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“Are you blessing mommy when you do that?”
“That is not blessing mommy when you do that!”

Those are statements that I have been hearing lately. They bothered me for some reason. But the wise woman keeps her mouth shut…for now. I decided to put more thought into it the other day to try to figure why it was pricking my conscience. What was it that just didn’t seemed right? Turn to the scriptures.

Pr 31:28 “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”

That can’t be it, can it? I believe this is the verse that is being used…or rather misused. Look at the verses that precede it.

Pr 31:10-27 “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

See anything here? She doesn’t demand that her children or husband bless and praise her. She earns it. It is something that comes after the fact.

Should we expect proper behaviour from our children? Absolutely…but we are to teach them to it, not guilt them into it. Yep, that is exactly what it is. Don’t do anything that makes mommy look bad. But the scriptures don’t say anything about a child being there to make the parents look good. We are dealing with little ones with a natural bent towards sin. We have to teach them…and pray that the Lord does a work in their hearts. When children are little we start by training them…showing them that actions have consequences, both positive and negative. As they get older we move from training to teaching. This is where we explain things to them and they continue to make choices…most times based on the condition of their heart. You can have a child that is trained to behave perfectly and yet have a rebellious heart and behave for the most selfish of reasons…this is not what we are called to produce with our efforts, but it is what we will get if we are guilting or strongarming our children into it. Let’s teach them to desire Godly things by our own responses.

Yes, we can teach our children to bless others with their actions. But that needs to be motivated by the child’s heart and never direct by oneself for the benefit on oneself.