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Oct 23, 2012

The Power of a Mentor

Tracy Klicka

   As wives, mothers, teachers, and daughters of the King we wear many hats, moms. In addition to teaching our kids to read, write and do arithmetic, we serve as mini CEOs of our household, support our husbands in their calling at work and their leading at home, and hopefully seek after God with all our heart. From our earliest years of homeschooling, one of my greatest desires was to personally inspire my children to follow hard after God and to live lives of greatness for the glory of His name. Because I am with my children more than anyone else, my influence in their lives is probably greater than anyone except perhaps their daddy’s before he went home to be with the Lord.

   Knowing little eyes and ears are watching and listening to you has a powerful effect on you…you tend to think more carefully when you speak, and choose to use your time more wisely, knowing the days you have to motivate your children for good are numbered and will pass far too quickly. I’m thankful for God’s grace that changed me from wanting to live a life only for myself, and instead gave me a heart for my children, that they might know the dearness of His name and ways.

   All too often, however, I can remember where I fell short as a homeschooling mom. Whenever I would slip with my tongue and speak an unkind or hasty word or when I missed an opportunity to reach a young child’s heart because I was too tired to really listen, I was tempted at times to think my ability to influence my children for good was undone by my sin and weakness. All too often I thought, “I’m the worst mentor for my children!

   Perhaps you haven’t faced any of these struggles; I sincerely hope you haven’t. If your experience is like mine at all, you probably know it is impossible to press on in this high calling to raise our children for the Lord via homeschooling without God’s infusion of grace and the Spirit’s ministry of courage to our faint hearts!

   Maybe you’ve seen this homeschool mom’s prayer—

“Dear Lord, so far today I’m doing pretty well. I haven’t lost my temper, I haven’t yelled at my kids and I haven’t felt like quitting home schooling. I haven’t used my time selfishly and I’ve been giving you thanks with a song of praise in my heart. I thank You for helping me trust You.

In a few minutes, though, dear Lord, I’m going to get out of bed, and then I’m REALLY going to need Your help! Amen.

   Some days really are like this, aren’t they, moms? I start out the day with good intentions, a good attitude and a good track record of holiness…until I get out of bed.

   The good news is God uses us in the lives of our children, even with our frailty and sin. The opportunity we have to show our children the reality of the gospel is 24/7. How we humble ourselves when we misjudge a child or jump to the wrong conclusion over a matter, how we ask for forgiveness when we do sin, how we honor our husbands even if we don’t always agree with how they lead, how we trust in God and thank Him and praise Him, despite our circumstances, etc.—all these have the power to made a lasting impact on our children for God’s Kingdom.

   Of course, we can’t do this in our own power or strength. We need the truth of God’s Word and the power of God’s Spirit. How freely He gives us both!

   If you are struggling at all with feeling like you are the worst mentor for your children, read the promises of God’s Word. I know I need to write these down, meditate on them, and sometimes even speak these out loud, especially when I am seriously in doubt!

   Next, remember that God is with you, giving you His moment-by-moment help as you call on Him in faith. Every day may not go as well as you like, but every day is a fresh opportunity to see God as work—His disposition is generous toward those who put their trust in Him.

“Those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.”  

~Psalm 9:10

   May you be encouraged to remember God is using you, mom, weakness and all, to demonstrate the qualities of perseverance, faith, commitment, humility, and perhaps most of all, belief in God and His Word—keep pressing on!

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.”  

~Psalm 103:11-13

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