Motherhood is Sanctifying
“Three things I’ve learned about motherhood: motherhood is hard, motherhood is glorious, motherhood is hard.” (Baker, Lisa-Jo. Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2014.) I agree with Lisa-Jo Baker, motherhood is hard and glorious, but it is so much more when guided by the God of the universe.
I’m a mother of three adult children, a son-in-law, and a grandmother to two marvelous toddlers. I can say without hesitation that my motherhood journey is still on the learning curve! God continues to teach me when to make concessions, adapt, or step aside—when to speak up and when not to. (I’m not always good at that one!) I’m convinced the Lord uses our children to sanctify us, to keep us humble, and to force us to surrender them into His very strong and loving arms in prayer.
There are a plethora of parenting podcasts and books with advice on how to parent successfully. And “successfully” seems too often to mean getting children to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it.
I have a different kind of advice to give you. I cannot guarantee it will impact the success or behavior of your children—although I pray it will impact their hearts. It won’t help you to be a perfect parent either—thank God, our children need a Savior as much as we do! But it is in keeping with Biblical principles and if practiced I’m confident the Lord will bear fruit as you mother your children.
Teach your children about Jesus in everyday moments.
Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up. (2 Corinthians 4:1 CSB) Sharing the love of Christ, speaking His words to them, and displaying gospel grace in everyday moments is your ministry to your children.
Pray—for yourself and for your children.
Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 CSB)
Praying for our children might sound like insufficient advice or may feel ineffective for change, but don’t be fooled! There is power in prayer because there is power in our God.
Camp out in the book of Proverbs.
Every wise woman builds her house, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands. (Proverbs 14:1 CSB)
It’s very challenging to have regular quiet times with the Lord when you're in different seasons of parenting. (Let me reassure you this changes when they are out of the house.) But it takes little time to read and meditate on a proverb or two. Some verses in the book of Proverbs have had a profound positive impact on my mothering and on so many areas of my life. God’s word is indeed living and active and will bear fruit whenever you spend time reading and meditating on it. (You might start with these verses in Proverbs: 3:27; 11:18; 12:1, 25; 13:10; 15:1, 21; 16:24; 18:10; 20:7; 26:20; 29:17; 31:28.)
I’ll close with another quote from Surprised by Motherhood:
Some nights I sigh. Some nights I rant. Some nights I’m already in bed and too tired to do more than just open my arms. Those nights are the best, because the boys clamber between the covers and my limbs, and we pretzel one more time, outlined by the dying day like we did when they were so much smaller, and then they slip away back to bed, bending first to kiss me on the forehead. Keep coming, I want to tell them. And I will keep opening my arms, and we will keep teaching each other what it looks like to give up the pieces of ourselves we thought we needed, in order to make room for someone else.
Because when we least expect it or want it, God is always pouring more of His own life into our lives, and we need to open both arms wide if we want to even begin to try to hold it all.
|Nicole Schrader is a retired homeschool mother who loves to travel, bake bread, read, and spend time with her kids and grandkids. For more of her work check out: www.nicolelisamaria.com.|