Parenting With a Plan

Have you ever met a woman that exudes self-confidence? She has no fear of the future because she is confident that her children are well prepared for life. She is wise with the family finances, and her husband considers her his greatest asset. Her friends and family know her to be a wise person of the highest quality. The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 was such a woman.

 

Verse 21 says, "She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet" (NKJV). I am convinced this virtuous woman was a proactive woman with a vision for the future. Though we read she was busy with many daily household tasks, such as shopping, sewing, and cooking, she also prepared for the future.

In pre-modern cultures, warm days were spent getting ready for winter days. Cold weather could include days of isolation spent indoors. Food had to be stored for the family and the flocks. Winter outerwear had to be made or mended. The house had to be winter-ready and in good repair. In some parts of the world where the winter season was harsh, planning had to be done down to the smallest detail. Work, educational, and entertainment activities were prepared for family members to occupy themselves during the snowy weather. The lady of the house was at the helm of this planning.

The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 planned well for the winter months. Her household was clothed in scarlet. We know cloth in red, purple, or bright colors was more desirable and expensive in Bible days.

This household manager not only planned for the basic needs of her household, but also planned to provide the very best for them. My four children are ages fourteen, twelve, ten, and eight. What can I do to make sure my children are ready for the future? Goal setting and planning do not come naturally for me. But I know I can gain wisdom from the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 in that area of my life. I know unless I set specific goals, details will be missed and I will look back on this season with regret.

My chief goal is that my children will be followers of Christ. I know a personal relationship with God is something that cannot be transferred to another individual. But I desire to show my children that the life of a believer is the best life, a life of blessing and joy.

I Want Them to Love Church

My husband, John, and I have decided to make church attendance a priority for our family. Even when we are on vacation we attend church. There is no perfect church, but God's Word says the local church is part of the body of Christ. So we never let our children hear or speak negative words about church.

Though my children have friends from school and in the neighborhood, their best friends are from our church. We regularly have other families from church in our home. God created us to be social beings, so we are committed to guiding our children as they develop Christian relationships.

I Want Them to Love God's Word

I know adults who do not maintain the daily discipline of reading the Bible. Some have never read a book of the Bible from start to finish. I never want my children to be intimidated by God's Word. I want them to know it is understandable and is God's voice speaking to them.

By the age of ten, I require each of my children to read one of the four Gospels. After that they may choose various New Testament books to read.

Then I lead them to Proverbs, Psalms, and some of the Old Testament books. Though I read the Bible aloud to them several times a week, I want them to develop their own devotional time also. When life gets hectic and I know my children haven't made time for God's Word, I remind them to read a few verses before they drift off to sleep. Reading God's Word is a key to their spiritual development and to their own personal walk with the Lord.

I Want to Introduce Them to People of Faith

I want my children to be acquainted with heroes of the faith. So I read aloud to them biographies of famous people like Mother Teresa, Mark Buntain, and Hudson Taylor. My oldest son just finished reading the autobiography of George Mueller, a man of great faith and prayer. Mueller experienced many miracles, often trusting God for daily provision.

We've had the opportunity to have various ministers and missionaries in our home. What a joy to hear first-hand experiences from men and women who are dedicating their lives to the service of the Lord. By introducing our children to historical and modern-day men and women of faith, they will see that a life lived for God is the most exciting pathway to choose.

I know that my children must choose to follow Christ for themselves. But if I am wise and plan well during this season of life, then when the winter season approaches I will be unafraid, for all my household will be clothed in scarlet, well prepared for the days ahead.

"Her children rise up and call her blessed" (Proverbs 31:28, NKJV).