“Influencing Our Children” by Jodie Marcantoni.
When we read the story of Moses’ mother, Jochebed, the lesson we often take away is trusting God’s plan for our children. Knowing the whole story, we can surmise how differently history would have been written had she chosen another way. While simultaneously reading chapters in Exodus, folding my children’s laundry, and reviewing an upcoming lecture on child development, the Lord revealed something about the story I had not previously considered.
While it has long been observed, advances in science and technology give proof that the brain develops most rapidly in the first three years of life. While specific events may not be remembered, the experiences and brain connections from these early years affect decision making, relationships, self-esteem, and emotions throughout life. The Bible tells us that Moses was raised by his birth mother during his nursing years, which likely included at least his first few years. I would have loved to see how she interacted with her son, knowing she would only be able to directly influence him for a short while. Knowing that he would inevitably be turned over to a culture that did not know God. While she completed daily tasks, she may have sang songs, prayed with him, and shared stories about God.
How do I spend my time and energy with my own young children? Does their screen time outweigh their church time? Will I look back someday and regret an over-scheduled life that left little time and energy for modeling a deep and personal relationship with God? Are my reactions to spills and squabbles examples of compassion and patience? Am I teaching them to pray when things get tough, or am I teaching them to complain, wallow, and withdraw?
Lord, help me be like Jochebed. Let me never waste a moment with my precious children, knowing they will one day be released into a culture that does not know You. Help me lead by example by consistently praying, worshiping, and honoring You in all that I do. I trust Your plan for my children. I pray you use them to show Your love to the world, and lead others to Your truth. Amen.
Note: Jodie Marcantoni, DNP, FNP-BC, RN, has a Doctorate in Nursing and is a licensed Family Nurse Practitioner. She is a full-time mom and an adjunct professor at Simmons University. She attends the Sanctuary in Hazelwood, Missouri, with her husband, Jared, and sons Jacob (4) and Joseph (2).
(Info from: Ladies Prayer Intl January 2021 – UPCI LM – firstname.lastname@example.org)