NURTURING IS THE GAME
“Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built.” James Dobson
Nobody plants a palm seed or kola nut seed today and hopes to see the tree tomorrow. That would be a ridiculous expectation. It is only in fantasy movies and cartoons that such things happen. The same is true of humans. I remember an experiment given to my children while at a Vacation Bible School (VBS) to plant a seed and observe its growth over a period. Those seeds never grew in my house simply because my children daily uprooted the plants to see if they were growing. They also over-watered the plants. In the end, we had nothing but ordinary, non-viable seeds because they were impatient.
No mother gives birth to a child and expects to see an adult beside her the next day. It takes time, and that time is the period we call process. This process, or time, should be treasured by every parent. It is a blank cheque every parent receives. They get to write their desires on and fashion a purpose in the lives of their children.
Now, the question is: What are you writing? What are you imprinting on the blank cheque of these young nations?
There will never be another yesterday, but the hope is that there is today! The term NURTURE connotes tenderness, an act of love, a place of preservation, loving care, and peace. You are a nurturer. Your act of love as a mum is not limited to just your biological children. It extends to all the children around you. So, who takes care of you, the mother who spends her life nurturing others? You! Yes, You!! No one gives what they do not have.
How we love our children may not be the best way God wants us to express love to them. So then, the best way is to get the How and What from the LOVE Himself. You need to make an intentional request daily for the infilling of that love. When this happens, you begin to see clearly and will be able to nurture them properly.
Ever wondered why a farmer gives so much care and attention to seedlings? It is because he sees viability; a potential tree. He sees great value in the seedlings. A mother as a nurturer needs to have the eyes that see and receive the power to nurture from God.
A parent dreams about, thinks of, and orchestrates how they want their children to go. The influence of our past experiences, cultural background, environment, and sometimes our religious mindset cannot be understated.
Let me tell you a story. Due to my unpalatable experiences growing up and how I interpreted love going by what I saw from some mothers raising their children, I did not see the need to love a child. I felt expressing too much love for a child might spoil that child. It made me not want to be vulnerable with my children. It was a terrible mindset. I was riding on the wrong definition of love that I had witnessed. I remember how my daughter asked me one day in my process of loving discipline.
She said, “Mummy, why are you looking at me like that?”
“What do you mean?” I replied in that harsh tone.
“Your eyes look somehow, like scary, and that makes me scared.”
In my mind, I wondered, “Make you scared?” I thought I was passing a message of love. You see, I had not sent my message in a manner that would yield the desired result.
The Bible says, “Perfect love casts out fear.”
There is no fear in love.
What if, when God corrects us—which He does often to bring out the best in us—He scares the life out of us? Will you ever come back to Him in humble adoration? That is the work of the devil to scare us from God, our Father.
Fear gives flitting results and ends in the opposite of what we are trying to correct. A mother nurtures with care, tenderness, and absolute love free from condemnation, comparison, and criticism. These last three Cs can endanger the well-being of any child. Avoid them at all costs.
Remember, you have a blank cheque. What do you want to imprint on the lives of your children today?
Know today that you are a great nurturer. Be intentional. Let us imprint the right values!
You can make this confession:
I am a God-ordained nurturer. Jesus is my true shepherd. He nurtures me in His secret place and teaches me how to tend my seed with great love and care. I love them as my heavenly Father wants me to. My heart is full of His Love, and I give accordingly to my children.
What does nurturing mean to you? Kindly share your thoughts with us.
Writer: Sandra Onojetah