But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.Luke 2:19
Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. (Some translations say treasured, stored, or carefully thought on. All commentators believe it is the same imagery used in verse 19. )Luke 2:51
I want to break down the word ponder for a minute because I feel like it will help us have a good working definition for what is meant in the scriptures. Bear with me real quick… Ponder is a verb. It means to think about carefully. The root word, ponderare, is Latin and the definition is to weigh. So, we can think of pondering as a deep reflection on heavy (or weighty) subjects.
Mary definitely had some heavy stuff to think through. All of these grown men worshipping her baby and bringing him gifts meant for a king. Later, her preteen son teaching men who were schooled in the scriptures. I mean the angel told her that Jesus would be God’s son but really who could ever truly know what that would mean or how it would play out.
I realize none of us are raising the Son of God. But, we all have a serious calling as mothers to raise image barers of Jesus. So, what kinds of things should Christian mothers wanting to raise godly children ponder in their hearts and what is the benefit? Well, after praying through this and searching the word, I’ve come up with the following.
5 Things for Godly Mommas To Ponder
1. Their Children’s Salvation
We all wish for our children to follow Jesus as their Savior. So, let’s listen for little cues that they are curious. Let’s pray daily that God would convict them of sin and that He would make their little hearts soft to receive His truths. Lets ponder on what kinds of things that we need to do, say, and teach so that they understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.
And, just a word of encouragement, some great men of faith, including Augustine, John Newton, and Hudson Taylor consider their salvation a result of their mother’s faithful prayers and gentle persuasion. Don’t give up!!
2. Their Children’s Prayers
The kids and I went downtown to a family musical before Christmas. After dark when we were walking back, there were homeless people everywhere. It was so disturbing for my kids and it hurt my heart too. My four year old would not stop talking about the “poor people on the street without a home.” Her prayers were for them constantly to be safe, warm, have food, and have a good day.
I noticed after that all of her prayers are for other people. The Lord showed me that she has a very tender and kind heart toward others. I am starting to encourage her more in praying specific prayers for others and looking for opportunities for her to serve people in need. Listening to our child’s prayers allows us to hear their heart!
3. Their Children’s Desires
Our children have dreams, passions, and ambitions just like we do. When my now 11 year old son was 2, he said he wanted to be a police officer with a mustache. So, I get it that kids change their minds A LOT. But, it is still worth pondering when something seems to be a desire of theirs that never dies.
This is more about encouraging them and pointing their desires in the right direction than anything. They desire to put their time, energy, talents, and treasures into something, help them make sure it aligns with the word and then be their biggest cheerleader. Think on what this might mean for their future and commit it to the Lord in prayer over them.
“May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!”Psalm 20:4
4. Their Children’s Growth
The verse immediately following the second account in Luke where we are told Mary thought on these things in her heart is this: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52) Our children grow up not only physically but also in knowledge and things of the spirit. I think it is worth us paying attention to their maturity.
Have they reached an age where they can now be taught to study scripture on their own? Are they communicating to you that they want a deeper understanding of the things of God? Pondering turns into praying and that leads us to listen to the voice of God and search the scriptures more fervently. As they grow in wisdom and stature, we grow as their mothers. (20+ Free Resources for Family Bible)
5. When God is at work
Recently, my oldest daughter, who has been a believer for about a year and a half, started coming to me and confess lies that she had been telling. She would be in tears and was genuinely remorseful over the things she had been deceitful or dishonest about. This was about a week of her coming back and forth for one thing or another.
I sensed that God was doing something in her heart so I taught her what confession before God looks like and how God expects us to repent. That it doesn’t just mean sorry but to change our ways. We went over verses on honesty and truth. She has sense become very aware of lies around her. (How to Keep a Clean Heart)
God was working on her heart to be able to recognize His truth and how to be a person of truth. I’m so glad the Holy Spirit allowed me to pick up on this and use it as a teaching opportunity. So many times, our kids come to us with different emotions. We need to be intentional about pondering what these emotions might mean in relation to something God may be doing in their hearts or lives. We need to ponder what might be our appropriate reactions and what scriptures might benefit their spiritual development. Waiting on God to show us and not reacting with our own emotional response is a huge reason to ponder!
Bonus Benefit for Mommas
- When we “ponder these things in our hearts”, we are ultimately led to pray for our children which gets us into a “pray without ceasing”(1 Thess. 5:17) mode. (31 Days of Prayer for Our Children Challenge)
- We also tend to slow down, and live in the moment. We become less rushed and hurried and seek to listen to what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us in motherhood. (How to Slow Down in Motherhood)
- We tend to grow in love for our children as little disciples of the Lord and are impassioned to see them grow more. (Be a Mom Worth Imitating)
So, let’s take a lesson from Mary and ponder, treasure, and store these spiritual markers of our children in our hearts.
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