Motherhood is one of the hardest jobs in the world, but it’s also one of the greatest ways we can learn to throw ourselves completely at the feet of Jesus.
Christ didn’t suffer on the cross so we could just survive motherhood. Rather, he defeated death so we could live as righteous ones. As we choose to serve our families with joy and out of love for God, we are transformed by grace into Christ-likeness—yes, through car pick up lines, nighttime wake ups, and toothpaste spills.
We all crave comfort. Comfort food, comfort zones, comfy clothes, comfortable jobs. Our decisions are often motivated by a desire to mitigate distress, discomfort, or inconvenience. Being comfortable isn’t always a bad thing. It can be one way God demonstrates his grace to people.
The privilege of Christian motherhood has challenged my notions of comfortable living in full force.
It’s uncomfortable as our bodies are broken for the sake of another’s welfare through pregnancy, delivery, feeding, & sleeplessness. It’s not easy consistently training up our children in the way they should go through fights over food & school work, tantrums & unwise choices. It’s humbling to tell our young ones about the mighty deeds of God & then display gospel-kindness when faced with their rebellion.
Yet we pray, forbear, & show mercy because God, in Christ, forgave us. There’s no ease on this battleground because it’s a 24/7 job.
...This role is rife with opportunities to image what God is like in his self-sacrificing, nurturing, & life-sustaining attributes. In God’s supreme design, mothers were made to image him in unique ways to our families, in our churches, at work, in the community, to ‘the authorities & the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.’ (Eph. 6:12)
This sometimes-uncomfortable work of mothering draws our attention to our need for the great shepherd’s comfort. Only his rod & staff can give us a lasting sense of safety in hard places.
Just like we wean our children from milk to solid food, the God of all comfort weans us from a taste for only physical comfort to delight in the divine comfort of his everlasting presence. Knowledge of his presence drives us to joyfully live an uncomfortable life for God’s glory. As we share abundantly in Christ’s suffering, we share in his comfort too.
Dear sisters, when tempted to begrudge the costly & uncomfortable work of mothering, let’s remember Jesus went before us. His joyful obedience in hard things accomplished our redemption & adoption & will result in our resurrection one glorious day.
“We’ve all been there. We’ve all given our children instructions, they’ve asked why, and we’ve responded with neither grace nor eloquence, ‘Because I said so!’
We’re tired, exasperated, and in search of a quick fix.
But if time paused and we were given a moment to really think about the answer to their question of why, what would we come up with? Why do we want them to do what we’ve asked them to do? What are the motives behind our commands? What’s driving us?
In the Bible, Paul answers the question why over and over. In every letter he wrote to the early churches, he didn’t merely give them instructions for godly living and say, “Because I said so!” He gave them—and us—a foundation, a motivation, a robust reason for doing what God asks us to do.
When we read Colossians, we can almost hear Paul’s words getting faster and faster, culminating in a crescendo of praise. And then he says, ‘Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.’
The praise comes first, then the pivot, and then the instruction for godly living. This order is crucial.
First, we understand the nature and character of our God. We remember his goodness and kindness to us. We recall how he gave himself over to us. We acknowledge that we were in darkness before him and he brought us into the kingdom of light. We say out loud that he’s a gift we do not deserve.
Then, after those rehearsals and proclamations, we set out to obey our good God. It’s from a heart full of remembrance and praise, which is how we received Christ Jesus the Lord, that we walk in him.
First we remember the gospel, and then we walk in it.
Christian parenting is discipleship. As Christian moms, we want our homes, our language, our actions, our thoughts to be distinctly Christian. So our answer to why must have the substance of our Savior.
May they bear the aroma of Christ.
It was his grace that saved us. May it also be his grace that propels us. God’s grace is the answer to why.”
‘Let’s go change your diaper,’ I chirped in my sing-songy ‘mom’ voice.
We headed toward the stairs. Stepping up, my slipper caught a rough joint in the wood, and the world flipped in slow motion. We tumbled toward the wooden landing with no possible way to prevent the fall.
‘Protect the baby at all costs.’
I’m not sure it was a cognizant thought, but instinctively I turned my body to take the brunt of the fall. It didn’t matter if I’d be battered and bruised, protecting him was more important.
As the adrenaline subsided and his safety was evident, my tears flowed. My baby could have been seriously injured. I cried and prayed, praising God for his protection over my newborn.
Of course, this scenario could have gone much differently, like a trip to the emergency room. But even so, God is still the protector.
Because God eternally protects his children at all costs.
Though it doesn’t always come in the form we want it to, the Lord protects. He may not spare us from grief or trials in this life, but his view is deeper, down to our very souls.
Jesus accomplished the ultimate protection on the cross. He turned his own body to take the brunt of the ‘fall.’ He was bruised and broken, but protecting his own was more important. And he protected even unto death, absorbing the full measure of wrath that should have been hurled at us.
Because Christ made God favorable toward us, all we receive is grace upon grace.
Therefore, I can rest. I might fear injury, sickness, or even death, but I can entrust those fears to the one who has ultimate control. I don’t have to be a perfect mom. I can’t be a perfect mom. Accidents will happen. I’ll make bad decisions. I’ll sin against him. But I can run to the God who perfectly parents me, recalling grace.
I’m still pretty new at this parenting thing, but it’s safe to say I’d die for my son. But I may not always be able to protect him.
So, I speak truth to my heart. God eternally protects his children at all costs.