love them enough to want what’s best for them?
  • love them enough tofollow through and do what’s best for them even if they fight us every step of the way?
  • love them enough to disicipline them?
  • love them enough to forgive them?
  • love them by delighting in them?
  • love them by blessing and rewarding them for doing well?

It’s a huge challenge. Our kids are going to drive us up the wall, rebel, pout, whine, and at times, break our hearts. Just like we do to God. But if He so loved us, we ought also to love our children.

Parenting, Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday ~ The 10 Commandments of Parenting- 9

Originally published July 14, 200810 Commandments Parenting 9

9.
Thou shalt be forgiving.

“bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.” Colossians 3:13

Imagine a home where there was no forgiveness. Anger and bitterness would reign supreme. Old wounds would be nursed and rehearsed. Grudges would be held tightly as treasured friends. Is this kind of home healthy for anyone, let alone children? Is it Christlike?

Of course not. In our homes, the place where we are most inclined to let it all hang out, forgiveness is even more vital than in any other venue. If you have a husband and/or children, you know that the people who live in your house are going to mess up. Royally, at times. And guess what? So are you.

How will you want to be treated when you mess up? I’m guessing that while you’ll understand your family will be disappointed in you, you’ll still want them to find it in their hearts to forgive you once they work through that disappointment. In obedience to the “Golden Rule” (Luke 6:31), therefore, you’ve got to extend forgiveness when your husband or children offend you.

When we forgive each other, we paint a picture of God’s forgiveness. Just as God does not condone our sin when He forgives us, the forgiveness we extend on the human level does not mean that the offender’s actions were OK. It is merely a way of saying, “I’m going to let this go instead of continually holding it against you.”

God deeply values forgiveness. It is the entire reason He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth and allowed Him to be brutalized to death. Jesus endured all that pain and degradation so that each of us could be forgiven for offending God. And, if God could go through all of that to forgive us, how could we – out of love for Him – ever refuse to forgive our loved ones?