Letters to New Moms -- 2
Dear young mother...
The book of Proverbs contains the lament of a man who did not listen to instruction when he was young and who came to ruin. (Proverbs 5:12-24)
Godly counsel is gold! It's even more so if the advice or correction comes packaged with a dose of comfort and support. Even if it's not delivered in the sweetest style, however, it's still precious, nonetheless. Young wives and mothers especially need the counsel of godly older women.
Choose your advisers wisely. Ask yourself if this person's advice is in line with scripture, if it leads you to greater faith, and if it leads you down the narrow path, rather than the broad one. Consider the outcome of your adviser's faith, as well as his or her success in the area in which they offer advice. Your advisers won't be perfect, but that's ok. You can learn much from someone who humbly walks with the Lord and who humbly admits his or her mistakes. If someone's really blown it in an area, but they have learned from their mistakes, they still have something to offer.
We live in an age when we have an abundance of information at our fingertips. This has its obvious benefits, but it also has a downside. You may find yourself overloaded with information -- even good information -- to the point of paralysis. Remember that, in the end, the Bible is the only writing that serves as an infallible, unshakable foundation for life.
Consider someone's particular advice, but take the responsibility for deciding in prayer whether to implement it or not. Do not let pride or selfishness hinder you from taking needed advice; if you do not implement advice, let it be for other reasons.
Do not compare your life to that of someone you really don't know, especially in the blog-o-sphere. Learn from blogs or books but do not hold the writings of people as an inflexible standard.
Strive for depth of knowledge as well as breadth of knowledge. In our day, it's easy to acquire breadth of knowledge. Most of us receive educations undreamed of by earlier generations. We also can learn a smattering about everything just by searching the net, not to mention coming home from the library with a stack of books. It's important to grasp breadth of knowledge, though. A few precepts, carefully considered and implemented deeply in your life will serve you better than a scatter shot of ideas. In areas where you want to do your best, learn one thing deeply before racing on to the next.
Evaluate your and your husband's priorities in life. Learn what is essential and what is nice, but nonessential. Perhaps, Mother A makes all of her baby food from scratch with ingredients grown on her many acres of land. Perhaps, she writes a blog advocating that all mothers follow this pattern, and she urges her in-real-life friends to do so, too. You can learn from her heart to provide the best she can for her family's table. Yet, her activities in this area may not fit with your family's essential priorities. You do not have to live on a farm or plant a huge garden and orchard to be a godly and effective wife and mother. While processed foods are not the healthiest, it's not the end of the world if you don't make all of your own baby food from scratch. So, take the seed of good and leave the peeling, as they say. That's only one example; in many things, there isn't a right or wrong to consider, but what is best for you and your family.
What is essential is that you bring your child up in the nurture and teaching of the Lord. Strive to grow in faith and character and to build faith and character in your child. As a family, seek the kingdom of God first. Let other things fall into their rightful places in your life.
Seek advice from people who know you and who can give you sound advice based on your situation and needs.
Imitate whatever you see of Christ in others.
Be inspired by women of faith and godly influence.
Neither be too proud to take input or correction, nor so weak-willed as to be swayed off course by every wind of teaching or opinion.
Hold tightly to God's word.