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This is the third part of our Motherhood Matters series, written by Paris of Nourishing a Life in Christ. I felt convicted reading this myself, and I hope it blesses you too! – Laura
Part One: Motherhood and the Gospel
Part Two: Focusing on Truth
Mothers are in a powerful role. To quote Sally Michael, this is a “God given opportunity to inﬂuence the next generation to put their trust in God.” We do this through our thoughts, actions and attitudes, which people around us see.
It is understandable that it feels like drudgery to serve your family through the world’s perspective when society tells a woman that motherhood isn’t her place to be. I have fallen into this trap, which led me to discontentment, bitterness, and condemnation. But this thinking is unbiblical.
God wants our thinking to be of thankfulness. We may be stuck with this “thorn” in our side and struggle with this for the rest of our lives. We trust in God’s sovereignty, and know and preach the Gospel to ourselves and know that He uses these trials for our sanctification because we are His and He loves us. We can learn to love discipline and trials because it only hurts for a moment, Hebrews 12:11 compared to eternity.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. – Hebrews 12:11 ESV
We often struggle to focus on the heavenly kingdom and rather focus on our “suffering” in the here and now. We get side tracked and lose focus. This is called idolatry. Idolatry sounds like an odd topic to bring up, but it does happen because seek to please and love for things or other people rather then our Lord.
I love how one author put it:
“Our primary struggle in raising our children, is not subduing their wills, knowing how to teach them the Bible, or even knowing how to pray for them. Our greatest struggle will be in striving to love and worship God above all else, so that we can overﬂow in imparting that love to our children. Because our hearts are prone to wander from the Lord, from the Creator to the things He has created– pride, money, possessions, image, children, control, popularity, the praise of men, and so on, we must ﬁght a continual battle to keep our hearts from other idols.” – Sally Michael, Mothers: Disciplers of the Next Generations
From my story in last week’s post, working outside the home and being praised for accomplishment was my idol. It was so very hard to identify this, because my mind said “yes, I want to have children, yes, I like staying home with them, yes, I want to raise them in the discipline and admonition of the Lord.” Yet my heart and desires were truly far from this. On my spare time during naps, I would research how to start a business. Then I would get upset with my children if they woke up early or disrupted my daydreams, and I slowly put researching as a priority above my children. This is how I saw that my desires and motivations were sinful and not God glorifying.
Sanctiﬁcation Through Fellowship and Discipleship
There is great importance of joining a biblical church body, so that you can be sanctified through learning. To overcome these struggles I beneﬁted from seeking a Titus 2 woman in my church body who I could talk to when I was having sinful desires, who could encourage me when I was faint hearted, who could edify me when I was having a rough day, and who could rebuke me when I was being rebellious in my sin. Praying with other believers is very helpful as well. When I learned to submit myself to be vulnerable to another woman, for the sake of being sanctiﬁed and glorifying His name; God used this to change my heart!
So Why Does Motherhood Matter?
Motherhood matters because God has put us in this position to sanctify us and bring us closer to Him. Our purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and we learn how to do this by reading His word and being committed to following Christ. We do this by doing it right were God has us. I have always had annoyed thoughts that “I can even read His word without being disrupted” or “I can’t be committed to following Christ, because when I try, everyone else throws a wrench in to it… I wish I was a monk!”
God knows this is how are we sanctiﬁed. He also uses us as means to spread the Gospel to the very sinners in our home and to raise up a new generation that lives to glorify Him.
Keep the faith fellow Mama, you are God’s ambassador and you are not the only one who has struggles!
The Profile of a Godly Mother by Grace to You
Mothers: Disciplers of the Next Generations by Sally Michael
Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman
The Hidden Ministry of Motherhood by Liz Wann
About the Author: Hello, my name is Paris Byrum. I am a Christ follower, a wife to a great husband for 8 years and a mama to four littles. I am a lover of all things creative & seek to encourage others to run the race and live a life to glorify God. Come visit me at Nourishing a Life in Christ if you like what you read here. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.