"You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise."
Deuteronomy 6:7

I became a mom at the young age of 17. Talk about being clueless… I was completely head over heels in love with that precious little girl but I didn't really know how to help her grow up. I didn't know what I was supposed to do to prepare her to someday leave home and build a life of her own, to raise children of her own.

That little girl is 33 years old now and has two little girls of her own. I also have a 28 year old daughter, and a 26 year old son. In spite of youthful ignorance, they all survived and have grown up and I'm proud of the adults they have become. I do sometimes think about all the things that "didn't do", that I wish I had done with them when they were children.

I Did Not:
• read them bedtime stories
• help them say their prayers at night
• always teach them to pray and give thanks for meals
• have a time of devotions and Bible reading with them
• give them an allowance and teach them to be good stewards
• get them involved in giving to charities and helping the needy

As I watch my children today, I realize that even though I didn't do all the right things, it is not too late to be a role model and to teach them by example. They still call me for advice and they still look to me for answers, so I know that I can still have an influence on them and to help them be better role models for their children.

What I Now Do:
• I read a lot and I share what I am reading with my children.
• I pray for my children and I tell them that I'm praying. My children will tell you that Momma's answer for everything is "let's pray about it".
• When we have meals together, we give thanks.
• I have a time of devotion and Bible reading with my husband daily and my children are aware of this.
• We live on a missionary budget and my children have seen how God has provided for our needs and how we are practice being good stewards of God's blessings.
• As missionaries, we serve others in need.

I hope that my life today influences the lives of my children but they have grown up to be healthy, happy, godly adults not because of what I did or did not do but because God took care of them. As a young parent, many times I didn't know what to do, so I just prayed and I still do that today… I pray over my children and God takes care of the rest.

Author's Bio: 

Darlene has served as a Baptist missionary for the past eight years. She has a BS degree in Psychology and an MA in Human Services. She enjoys Christian writing and also writing on topics of psychology, such as relationships and personality.