The Hands That Rock The Cradle, Heals or Hurts The World


Biblical parenthood.

There is a difference.

The well-known phrase, "The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world" is an abbreviated version of the refrain in a poem written by William Ross Wallace (1819-1881) that honors motherhood; but above what God decreed.

The second to the last stanza reads like this,

Woman, how divine your mission
Here upon our natal sod!
Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
Always to the breath of God!
All true trophies of the ages
Are from mother-love impearled;
For the hand that rocks the cradle
Is the hand that rules the world.

A mother's love, acceptance, and discipline (or lack of all three) has an enormous impact on whether her children will learn between right and wrong. But she's neither the sole, nor sovereign influence on her children. How a father engages, or doesn't engage in his children's lives also plays a significant role on a child's demeanor. How a father treats his wife, teaches their children to respect or devalue women. How a father treats or speaks of those who have authority over him (father, church elder, employer, government officials, etc.) teaches children how to honor or deride their elders. How a mother speaks to or speaks about her husband, teaches their children to appreciate and respect authority, or feel entitled and dismiss them. Both the father's and mother's words as well as actions set the foundation for whether or not their children will be compelled to be lovers of self or lovers of God (Eph 6:4; Col 3:18-21).

Unless a child is being raised in a single-parent home, it isn't just the one hand (the mother's) that impacts the life of a child, future generations, and therefore the world. It's both the hands of the father's and the mother's, that ought to rock the cradle and seek to train up their children in the Way of the Lord Jesus Christ. If one hand (the mother's or the father's) is building up while the other is completely negligent, then surely they are building and tearing down their child's foundation at the same time. Because this is such a prevalent practice, it's no wonder we have so many confused children these days. Children who don't know why they feel alone, or even what gender they are. Teenagers that are trying to find someone who's not looking to be cool with them and be accepted by them, but someone who loves them enough to tell them the truth, even if it's truth they don't want to hear. Many young adults today, are so proud, that they prefer to "figure it out" themselves, rather than ask older and wiser adults to help them with their marriage, parenting, keeping their homes, finances, or...anything that really matters.

We expect this mass confusion and chaotic lifestyle to abide in this world, but it's disconcerting that this mass confusion and chaotic lifestyle is happening also within the body of believers...or at least professing believers.

In order to be the hands that heal the world rather than hurt it, those of us who repent of our sins and trust in Jesus, must endeavor to read, study, meditate on, and memorize God's Word. Only in God's Word is true wisdom for all of life found (Ps 19:7-10, 119:105). Only in God's Word is His good and perfect will revealed (Prov 3:5-8). Only by abiding in God's Word can we learn and remind one another to seek the things that are above (holiness, righteousness, justice), rather than the things here below (health, wealth, popularity).

When we learn and remind our hearts of what God says a family is and how a family ought to function, only then will peace, order, and joy reside in our homes. From the very beginning, God created the husband to be the humble, servant-leader of the home, and the wife to be the submissive, suitable help-meet for her husband. In this, the LORD established the fathers to determine the direction of the home: disciplined and self-sacrificing, or wayward and self-pleasing; humble servant-hood and honor, or detached dictatorship and disrespect. And the mother to determine the atmosphere, that is, the heart of the home: peaceful and orderly, or loud and chaotic; loving and safe, or critical and anxious.

The greatest blessing and gift both the mother and father can daily provide for their children is the Gospel of Jesus Christ—spoken and lived, lest they be found to be hypocrites in God's sight (Mk 7:6; 1 Jn 3:18).  And the best way to model that is found in Ephesians 5:22-33 where the Lord clearly reveals marriage (between a man and a woman) to be the only earthly paradigm He uses for Christ's holy relationship with His Bride (all true believers).

The hand that works to hurt, is Satan's. The hand that works to heal, is Christ's. So choose wisely today, whom you will serve and display before your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. For ever person is either on Satan's errand, or the Lord's. No one can do both.