The “good work” of raising children, part 2

November 24, 2011 · 2 comments

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by Priya Samuel

Have you ever felt inadequate for the good work of raising your children? Have you ever been in a place where you felt like you were “not ready” to be a mom or that being a mom was “not for you?”

If so, there is encouragement in the Scriptures for you! This post will talk about what the Bible means when it says that raising kids is a “good work,” and how we can become equipped for this good work.

What are some things the Bible calls “good works?”
A quick word search showed that God has placed motherhood in the category of other good works such as integrity, sound speech, praying, trusting God, godliness, self-control and generosity.

What makes these works “good?”
Good works are an outworking of saving faith in the gospel—they are gospel authenticating and they bear evidence of our salvation, which means people should be able to look at my parenting and say whether I am a believer in Christ or not (1 Tim 5:25, Mat 5:16).

A “good work” is something that flows from knowing God and believing in Him. Titus 1:15-16 says,

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”

So when a Christian mother raises children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:1-4)” we can see evidence of her saving faith, and her good work brings glory to God!

How can I know God and become fit for every “good work?”
Scripture tells us that when we were unbelievers, we were blinded from seeing the light of the gospel, but here’s what God did, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6).”

2 Timothy 2:21 says, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”

Through the Holy Spirit poured out on us through Christ, God cleanses us and sets us apart as holy. We are made pure, pleasing to God, obedient to His grace, and fit for every good work.

Through the transforming power of God’s grace, we are ready to raise children to His glory!

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10

But what about the feelings of inadequacy?
These feelings are real, but we should not let them discourage us. They should point us to the fact that even after we are saved we need to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18).

God not only made us fit for this good work, but also equipped us with His Word. 2 Tim 3:16 says the Bible is sufficient to equip us for every good work! Even the good work of raising our kids! Daily study and meditation of Scripture, hearing the Word preached at our local church, and seeking wisdom from other godly Christians will cause us to grow in the knowledge of the Holy One and also guide us in every way.

How do these ideas work practically?
All this sounds good, but how does our knowledge of God bring about the good work of raising children? Stay tuned for part 3… 

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Priya is from Hyderabad and is trained in physiotherapy. Her husband Anand is a pastor at United Christian Church of Dubai. They have three boys with soul-searching brown eyes (Rohan, Aryan and Daven). Priya’s morning always starts with a cup of tea with evaporated milk and 5 tsp of sugar. She loves to search the Old Testament Scriptures to see how they point to Jesus.


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