Have you seen the reality show Supernanny? I watch it every chance I get. Supernanny goes into a home that is in total chaos and teaches mom and dad how to parent their children and restore order.
The usual scenario is that mom is at her wits' end trying to discipline her small children and gives in to bad behavior in an effort to have peace. More often than not, dad is so baffled by the whole situation that he either occupies himself outside the home or tries to control through harshness. Most of the time, neither parent wants to invest the time necessary to follow through with what they say and are looking for an instant fix.
The other side of the coin is the single parent home where the children are latchkey kids and often must raise themselves. A recent TV new report stated that 51% of women in America are single.
I once heard a very wise man talking about the role of a mother. His conviction was that the mother of a child under age two is strictly a servant, answering every whim of her child. Around age two, the mother's role changes from servant to teacher. Her primary objective is teaching her child HOW TO BRING HIM/HERSELF UNDER CONTROL.
In our society, I'm afraid this is a lesson most children have not experienced. On top of that, many children are enjoying the rewards of mom's presence being replaced with guilt offerings—those fun and entertaining play substitutes that the marketing experts advertise as “educational.” The result is often hedonism. The child grows up living for pleasure, with self at the center of their world. Their hedonistic characteristics may manifest in variant sex, drugs, alcohol, gangs, or violence. I have seen the tendencies in kids both in and out of church. What can we expect when our children hold such a low position of priority in our lives?
A young single mother once stated to me: “Living in this world, we do all we can to survive already! I don't see how we can always follow God when we have to live in this society. Sometimes I just have to go along.”
My heart goes out to her because I have been there—a single, working mom with four children. It is not easy for sure. We have mistakenly led those who have given their hearts to Jesus to believe that following Jesus means getting busy in church, like attending church services every time the doors are open, sometimes three or four times a week. That is too much for some families. We are told not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but the Bible does not tell us how often that should be.
Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not about what you do or don't do; it's about building a relationship with our Savior and Lord. When we give our life over to the control of Jesus as Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit and put Him first in all things, He makes everything else go so much more smoothly. We get to know Him by studying His Word and through prayer and meditation. If you will begin your day with reading the Bible in the translation you can understand for as long as you have, whether it's five minutes or an hour, and pray, dedicating yourself to the Lord and asking Him to guide you and help you, I believe you will see a tremendous difference in your life. Martin Luther often said that his life was so busy and hectic that there was NO WAY he could do everything he had to do without beginning his day with at least four hours in the Word and prayer. It is not realistic to think you can start off doing that as a working mother, and don't think you are a failure if you don't get it right at first. It's not a legalistic ritual. Jesus came to set the captive free and to remove the burden of the oppressed. He is not a slave driver; He is the One Who loves you so much that He gave His life so you could get to know Him intimately. His Word and His Holy Spirit will change you, and all of us, so that it is easier to be an overcomer and not go along with the way of the world—the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. We need people in our life who are encouragers, not putting guilt trips on us when we don't do what they think we should be doing. Whom Christ sets free is free indeed!
Our Family Values need a major overhaul! Let's return to the Word of God and let His values become our family values. NOBODY can replace mom and dad, not daycare, not schoolteachers, not church leaders. Children need godly parents to emulate as they are raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Let's give them our quality time!