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‘Train Up a Child’: A good mother uses time wisely

By Author Pat Lamb

Whether we are rich, poor, handsome, short, tall, educated, or uneducated, we all have one thing in equal amounts. That one thing is time. We each have 24 hours each day. How we use those hours determines whether we are a success or failure in life. The way mothers use their time may determine whether their children become a success or a failure. Mothers should try to stay busy, make their busy-ness count positively, and protect their time from being stolen by others who would pressure them to do things that are not productive for their husband and children.

Pat Lamb

The 31st chapter of the book of Proverbs in the Bible describes the “perfect” woman. In the 27th verse of that chapter we read that a good woman “does not eat the bread of idleness.” One result of modern day conveniences is that we have more time on our hands. It is tempting to allow ourselves to be idle since we are not required to do as much physical work as our mothers had to do. I have heard so many women say that they eat too much because they are bored. As a result, they then worry about being overweight. This is especially true of mothers whose children have left home. The Bible does not say that we stop being mothers when the children reach a certain age. We are mothers as long as our children are living. Even if our children are far away, we can still e-mail them or write words of encouragement, make gifts for them and their children, find appropriate books and information to help them, or do many other things to promote their well-being. We need to keep busy being a good mother no matter what the age of the children. Idleness truly does breed contempt. An idle person is usually not a happy person. Physical exercise produces an enzyme that fights depression. We need to stay as active as we can, doing

productive activities. Also, there are plenty of other children around that we can “mother” if our children or grandchildren are not near us.

It is important to choose activities that are beneficial to children. When mothers read to children, it is wise to choose books that not only entertain, but also teach good values. I like to “kill two birds with one stone” whenever possible. Why waste time on something worthless when so much can be accomplished with worthwhile activities. One of the very best ways to use time well is to allow children to assist with work. This provides time for bonding as well as teaching children how to care for personal belongings. Children and parents can be side-by-side in work and play.

There are many things that would steal our time. Even good things can keep us from doing better things. There may be good TV shows, but we need to ask ourselves whether they are actually worth the time they take by producing positive benefits for our family. Many organizations plead for help from mothers and many of those organizations have worthwhile causes. If we try to be helpful in too many of them or in too many ways to any one of them, we may be allowing them to steal time that would be better spent with our children.

Time passes far too quickly to waste it. When our children are small, it may seem like forever until they grow up and are on their own. Those of us who are older know that the time when they are home and we have greater influence on them is so very short in relation to the time when they are away. My husband and I were married over 55 years and most of that time was spent together after the children had left home. That is true of many other couples as well. Mom, let’s make that short time count!

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