Steadfast Moms — God’s Word among the tasks of the household.

God’s Word is our great heritage, And shall be ours forever;

To spread its light from age to age Shall be our chief endeavor.

Through life it guides our way; In death it is our stay.

Lord, grant, while worlds endure, We keep its teachings pure,

Throughout all generations.

This hymn is a wonderful outline for advice and guidance in raising up a child, especially for mothers. When a woman becomes a mother, she doubts her ability to be a good mother. Verily she should doubt!  The Christian mother humbles herself before God and prays for guidance.  God’s Word tells her to bring her child to the baptismal font for cleansing.  God’s Word tells her to teach her child how much God loves through His only begotten Son, Jesus.

How does a mother teach her infant child?  FAITHFULLY go to church.  Do not take lightly the power of the Holy Spirit!  There are often times a mother wonders why bother when she spends most of the time pacing in the narthex or the cry room.  The mother needs to hear the Gospel even it seems she is only getting crumbs and not getting the full benefit of the Divine Service.  What is important is that she is beginning to teach her child the chief endeavor in life.  The mother teaches her child with the routine of going to church and humbling herself before God’s Word.

Katie Luther

In the home, a mother is challenged in providing basic needs.  As her child gets older the world endures to distract the mother from doing what she must do above all things.  Teaching her child that God’s Word is the chief endeavor in the family.  A mother can be confident she is doing the right thing when she sits down with her child and reads a Bible Story or two.  The dishes can wait.  The laundry can wait.  Teaching her child God’s Word cannot wait.

I hope my children have as happy memories as I have of those bedtime routines.  So often my husband would not be home in the evenings.  I had a routine after supper of putting any left over food away.  Scramble to the bathroom, start the tub with bubble bath, grab 2, 3, or 4 kids, strip them, and put them in the tub, instructing the oldest to make sure no one drowns.  Then I would rush to the kitchen and try to get the dishwasher loaded and get the table washed off.  Often I would not get that accomplished because the baby was impatiently waiting to be nursed.  So I would start nursing, then check on the tub kids, wash their hair, let the water go down the drain, get the pajamas, take the kids out of the tub, dry them, instruct the older ones to get in the pajamas while  I diapered and put the pajamas on the others.  Then I would grab the impatient baby and we all gathered in the ‘little kids’ room.  The children took turns picking out books; usually two stories and two arch books.  I would start reading and finish nursing the impatient baby.  Sounds pretty hectic, does it not?  The evening ended with the Bible Stories.  I remember the children asking questions.  I remember the children learning.  I remember learning.  I remember being humbled.  I remember being strengthen in God’s Word.  I remember after tucking my children in bed knowing I did one thing right today as a mother.  I gave my children God’s Word to light their way.

Associate Editor’s Note:  With this post we introduce Dort Preus as the regular writer for “Steadfast Moms”.  She will be contributing much from her years of experience in raising children in the fear of the Lord.  This post is to be paired up with her husband Pastor Rolf Preus’ posts under “Steadfast Dads”.  That makes the “Preus count” on this site to be 3 (Andrew is their son), and we also note that Pastor Klemet Preus who used to write here is Rolf’s brother.  We are glad to have their valuable experience to provide good resources to our readers.  A little more about Rev. & Mrs. Preus:

Rolf and Dorothy (Dort) Preus met at Concordia Lutheran Junior College nearly forty years ago, fell in love, got married, and were blessed by God with twelve children and twenty two grandchildren (so far).  Pastor Preus was ordained in 1979 and has been a Lutheran pastor in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota.  He received his STM from CTS in Ft. Wayne in 1987.  Dort received her B.A. in elementary education from Concordia, St. Paul in 1975, and learned how to teach from teaching her children at home.  The Preuses presently live in Mayville, North Dakota.  Pastor Preus serves First American Lutheran Church in Mayville, First Evanger Lutheran Church in Fertile, Minnesota and Grace Lutheran Church in Crookston, Minnesota.



Steadfast Moms — God’s Word among the tasks of the household. — 22 Comments

  1. Dort, you are a great example for a pastor’s wife. That is what my wife has said many times. And I fully agree. Oh, and by the way, this is great stuff — keep writing!!!

  2. Great post; thank you! I love the tidbit in your bio about getting a BA in education and then learning to teach from teaching your children. :)

  3. Thank you so much, Dort! As a pastor’s wife and mom to six I often struggle with the busyness of raising these children, and yet, I also realize what a great privilege I have to raise them!

  4. Little did I know when I cited you while commenting on a post a couple days ago, that you would soon become a regular blogger here. Amy and I miss being able to visit with you on a regular basis at winkels. You are a great mother and grandmother and one of the finest Lutheran theologians I know.

  5. @Susan Keller #4
    I have found this to be true as well! Oh if I could teach in a classroom again someday! NOW I could teach those kids…too bad I’d rather be home with my own. :)

  6. Mrs. Preus, this article filled my eyes with tears as I trudge in the thick of everything you spoke of. Thus far my husband and I have been blessed with 4 little boys and now that we just moved to a large church my husband is gone most nights. I have the exact same bedtime routine! :) Thank you for giving me peace amidst all the guilt that goes with my days of wondering if I’m doing ANYTHING right.

  7. @Melanie Sorenson #10

    Mrs Sorenson,
    My wife is in the same boat only with three. We have seen wonderfully good fruits from these routines and reinforces how critical it is we teach even the least of these God’s word.

    Any of you who begrudge men’s place in church and home or are sympathetic to the ‘second class’ status of women I’m the church, see mrs sorenson and mrs preus. Instead of looking past your godly station look at their work and tell us all how unimportant it is. God loves you and your children and has given you women incredibly important work.

    I don’t know what I’d do without my helpmeet. I can tell you that without her, my children would not have daily exposure to God’s word, good hymns, and historic liturgy.

  8. As a mom of almost 3, I’ll take all the sound Christian advice and encouragement I can get! Thanks for contributing.

  9. This post came at a great time for me. Trying to keep my three boys (three and under) quiet through Sunday Services and a later evening Wednesday Lenten Service has become disheartening. This is great encouragement that we are doing the right thing – even if I end up walking in the hallway most days. I look forward to future posts on Christian motherhood!

  10. Your tale of after dinner, baths, and bedtime reminded me of growing up (4th of 11 children) and although I was not aware of it, I’m sure my mom felt just how you describe. I do remember those bedtimes. They were very special.
    As my own family grows, I appreciate all the reminders to slow down and remember what is important. Thank you.

  11. Thank you for this post! I am a pastor’s wife and new mom, and have been looking for sound, Lutheran sources of advice and encouragement. Please keep it coming!

  12. This is so great. I was pleased to read your words about having your children in church. I just had this conversation with a friend yesterday. I told her that when we were raising our girls if there was a church service, we were there, all of us. Bedtimes or bathtimes or naptimes were subservient to worship. If there were three different services, i.e. Christmas Eve, we were there. Sports or activities that took place on Sunday morning were not considered. They just didn’t participate. But we didn’t treat it as though it were Law. We treated it as what Christians do, that we were blessed to be there, to receive the great gifts from our Lord. Why on earth, when offered such great gifts, would we find ourselves elsewhere? They learned to be flexible and to go with the flow. We always sat in the front pew so that they could see the pastor and what was going on without being distracted by the backs of other people’s heads, or other people’s fidgeting. They had an open hymnal in their laps. If we were praying, they folded their hands and bowed their heads. If we were singing, we would point out the words as we sang them, and they would follow along until they could read and sing for themselves. If we were standing, they stood (or were held in our arms as we stood). You get the picture. They were participants, just as we were. My children are all grown now, and they stay faithful in the Church. I have had some say to me that I was just lucky, that I had good girls. I think luck has nothing to do with it. It is hard work, training, lots of praying, and purely the mercy of our faithful God to create faith within them by His Word, which they heard, because we were there. Praise God!

  13. Thank you so much for writing. It is so good to hear from someone who can speak about being a wife and mother with the Lutheran view of vocation. I look forward to reading more from you!

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