A frozen landscape gently yields to nature’s demand for longer days, seasonal rain, and the warmer temps of spring. Woodland and wildlife welcome this beautiful season as new life pokes through the stark terrain below. Hidden wonders come to light as God’s provision from above cascades down toward the earth’s surface, yielding a cacophony of color and texture right before our eyes.
It is evident that the wisdom of God is manifest in all He has made. Habakkuk 3:3 says, “His glory covered the heavens, and His praise filled the earth.” For the wise mother, God’s genius revealed in nature offers valuable insights for the parenting journey too.
Through casual observation, one will notice that nature is predictable in its cycles. Genesis 8:22 says, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” This promise of predictability in nature reassures us that all is well in the world.
We also find in nature that new plant life springs up from what appears to be a barren and lifeless terrain. Because we have seen daffodils and lilies break through a hard and frozen winter landscape, we know that what we see on the surface is not an indicator of what is happening below.
Additionally, we see from nature that all forms of life respond favorably to the proper care and the right conditions which our heavenly Father provides. Acts 14:17 declares, “Yet He has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; He provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”
And finally, we may notice that the days feel long or slow. Still, growth does happen rapidly at the appropriate time, as stated in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.”
So let us now explore how these principles apply to motherhood and the parenting experience:
Predict the cycles. Take time to look for patterns in your child’s behavior. Take mental notes of dates, times, and conditions surrounding reoccurring drama in the home. It is much easier to prepare for a flare-up when you know it may be coming. This ability to observe patterns and mentally prepare enables a mother to contain the experience until it passes. A child, just like nature, experiences seasons and cycles.
Believe when you don’t see. Avoid negatively judging character based on several bad decisions. Poor choices in youth do not necessarily reflect a corrupt nature. A child will eventually embody the mindset you embrace. For example, you might positively respond to an older child’s poor decision with “I don’t agree with your choice, but I know you are a beautiful person and trust you’ll ultimately be true to your best self.” Stay positive and trust the process. As with nature, growth happens deep below the surface long before it breaks ground.
Provide the right conditions. No two children are alike and, therefore, feel loved in very different ways. Asking a child what makes him or her feel loved is a thoughtful way to learn which conditions feed a little one’s soul. Another option is to experiment by offering focused time, appropriate physical expressions of affection, gifts, or acts of service. Observe which of the various forms of connection result in authentic joy. The human soul is like a seed that needs personalized care and nurture to blossom.
Prepare for change. Periods of rapid growth can produce a temporary flux in a child’s attitude and actions. This fragile time often results in relationships that are thrown off kilter. A statement such as, “You may make this decision yourself as long as you respect the values of our family,” allows a budding young adult to practice self-expression while staying within the confines of safety and limits. Although challenging, bursts of growth are an exciting season of life.
Motherhood is a journey through many different seasons and cycles. God’s inherent wisdom expressed through nature offers valuable parenting principles for family life. The ability to apply God’s wisdom expressed through nature to the journey of motherhood yields an abundant harvest, which every mother will enjoy for seasons yet to come.