There were no older women in our church when I was a young mother. So I looked for my older women in the bookstore.
I brought home Edith Schaeffer to hold my hand as I learned how to make a house into a home. She taught me about family, about prayer, and about teaching our children God’s law. When she met her Savior face-to-face a couple years ago, I still had her wisdom and counsel at my fingertips, ready for easy reference.
The other older woman who guided me through motherhood was Elisabeth Elliot. She too, just yesterday, joined her Savior. I thank God for the tremendous influence she has had on me and on many, many other women over the course of her wise and courageous life.
I devoured her accounts of missionary life when I was in my teens. Her books on womanhood and purity guided me through young adulthood. And as a young mother, I turned to her books on self-discipline (what mother doesn’t need help with that?), peace (I needed lots of that, too!), and loneliness (yes, it is possible to be lonely in the midst of a house filled with children)
I have been continually encouraged by Elisabeth Elliot’s boldness, honesty, and commitment to God. So I especially enjoyed getting a glimpse into her family life and upbringing in her book, The Shaping of a Christian Family.
Many of you have been following our series of posts on obedience. I encourage you to read The Shaping of a Christian Family if you haven’t already. You will find encouragement there.This is the book that helped me truly appreciate the power of faithfully presenting God’s Word to our children each day.
Raising godly children doesn’t have to be complicated. It takes faithfulness and commitment — and God’s grace. The example of Elisabeth’s father impressed me deeply. He was a quiet man who simply lived out what he believed. He loved and trusted God. He read the Bible to his children. He prayed with them and for them. And God brought a rich return from that investment.
As I go back to working on next week’s post on obedience, let me leave you today with this quote from The Shaping of a Christian Family.
“Nothing trains and teaches so powerfully as love. Love attracts. it does not coerce. If the aim of parents is to teach their children to love God they must show their love for Him by loving each other and loving the children.”
If you are interested in listening to any of Elisabeth Elliot’s messages, Blue Letter Bible has a bunch of them available to listen to — free!
I also recommend to you this post that describes so well the unique and godly life of Elisabeth Elliot.
Next week we’ll look at the disobedient child’s heart!