When I was young, I had the desire to be one of those women who “made a difference” in the world. I planned on becoming a missionary in North Korea or a teacher who inspired her students daily. Yet, after becoming a mother, I felt that to be a good mother, I had to put all my dreams about making a difference on hold since raising children would limit my ability to serve Him. For raising a two-year old and a seven-year old has restricted my time to do things outside the home. I now have a lack of time to do community service, organize church activities, or even be a vocal encouragement to other moms.
It made me question, “Am I just mama?” The thought made me happy because of my years of struggle to get pregnant and a bit sad because I wanted to be known more than someone’s mama. Yet, I was reminded how the Bible is full of examples of women who impacted the world through motherhood. These women as Hannah, Mary, Ruth, and Moses’ mother not only raised children who changed the course of history, but also made a huge contribution to their children’s success. They all did this through simple maternal faithfulness.
In Elizabeth Elliot’s Mothers pamphlet, she wrote:
(God) calls some to be single, some married people to be childless, but He calls most women to be mothers. There are, the Bible tells us, “differences in gifts,” and they’re all given to us according to God’s grace. None of the gifts of my own life–not my “career” or my work or any other gift—is higher or more precious to me than that of being someone’s mother.
Mrs. Elliot considers the highest and most precious gift in her life to be the gift of motherhood, above and beyond being a missionary, a well-known speaker and author, and an example of godliness to women around the world. And she had only one child. Reading this was a big encouragement to me, as it is easy for me to doubt the importance of what I am doing.
Now that I am a mom, there are many times that I feel so helpless! Yet, I believe the journey to motherhood is intended to make us feel this way, so we become dependent on God from the start. If this is true, why is it so hard to let go and do?
Though it is innate for women to be caretakers and nurturers, motherhood causes one to learn a deeper lesson about life, faith, obedience, and unconditional love. And because of this, God knew the way to get a woman’s attention would be through her children.
During this past year, my daughter was facing daily bullying at school. When I first heard about it and saw her sadness over the incidents, my first reaction was to confront the bullies or take her out of the school. Yet, how would doing those things help her or the situation? Instead, I had to pray, calm down, and realize my weaknesses. Also, I had to let go and trust God by releasing my daughter to Him even though it was so difficult.
I guess this is what it means to be an intentional mom. She is one who understands that if God allows difficulty to enter a child’s life, He will use it. Though my daughter had to face a difficult time at school, I know God used the time develop her character, patience, and faith. This was a time for God to work in the life of my daughter and for me to role model a faith in God that would make Him real to her. As 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 states, “We stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God…We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.”
Teach Your Kids Along the Way
Posted on: August 11th, 2011 by johannah No Comments
It was with pure joy that I heard my young daughter say to her friend in the car, “Shhh. Be quiet. An ambulance went by so my mom’s praying.” I’d never told her to be quiet when ambulances went by, but I’d told her that I try to pray when I see one because I know how hard it is for the family of the person who’s in that ambulance. Evidently that made an impression on her, so much so that she was willing to be quiet in the car – a rare occurrence!
If you love God and have children, then there’s nothing you want more than for them to love him too. What a joy and privilege it is to introduce our young ones to the one who created them and loves them more than we do. We do that by bringing our relationship with God into every part of our lives and letting our kids see it whenever possible. That’s what is meant by Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
The power of an example is extremely important. My mother-in-law, who has been a Christian her whole life, drifted away from going to church for a few years. But when her mother died, she started going again. I asked her why and she told me that her mother would kneel beside her bed each morning to pray. That visual picture was so powerful that it drove my mother-in-law back to church, and she’s been involved ever since.
Karyn Henley says on ChristianParentingToday.com that we need to connect spiritual truth to our children’s experiences, “When a child is afraid…say: ‘Why don’t you sit in my lap so we can rock for a minute? And let’s sing a song about God’s love and care while we’re rocking.’ It’s a great time to help your child think about God’s protection.”
So let your kids see that you also need God to help you in life. As you lean on him, they will learn that’s the way to deal with life’s stresses – and everything else besides.