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Quotes to Ponder
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The Secret of Mothering

This weekend I watched an Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation of The Shell Seekers on video. At one point, the main character, a 63-year old woman recovering from a heart attack, sadly says that her mother knew the secret of mothering, but died before passing that secret on to her. As the movie continued, her solution was to first be happy herself, to do what she believed best for herself and for others no matter what criticism she might receive. For a Christian mother, it does start with herself; it starts with her relationship with the Lord.

I've been reading Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill. He is writing about preaching, but I think we can apply this to mothering, too ...

Preaching [Mothering] is a spiritual business. A sermon born in the head reaches the head; a sermon born in the heart reaches the heart. Under God, a spiritual preacher [mother] will produce spiritually minded people [children]. ... Victory is not won in the pulpit [home] by firing intellectual bullets or wisecracks, but in the prayer closet; it is won or lost before the preacher's [mother's] foot enters the pulpit [starts the day].

(Note: an excellent book that addresses our need to reach our children's hearts is Shepherding A Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. I lent this book out to a good friend, otherwise I'm sure I would have quoted from it today. *grin*)

This past Friday I was "delivering a sermon" to my children, trying to logically explain my reasons for a certain rule in our family. They listened quietly, but stood ready to debate me. And why not? I was reaching out for their minds, not their hearts. Leonard Ravenhill writes ...

When the hammer of logic and the fire of human zeal fail to open the stony heart, unction will succeed

The 1828 Webster Dictionary defines "unction" as "divine or sanctifying grace". Unction is seen in our lives through our fervent, unceasing prayers, through God's grace working in our lives, through our desire to abide in Christ daily. In her book, Seasons of a Mother's Heart, Sally Clarkson writes ...

At the end of the day (or at the end of the homeschooling!), the fate of my children will not be determined by whether I've used the right materials, read the best books, taken enough field trips, or done more of whatever I didn't do enough of. God is in control of their lives, not I. How they turn out might depend more on how much I prayed for them, more on how much I depended on God for them, rather than on how much I did for them.

We can feel helpless by this last sentence or we can be ever thankful for God's work in the lives of our children. Many mothers may be lamenting that they never found the secret of mothering, but there is no secret to being a good mother. The Lord does not hide His help from us; it is ours daily through the Holy Spirit in our lives. We can be thankful that He enables us each and every day to be mothers, to be teachers. Being a good mother starts with us, with our relationship with Jesus Christ. As Leonard Ravenhill wrote, "With all thy getting -- get unction."

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. - John 14:26

Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. - Philippians 1:11

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; - Colossians 1:9

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. - Ephesians 3:19

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: - Hebrews 10:22-24

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. - Psalms 71:8

April 27, 1999
1999 by Kathy Ridpath
Please ask for permission to reprint this article, ridpath@chfweb.com. Thank you!


The following books are available through Our Favorite Books Bookstore. All proceeds from Our Favorite Books Bookstore in association with Amazon.com go toward supporting the chfweb.com website. Thanks for your support!

Why Revival Tarries
by Leonard Ravenhill
"From the burdened heart of a man of God come these burning pages." wrote V. Raymond Edman, late president of Wheaton College. Leonard Ravenhill poured his whole life into prayer for revival and left behind a legacy that includes these convicting and inspirational books --all exhorting men and women of God to pray. God used these books years ago to awaken us and give us a burden for revival. Read them. You will never be the same! --William & Tamara Eaton
Paperback: *Order Now!*

Shepherding a Child's Heart
by Tedd Tripp
This is a wonderful book for Christian parents, pointing us to the Bible for the truth and to understand that our children's behavior is an overflow of what is in their heart. -- Kathy Ridpath
Paperback: *Order Now!*

Seasons of a Mother's Heart
by Sally Clarkson
I am enjoying this book immensely and recommend it to homeschool mothers. It is not available through Amazon.com, but you can order it directly from the Clarkson's ministry, Whole Heart Ministries, P.O. Box 67, Walnut Springs, TX 76690, 800-311-2146. Ask for their free catalog, too, or visit their Web site at http://www.wholeheart.org/. -- Kathy Ridpath


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"And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord;
and great shall be the peace of thy children."

Isaiah 54:13

Kathy Ridpath: ridpath@chfweb.com
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