Motherhood is hard. And all the mamas said, “Amen.”
Motherhood requires every ounce of us. As soon as we sit down, the baby cries. As soon as we stand up, the milk spills on the floor. We try to finish just one task before the day is done, despite all our children's best efforts to thwart it.
The demands of attending to small people are often mind-numbing. The pressures of decision-making, disciplining, and discipling are never-ending. The challenge of doing something we’ve never done before, only to see it change just as we get the hang of it, is enough to make us a little crazy.
And if all motherhood did was make us a little crazy, I think we could handle it. But it does so much more. Motherhood brings out a host of sins we never knew could come from our hearts, never knew could be expressed in such horrific ways. It exposes how deeply we prefer our lives, how desperately we try and preserve them, and it shocks us with just how wretched we really are.
What if God intended motherhood to be hard—for a holy purpose?
What if God, in his wisdom, ordained this particular hard for you, Mama? This strong-willed child. This lopsided marriage. These sleepless nights. This lack of support. This many kids in these many years. These limits, these parameters. This distinct motherhood.
What if, in his kindness, God ordained this particular hard to expose a particular sin? Maybe a root of bitterness. An unwillingness to forgive. A preference for self. A tendency toward list-keeping, entitlement, and pride. A sin that is keeping you from enjoying fellowship with him, separating you from his life-giving presence.
At the end of the day, the last thing any of us want to do is face our sin. We’ve given more of ourselves than we ever thought possible, and we resist giving into the gentle nudge over our latest outburst. It’s easier to disengage, to check our phones than let our hearts be checked on by him. We’d rather do one more load of laundry than pause to consider the sinful roots digging into our hearts producing the thorns that are ripping us apart.
But Mama, we must. Because in his mercy and goodness, God ordained this hard for you, not simply to expose this sin…but primarily to magnify his grace. God never intended for sin to have the last word. “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20b). His grace must become increasingly greater, increasingly more valuable to us as we journey on this road of motherhood. We need to live convinced that nothing good can come from us unless we abide in Christ. No good fruit will be produced in us or through us unless the Spirit is thriving within us. Sin quenches and grieves the Spirit of God, leaving us running on fumes, exhausted and weary, angry and bitter, distant and numb, increasing the already hard task of motherhood.
We need the regular ministry of God’s word to convince us of his goodness and his worthiness of our surrender. For when we humble ourselves and acknowledge his sovereignty to ordain our lot and reveal our sin, we’ll find the most stunning response. When we unfold our arms, release our tightly clenched fists, and lift them in need, we’ll experience an embrace of love and rejoicing from our Father waiting in return.
Jesus said, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). The parable of the lost sheep reminds the weary mama looking for security, refuge, and life apart from the Shepherd, that she’s not alone or without hope. The Shepherd pursues. He leaves the others to rescue his beloved, not letting her wander too far into the dangers that await her escape. When he finds her, he brings her close; he carries her. He returns her to the place of life abundant.
This Shepherd is the Lamb of God, bearing the iniquity of us all. He entered the danger of death, the way we all were going, and freed us to come to him instead with our sin. To be forgiven and restored into his presence by his magnificent grace.
What if we believed that our God loves us more than we can fathom? What if we believed he did everything he does in kindness, even our present hard lot in motherhood? What if we knew that our joy was found in surrender, in releasing our stubborn grip on how we think our days, our nights, our lives should go? What if we chose the holy work of facing our sin in the presence of the Shepherd rather than turning our own way? What if we praise the Spirit of God who reveals our sin to us and run with him to the throne of grace, embracing the mercy and forgiveness ensured by the blood of the Lamb?
What if we believed our repentance spurs joy and gladness in the heavenly realms, and even Mama, in our own hearts?
If we did, we'd know as hard as it is to face our sin, the cost of living outside of fellowship with Jesus is deadlier. We'd fight the temptation to disengage, to indulge, to numb, and to despair because we know the opportunity before us. We’d know these hard, exposing moments of motherhood are not small or inconsequential; they are the grand stage upon which we are sanctified and the grace of our God is glorified.
Lauren Weir is a wife and mother with a heart that beats to communicate the goodness and glory of God. Her love for God's Word and discipleship led her to pursue a Master of Biblical Counseling degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is co-owner of Words Worth Noting, a ministry dedicated to providing resources, like The Way of Wisdom, and cultivating life through the beauty of Scripture. You can connect with her at wordsworthnoting.com and on instagram.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 and Ephesians 4:30