All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ~Ephesians 3:16-17
If you're like me, you hear your mother's voice in your head. Most moms have phrases that they say a lot during their child-rearing years. My mom would say, "You don't have to want to. You just have to do it." When my cousins would complain that something wasn't fair, my aunt told them, "I'm not trying to be fair."
It's a little frightening to realize that my children will hear my voice in their heads long after I'm gone. Now is my chance to make sure that the words they hear in my voice are lifegiving. That is why I take many of my Mothering Mantras from the Bible. I make sure I'm using the Scripture in context and for its intended purpose, of course. I find it very useful to have "sound bytes" at the ready as I'm going through the day with my children. Every Sunday, I plan to write about a verse or passage that is helping us conform our family to the Biblical standard. This week we've used Phillipians 2:14-15a quite a bit:
Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God
When one of the little arrows in our quiver is given to complaining or trying to get his or her own way by arguing I respond with this verse. If the complaining or arguing continues, I simply repeat the verse. Without getting angry, I simply state the Biblical expectation and wait for them to rise to the standard. It helps if I am completely nonchalant about it so that I don't feed into any over-emotional reactions. At different times, we've talked about how this is God's standard for those who belong to Him. It applies to Mama and Daddy, and it applies to the children of our household. Saying it routinely to the children ingrains it in their thinking. It also makes me much more aware of when my own attitude and behavior don't measure up.