I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to sit under Betsy’s teaching in Entrusted. I learned so many godly principles and practical ways in which to raise my girlies with hearts for God.
There are many tips from Betsy’s class that have stuck with me but I’d like to share a couple that have been especially helpful for me as a mom—and for our children.
Right Away, All The Way...
One tip that I still implement from her class 10 years later, is the catchphrase, “right away, all the way, with a happy heart.” As a mom with two small girls at the time, that saying felt like a lifeline. I even made the saying into a specific singsong melody so that it would stick, and it did! You could quiz my older two (who thankfully I don’t need to say it to as often lately) and they would remember the tune.
Of course our aim is for our children to obey us, but to what lengths do we go for that obedience to take action? After we’ve asked them 5 times and then by the 5th time when we're yelling to get their attention? Do they finally obey us but with a sour face or a cranky attitude?
“Right away, all the way, with a happy heart” emphasizes a complete obedience. It lets them know that they need to obey us as parents right away (not in a minute or two), all the way (not just partially), and with a happy heart (meaning their attitude has to be good).
This is a practical tool to use on a daily basis (at times it seems hourly) and it’s super easy to explain to the kiddos. One of the verses my girls memorized early on is Ephesians 6:1-2:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise)...”
Peace or Provoke
The other tip closely related to obedience is the importance of not exasperating our children. I’m not quite sure why this advice has stuck with me after all these years, except that the Lord knew I would need to be reminded of this truth often.
“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Colossians 3:21
I think as a young mom I had high expectations for my kids’ obedience, meaning I expected them to know what I wanted even before training them in the way they should go. So, naturally when they couldn’t magically read my mind and intentions and things went sideways, I didn’t always handle myself as a patient momma. My frustration would confuse and ultimately exasperate them.
The Lord has impressed upon my heart the importance of a gentle and quiet spirit when dealing with my children and how much this pleases Him.
"But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God’s sight is very precious.” 1 Peter 3:4
I’ll be honest, gentle is not my first go-to. I am so grateful that God continues to sanctify me, which means I can still be the woman He created—but I can also have a gentle and quiet spirit weaved through my personality. Read 1 Peter 3:4 again. Did you catch the part where it says, “the imperishable beauty”? That is a beauty my friends, that never fades, a beauty that radiates from within and is unending.
So, the reality is...we as mamas CAN have a gentle and quiet spirit and not exasperate our children; we need only seek His help.
The Lord continues to shape me, teach me and convict my heart through the challenges of parenting and I am so glad that He does. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to stay the same; I want to grow in His mercy and grace each and every day.
I am so thankful for the practical application of biblical principles that Betsy shares in the Entrusted class. I know that the life lessons God has given her in parenting—which I have treasured in my heart—will continue to bless our family for generations to come.