Motherhood is a long road that continues even when the children are old and have their own families. As we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, here are some valuable insights on motherhood and parenting from Minnie Carlos, the wife of Bishop Manny Carlos. She is a mother of four children: Jeremy (24), Daniel (22), Hannah (19), and Samuel (18).
Though I only had a few memories with my mother, each memory has remained precious to me. When I was very young, my parents separated. Even if my mother and I weren’t together for many years, she would always make an effort to visit us and write long letters to me and my siblings.
When I got married and started to have my own family, I decided to visit my mother in the province. I went there with my husband, Manny, and my firstborn son, Jeremy. It was something I had been wanting to do for years. It was a priceless trip that brought my mother so much joy.
My mother was soft-spoken, kind, gentle, nurturing, and gifted in music. She imparted many good things to me about motherhood. I believe my journey as a mother began with her good example. When she passed away a few years ago, I realized how much of a great influence she had been to me and my children. I miss her, and I will always be thankful for the time we had together.
THE CALL TO STEWARDSHIP
For me, being a mother means taking on an important role. It means responding to a call entrusted by God. As a mother, I understand that I am co-laboring with God in raising my children; He is first and foremost a Father to them before I am their parent. They are ultimately His children. God calls me to show and represent the love and commitment that He has for them.
If I am to be the kind of mother God wants me to be, I need to know the truth about God and how he relates to us—His children. My relationship with God is going to be a reflection of my relationship with my children. God loves us unconditionally, provides for all our needs, protects us from harm, cares about us deeply, disciplines us with love, and has a unique plan and purpose for each one of us. Knowing God’s heart for us, His people, enables me to raise my children in a way that will please Him and bring honor to His name.
MUCH IS TAUGHT AND CAUGHT
Coming from a broken home, I was eager to learn about what the Bible said about marriage and parenting. I always looked forward to attending parenting seminars and reading books that would equip me as a parent. While I learned the basic principles from these materials, I also learned much from observing good role models and mentors who were successful at parenting. I watched how they related to their children in the different stages of their children’s lives. It has been a privilege for me to have people in my life to look up to—couples we can talk to who can give godly counsel and advice. To this day, I’m grateful that Manny and I have people who walk with us as we navigate this journey of parenting.
In my own experience as a mother, I learned that it is always important to pray for my children and point them to God. I should teach them to love His word and hear His voice. I also learned that when I lift them up in prayer and declare God’s word over their lives, my prayers become powerful and effective.
A LEGACY OF FAITH AND OBEDIENCE
I hope for my children to remember me as a woman who loves and fears God—whose life pleases Him and brings honor to His name. I want to be a good example to them, not just as a mother, but as a Christian who has taught and encouraged them to grow in their walk with God.
For me, these passages summarize what God is admonishing us to do as parents:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:5–9
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him. Proverbs 22:15
We should teach God’s word and commands to our children, train them in life, impart values that are Christ-centered, and discipline them with the end goal of restoring them to their relationship with God—and with us.
If we want to raise our children effectively, we have to be intentional in our parenting. Having good children does not happen by chance, as some would believe. It takes a lot of hard work to raise children who will follow God. When God tells us to do something, whether in our parenting or in our own personal lives, we should always respond in obedience. Parenting is a big responsibility which can be daunting, but God has given us clear guidelines on how to do it—and each of those guidelines, if followed, comes with a promise. One important promise from God is that those who honor their father and mother will live long in the land. This promise is for us, for our children, and for the generations after.
Mothers play a big role in our journey of knowing God and following Him. Their love and sacrifice give us a glimpse of His unconditional and unfailing love for us. Today and every day, let us honor them and celebrate their lives. Happy Mother’s Day!
Minnie Carlos is the wife of Bishop Manny Carlos. They have been married for 25 years. They are blessed with four children: Jeremy, Daniel, Hannah, and Samuel.
Beyond the Series is a set of interviews on topics related to our sermon series.