By Lynette Hagin
This month we set aside a day to honor mothers. I entered the world on Mother’s Day. I used to occasionally remind my mother, in jest of course, that no present could ever surpass the Mother’s Day gift she received that year. I raised two children myself, and I believe the most beautiful words a mother can hear are recorded in Proverbs 31:28: “Her children arise up, and call her blessed.”
Mothers have an awesome responsibility to prepare children for success in life. If you are a mother, or hope to be, I would like to give you a few guidelines to help you do that.
• First and foremost, acquaint your children with the Heavenly Father. The scripture that my parents instilled in me—“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33)—has been the guiding force of my life. I am so thankful that they emphasized that principle to me over and over again. The repetition reminded me constantly that God must have first place.
• It is very important that you begin training your children at birth. Much of the foundation of a child’s spiritual and character development is laid during infancy. Fifty percent of a child’s character and personality are formed by age 3, and 75 percent by age 5. Those startling facts remind us that we must begin early to guide our children.
• Show your children love. Child specialists agree that the need for love is present in every human being, and meeting that need is basic to proper development. A parent’s love is more important to a child than wealth, education, or any kind of material possession. Your love as a parent is most important to your child when he is least lovable. You should not condition your love upon your child’s good behavior. The God-kind of love is unconditional. The most important thing is to love your child because that child is yours—not because he or she plays the trumpet well or is in the accelerated program at school.
• Lastly, prepare your children for their roles as adults. The only course on marriage most children take is the one taught in their own home. Children learn by imitation. Make sure you are giving them the right things to imitate. Teach your children how to make good decisions, and train them in financial affairs. Believe in your children. Speak positive words into their lives. Remind them that with God they can succeed in life. When a crisis comes involving your children, look to the Lord for direction. Trust Him to give you the right words to say and the right actions to take to turn that situation into a victory in your home.