In The Odd Life of Timothy Green, a childless couple writes the attributes of their dream child on paper. They want a boy who never gives up and is honest to a fault. In the same spot where the papers are buried, an unusual child named Timothy springs up out of the ground as the parents' reward. In real life, it takes more work to raise up a child. Even with lots of parental dedication, the child may not exhibit all the talents and character traits the parents want to see. Parents, including moms in ministry, need to constantly rely on the grace of God to give them strength for this momentous task.
Start early. Some parents fail to give children a faith foundation when they are young. Later in life, these moms and dads puzzle over their child's selfishness, unruly behavior or disinterest in church. Although some children can be more difficult at certain ages through no fault of the parents, there are cases where the problem started quite early in life and was overlooked for reasons like: "They are too young to be disciplined."
Value what God does. What traits does God want moms to foster in their children? Circumstances change and children get older, but because God's Word is unchangeable, kids will never outgrow their need for God and obedience to Him. Search the Scriptures. Believing in the one true God, trusting Christ for salvation, wise Christian living and loving others are some examples of what God desires.
Be consistent. Children can wear moms down physically and emotionally. In addition, they have an uncanny ability (from an early age) to sense weak spots. It is harder for mom to waffle if she knows that God's will is more important that the ideas of a three-year-old. God's directions are clear. From a practical standpoint, everyone is happier and children feel more secure when expectations are understood and consistently enforced.
Pray without ceasing. Christian moms are not called to mold their children into merely good, moral people. And, moms are not asked to use their own strength to raise their children in the fear of the Lord. Call on God for guidance and help in obeying Him. This includes praying with and for the child. Moms can ask God to do a saving work in their children.
What God says is the highest goal. God's parenting model is flawless. The standard for an overseer is to be one who keeps his children submissive (I Timothy. 3:4), but this and Ephesians 6:4 are worthy goals for all Christian parents. Sometimes, people in the pew express unusually high personal expectations for the kids of those in ministry. ("Mother Guilt" may encourage you.) Moms in ministry should weigh those opinions against what the Bible requires and aim for God's goals with a clear conscience.
Parenting children in the way of the Lord is more work than simply wishing for a dream child, but the mom who follows Him is pleasing in His sight. This is a great reward.