June Fuentes is the author of the blog A Wise Woman Builds Her Home. She is happily married to Steve and is joyfully raising eight special blessings. Here are her words of wisdom:
Sarah: Why did you choose to be a stay-at-home mom?
June: Because it is one of the greatest and highest callings of a woman to stay home and raise the next generation who will change the world for Jesus Christ.
Sarah: What kinds of kinds of things did you do to train your children in the Lord?
June: We try to keep the Word central in our home, prayer and Christian character training are very important. We try to be consistent in our training–this is a very important key, but must be done hand-in-hand with love, shepherding and discipling. We made mistakes along the way—no one is perfect in their parenting—but it is important to not give up and to ask for forgiveness when we do fail (and we will)–I always like to point to Jesus because this shows how much I need Him–not just for my children sake but also for myself. Also, we must never underestimate the power of our own daily example—it speaks and teaches volumes. I also think that it is important to challenge them to be ‘world-changers’ for Christ. They can help change the world–even at a young age–we just need to raise the bar in regards to expectations.(Note: I must emphasize that anything good you might see in my children is a work of God and not us. I am still learning as a mother–but grateful the Lord always continues to gently guide us.)
Sarah: How did you discipline your children – what worked best?
June: We believe in shepherding and disciplining our children according to the Word of God. With eight children you quickly find that what might work with one child might not work with the other. That goes also for each incident. One event might need grace while another might need a more severe punishment. One might need just a verbal warning and the other much more. Everything needs evaluation, each child is unique—I ask God everyday to give us wisdom so we might be a good judges regarding this topic. So I don’t think one ‘method’ worked best for us–except the method of God’s Word, consistency and love (I Corinthians 13).
Sarah: What are some “tools” in your tool kit of parenting that have worked for you?
June: My most important tools are:
2. His Word
I do recommend the book “Biblical Parenting” by Don Gilchrist for those who need help in the practical application parenting. I have learned a lot from people like SM Davis, Nancy Campbell, Vision Forum, No Greater Joy, The Maxwell Family, Lydia Sherman, Ladies Against Feminism, JR Miller, etc.
Sarah: What would you do over if you could?
June: If I could go back and get saved at an earlier age and live my life for Christ—then perhaps the struggle to live the Christian life would not be so challenging in my older years.
Sarah: Did you have family worship/devotion time? If so, how did you do this?
June: Yes, we have them. and they have taken on all kinds of forms. But basically we like to sit around the living room with our Bibles with Dad teaching and children asking lots of questions. Many times we’ll include a worship time beforehand. The babies are allowed to play quietly if not we lay them down for naps. We have used coloring sheets in the past that synchronize with the passage or worksheets. Once we even held it in a park and sang by a creek, with dad teaching us at a picnic table. That was a beautiful memory– the little ones just loved it and so did we! Occasionally, our children would also love to act out various Bible stories and/or dad would act parts out. Personally, I always liked when he started off the study with a very challenging question. Oftentimes my son, Stephen, who is 8, will get his pulpit out that Dad made and preach to us after Dad is done. We like to interrogate him with a doctrinal Q & A time afterwards—he loves it.
Sarah: Any advice for stay-at-home moms who feel like theyʼve lost themselves as women?(“I feel like Iʼ’m only a mom” etc.)
June: Yes, control your thought life!!!! Satan would love to have you wrapped up in a pity party to incapacitate you. Don’t abandon your posts—know who you are in Christ Jesus and know how greatly your role as a mom affects the course of history of generations you might never see. Remember, we are not just ‘moms’ but we are world-changers. For more inspiration, check out my blog A Wise Women Builds Her Home, Above Rubies Magazine and Ladies Against Feminism.
Sarah: How did you make time for your husband when you were exhausted with little ones?
June: It wasn’t always easy but we would try to connect when he came home from work for 15-30 minutes. I would try to rest up before he came so I might be fresh when he arrived. I would also try to eagerly anticipate his arrival to create a nice welcoming when he came home. You definitely have to be purposeful. Having a date night is great, but not always feasible, then we would just rely on putting the children to sleep earlier so we could spend the extra time together. Some days we would just have long conversations on the phone if he was away, but we always tried to connect with each other.
Sarah: What is the greatest thing youʼve learned in how to be a good wife?
June: Just try to be his best helpmeet—find out what he would like from you instead of what the world wants you to be. Find out what he likes to eat, how he likes the house, what he likes you to wear. Some husbands don’t care if the house is immaculate but they do care if there is not a hot meal waiting for them when they get home. Also ask him in the morning- “Is there anything you need me to do today?” and then put that first on your list–after your Bible devotionals, of course. Even if that means pushing aside your ever- urgent ‘to do’ list. And lastly, I should have probably put this first—RESPECT. Be sure to love him by respecting him. I also highly recommend the book “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace.
Sarah: What is your favorite “cheap” date?
June: Hmmm….probably hanging out in the bookstore and having coffee—there we can sit quietly and talk about our favorite subject–church planting. I simply enjoy his company and just enjoy being with him anywhere. He is a fun person to be around and has a great sense of humor.
Sarah: If you could only pass on one piece of wisdom for young wives and moms, what would it be?
June: Trust in God no matter what.
Sarah: Thank you so much for your time! I pray that your words of wisdom will encourage us and penetrate us so that we will learn and grow as godly women.
Read more “Lady of Wisdom” interviews here.