It is time to celebrate Mother’s Day! From the first glimpse of their tiny faces to watching them as they become mothers and fathers, there are so many joys and challenges to motherhood. What a gift we have in children! What a short time we have to influence them, to guide them into the path they will walk, to share the loves and hurts of their lives. How do we help them realize their fullest potential and glorify God in the midst of their lives? Where do we find the strength and the wisdom to fulfill our responsibilities? How do we persevere?
Turn to God who said He would never leave you or forsake you. Turn to the Comforter who will teach you all things. Talk to Jesus who loves you with an everlasting love and who can forgive you when you confess your failures. God has given us principles to live by and examples to study in his Word. For those who have put their trust in Him, you can walk in the Spirit, not your flesh (Gal. 5:16) Walking in the Spirit means you have a consciousness of God in your life. Recognizing that you cannot do this job in your own strength or wisdom is the first step to being a good mother.
Scripture tells us that God knits a child together in his mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). Children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:3) and therefore motherhood is a gift. God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply and then repeated this to Noah’s family in Gen. 9. Children are important to God. Jesus told the disciples not to keep the children from Him (Matt. 19:14). God’s command for parents is to teach children to love Him in Deut. 6. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and all of your soul, and all of your mind (Matthew 22: 37-38). So your most important task is to realize this in your own heart and then teach this to your children in words, in actions, and in your attitudes. We can only demonstrate the importance of God to others including our children if He is important to us.
Godly (God-led and God-honoring) motherhood is fruit of a mother’s relationship with her God. Just as Jesus went alone to quiet places for preparation for ministry, mothers need to find time in prayer and in reading Scripture for God to give them strength and wisdom for their day (daily bread). A godly mother walks in the good works that God prepared for her (Ephesians 2:10) as she trains her children. She trains up her child in the way he should go, knowing that the same God who entrusted him to her loves him more that she does. She points her children to the God who loved her enough to send his Son to pay the penalty for her sins and give her new life; and therefore she can show grace and mercy to her children because she has received grace and mercy. As a mother yields herself to the Holy Spirit, God sanctifies and matures her to know His presence more and more. By allowing the gospel to cover raising children and continually pointing her children to the gospel, she can reinforce the love and grace that God offers to them. A God-led mother also remembers that God loved her when she was unlovable (Ro. 5:8), and likewise, she can continue to love even when her child makes choices that are unwise and sinful because love covers a multitude of sins (1 Pet. 4:8). At all times, good and bad, she prays for her children knowing that she cannot make all of their decisions and knowing that God knows and loves them.
As I write this I recognize that some have not yet experienced the joys and the difficulties of motherhood. Maybe you are yearning for this blessing, but motherhood is elusive as you struggle with finding a spouse, with problems of infertility, with fitting motherhood in the demands of life and work. As I directed mothers and children to lean into the God that cares for them, I will also encourage you that God loves you. He has a plan for your life. Give God your cares, your desires, your difficulties. He will renew your strength and peace in the waiting (Is. 40:31). Ask him to show you how to love and honor Him in the waiting. Recognize that shared physiology is not a prerequisite for motherhood. You can influence and nurture a child without sharing in their birth. Be a spiritual mother by guiding someone to Jesus. Sometimes a child will respond to more easily to someone other than their biological mother, so let the Holy Spirit guide you into relationships which will bring Him glory and help a child achieve his potential. You will experience the joy of loving another and loving God.