As a mom and a wife I really want to be that Proverbs 31 woman, where my son will honor me, and my husband will be proud. My promises for this year and every year to follow are:
I will put my Bible before the television, the radio, the telephone, and even before good Christian books, for my child will know my priorities by the way they see me spend my free time.
I will make my prayer requests known before God and my child, enlisting their help in the process and informing them of the outcome, for letting him/her help when I petition our Lord will he/she learn of aliving God who still answers prayer.
When times of crisis, conflict or confusion arise, I will hit my knees before I hit the phone knowing that by my example my child will discover that although friends are important, God alone is the one who holds the solution to life's every problem.
When bad things happen, I'll neither grumble nor complain, but will instead help my child see that in the scope of our lives even the bad times are allowed for a reason, for by this my child will learn quiet trust in their Maker.
When normal childhood mishaps occur, I will remember that although difficult, it is still easier to remove grape juice from off-white carpet than to erase harsh and unloving words hurled at a child whose chubby little fingers have failed him/her, for by this my child will see a God who understands when our best efforts fall short.
When my child has witnessed something ugly in me - unkind words, an angry temper, "harmless" gossip, biting sarcasm or even my infamous "girl pout" when things don't go my way - I will confess it as sin before him/her seeking their forgivenss, for by this my child will develop the much needed habit of wiping their spiritual slate clean before God and man.
I will teach my child the importance of cleanliness and order while at the same time remain sensitive to the fact that a skinned knee or hurt feeling is more cruicial than a spotless floor or uncluttered counter, for by this my child will learn to value people above things.
I will make time for the lonely, the sick, the elderly, the difficult to love, and will bring my child along, for with each visit, each ride to the doctor, each raked lawn or washed window my child will have the opportunity to serve Jesus by serving the "least of these".
I will make our home a haven of rest and retreat from the outside world and a welcomed place for my child's friends, for with each impromptu backyard soccer game, each video viewed on a rainy day, each cup of hot cocoa or chocolate chip cookie, my child will have the opportunity to practice the art of Christian hospitality thereby learning to share all God has given them.
I will by my actions and my speech let my child see a mom love their dad, for by this my child will sense family stability at a time when marriages all around them are crumbling.
I will not require of my child obedience, honesty, patience or kindness without first being willing to submit to the same rules whether in speed limit, in miscounted change from the grocery store or when answering a toddler for the fourteeth time, for by this my child will see a mother who is also learning and not a perfect parent to whom they'll never measure up.
In all things I will remember that more is caught than is taught, for I am the first Bible my child will ever read.