Families that Discuss together, stay together

Families that Discuss together, stay together
Families that Discuss together, stay together

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Lesson for Mothers from Moses and the Children of Israel

Moses led the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. His goal was to take them to the Promised Land. The length of trip undoubtedly exceeded his expectations since they wandered for 40 years. What took them so long? They would have arrived dozens of years before had it not been for their rebellion and disobedience to God. It was during this time that the Lord had to instigate a lesser law suitable for them to understand. The lesser law consisted of a set of laws for almost every action with a consequence for disobedience. It seemed that the Children of Israel could not be counted upon to make their own decisions and had to rely on the strong Mosaic Law to force them to comply.
Paul teaches in Galatians that the lesser law was instituted to help the Israelites proceed closer to the higher law—that of acceptance and faith in Christ. Parenting is similar to the way God dealt with the children of Israel: Just as the children of Israel lived under the lesser law, our children also live a lesser law. Our children live under many rules and consequences given by parents. Little by little they are taught and can understand the higher law and their own knowledge guides them—as this transformation takes place, they no longer need the lesser law or their parent’s constant guidance, they will begin to live the higher law and guide themselves.
Faith is eventually developed and becomes the guiding force for the individual to live the higher law. Paul teaches, “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the [Mosaic] law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” (Galatians 3:23-25) Our motherly task, therefore, should be to instill the powerful principle of faith into the hearts of our children.
In another part of the world we contemplate youth that are guided by faith. It was Helaman’s two thousand stripling warriors who “had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.” Their faith was so great that they were freed from death in the great battles against the Lamanite people.
The vision that is created by studying the story of Moses and the Children of Israel is one of hope to modern mothers. The metaphor descriptively chronicles the different stages of youth and gives a perspective of what to work towards. By understanding Moses’ patience, long-suffering and constant guidance towards his people, a mother can learn to develop essential qualities needed to guide her children.
Rebels or not, all children need guidance from faithful mothers who are not concerned about the repetitive teaching and reminding. At times young mothers or mothers of teenagers lose hope and vision because their children fail to live up to their seemingly high expectations. They are expecting their children to live the higher law prematurely. Repetition and reminders are principles employed constantly in the story of Ancient Israel and eventually will lead a child to find the faith required to live the higher law. Meanwhile a mother should develop the essential qualities to live the higher law as an effective example in guiding her children.
The process of guiding a child to the higher law may seldom be a forty-year plan, but many agree that it is longer than expected. With a given set of rules and consequences coupled with a patient mother who knows the importance of quality teaching and gentle reminding, the youth of today will arrive at the promised destination of a faith-filled life.

—Julie Greenman
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