They grow up so fast. Every day my son is getting taller and stronger. And his voice is getting deeper. And he’s definitely growing to be more independent. Wasn’t it like YESTERDAY that he was a little toddler? And he and I spent all day, every day together? At the rate he is growing up, I can picture him leaving the nest at 18 like it’ll happen TOMORROW.
I have to make my time with my children count.
Out of all the thousands of things I hope to teach my children while they are still under my wings, what is my priority? I know the answer. The desire of this mother’s heart is to teach my children to love Jesus Christ and develop a close relationship with Him. If I succeed at nothing else where my children are concerned, I pray I succeed at teaching them to be followers of Christ.
I attended a conference last weekend called Women of Faith. They saved the most beloved speaker for last. Luci Swindoll. She’s 83. She has two brothers, one of whom is Chuck Swindoll, famous author, pastor, and radio speaker. She told us the story of how her mother had a Bible verse posted in the kitchen when they were kids. Proverbs 18:16: “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.” Luci’s mother told them that she was claiming that for each of her three children, believing that all three would one day be in Christian ministry. Both her brothers chose to be in ministry, while Luci pursued singing in the opera and a career in Mobil Oil Corporation for 30 years. Eventually, though, Luci did end up in Christian ministry, just as her mother had prayed for all those years! Luci has authored numerous books, she was vice president of public relations at Insight For Living, the international radio ministry founded by her brother Chuck Swindoll, and for the past several years she has been an inspirational speaker for Women of Faith conferences nationwide.
In 2011 Luci wrote about how her brother Chuck called her to the pulpit one Sunday to have her share about what it’s like to be a member of the Women of Faith team. “It hit me, this is exactly what mother used to pray for: [Chuck] ministers in Frisco. Orv ministers in Miami, (after 40 years of mission work in Argentina). And I minister in Women of Faith. Who knew?…God! (And sometimes I think…Mother). She prayed, trusting God to do what He said He would.”
The faithful prayers of Luci Swindoll’s mother really touched me. When I heard her story, I decided right then to become a mother who prays Bible verses over my children faithfully throughout the years, while they are under my wings. And when they leave my nest, I’ll send them with years of powerful prayers to give them flight.
One question, though. Which verses to choose for my children? I don’t have any specific desires for my kids regarding careers, marriage or families. My main desire for my children is that they will follow closely after the Lord and live for Him on whatever paths they take.
Monday morning after the Women of Faith conference, I got out my Bible and asked God to help me choose verses for my children. I thought of my Ivy. And I considered what I would pray most for my daughter. And this came to mind: “She speaks with wisdom.” I looked up the verse in the concordance and discovered it was Proverbs 31:26.
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”
Yes! I want my daughter to have wisdom. It will lead to so many right things in life. She’ll be wise enough to follow God’s ways instead of foolish ways. She’ll be wise enough not to date cruel men. She’ll be wise enough to respect her body and choose purity. She’ll make wise choices in a career, a spouse, in raising children and any other thing she endeavors in life. Yes, wisdom. I pray for my daughter to have wisdom.
And my son. Isaiah. I asked God to help me choose a verse for him. What came to mind was a verse that said something about writing God’s commands “on the tablet of your heart.” I looked up the verse in the concordance and discovered it was Proverbs 3:3. “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
Hmmm…not quite right. I don’t just want him to have love and faithfulness, I want him to know God’s ways and follow them. So I looked at the verse again and saw above in verse 1 it begins, “My son, do not forget my teaching…” Aha! This is it!
Isaiah Michael, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name In the sight of God and man.”
Yes! I want my son to remember God’s ways. I want him to have a good reputation and live with integrity and know deep in his heart that the Lord’s ways are the truth. I will pray this for my son all of my days.
So the day after I chose Bible verses for each of my children, I remembered something. When I was a little girl, my mom made me a picture with the meaning of my name and some Bible verses. It was in my room growing up, as far back as I can remember. This week I looked for it and found it in my keepsake box.
My mom made one of these for each of her children. And now that I’m a mother, I realize what a precious gift it is that my mother prayed these beautiful verses over me.
I pray one day my children will look back upon my prayers for them and say, “Thank you, Mom.”