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.
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.