A few months back, I was disappointed (but not surprised) to see that when I searched for “Motherhood” in my BIBLE app to find edifying plans on motherhood, the first ones that came up were named, or contained the following words: Overwhelmed, Mama Needs a Do-Over, Unsupermommy, and (Un)Natural Mom. One cannot help but notice the negative connotations associated with motherhood–and the lowly place it has been given, even in the church. (It hurts me to write that).
In my search for a plan, I was pleased to find a plan on motherhood at the wayyyyyy bottom of the list–called Chosen. A bit more fitting, if you ask me, and a bit more uplifting. And isn’t this what we are? Didn’t God, in His infinite wisdom, craft our children in our very wombs–each with a plan and purpose in His great story–and are we not chosen to love them, steward them, and lead them back to Him–the One in whose image they have been made? Were they not created by Him for love and relationship with Him? And weren’t we, as mothers, created to show them that?
Isn’t what we’re called to and created for a better thing to focus on than what is quickly and carelessly attributed to motherhood today? Has anyone ever broken free from their sin by walking in a sin-consciousness? NO–quite contrary. We become free from sin when we accept what He has done for us and realize we are already washed clean and set FREE. We are no longer bound to sin. In the same way, we do not take joy in our mothering by focusing on what the world says is wrong with it, or even by exalting our common struggles. We find freedom and joy in our mothering when we accept His plan and His design, along with His perspective on mothering and the blessing that children are. We find purpose and encouragement when we draw from the truths in His Word and not from the ways of culture. I heard a Godly woman once say, “In the absence of Biblical truth, people go the way of culture.” This couldn’t be more true–especially when it comes to motherhood today.
Let’s contrast some of the ways motherhood is depicted today with what scripture has to say about it. Culture often portrays motherhood as: burdensome, overwhelming, unrewarding, sub-par, less-than, and even ‘optional.’ I’ve felt this view point while being out in public with my three little ones. People are very quick to make comments like, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full,” (even as my children are behaving well). I’ve learned to respond by saying, “Yes–full of blessings!” And ironically, they are usually surprised by my positivity. People are quick to complain about children–and childish ways–as if they themselves bypassed that season of life. Perhaps people like this see children as a burden because–as children–they were made to feel like one. How did you feel as a child? How do you view and treat children? As a child, were you always made to feel too loud, too needy–maybe like you were always in the way? Is this how you see children today? Perhaps there is a correlation.
What does Jesus say about children? What was His attitude toward them? Biblically, motherhood is depicted as a blessing, reward, honor, and gift. And children, rather than being labeled as noisy, messy, hyper, and inconvenient, were noted for being purposeful, innocent, trusting, awe-struck, and–deemed worthy of our Savior’s time. Not only did Jesus stop to spend time with the children; He rebuked His disciples for their hardness and harshness toward them and used children as our model for how to enter His very kingdom!
God, our Creator, was very intentional in His design. He created children and all that comes along with childhood–and He considered it good. It was through a woman–and motherhood–that our Savior entered this world and was loved and stewarded during His early years of life. Jesus didn’t bypass childhood and enter the earth on the clouds as a full grown man. He certainly could have, but (for many reasons) He did not. He knows exactly what it’s like to BE a child, and experienced His own design by living out childhood and growing under the care of a loving mother and father–in submission to God the Father.
Why, as a culture, and even within the church, have we rejected that–the JOY that childhood brings, and the gift and beautiful, purpose-filled role that motherhood IS? How do we get back to celebrating these beautiful roles and relationships that our Creator has lovingly and intentionally designed? How do we reset and reshape the minds of culture on this? We begin with the church, and we begin in a place of prayer, repentance, humility, and study of His Word. We, personally, begin by LIVING OUT what we believe and allowing our light to shine on those around us–beginning with those in our homes! We begin by valuing and esteeming the homemaking work that He has CHOSEN us for! We begin by embracing the privilege we have, as women and mothers, to magnify the nurturing, all-sufficient attributes of His character–humbly reflected in US!! We begin by encouraging that next wearied mother we see, and affirming the importance of her work; we begin by taking the time to SEE children as they pass by and getting down on their level–to acknowledge them; we begin by speaking LIFE into the areas of motherhood and childhood alike; we begin by understanding that we’re training up the next generation; we begin by appreciating and celebrating these gifts from our Lord; we begin by joyfully celebrating our calling rather than living in self-indulgence, self-pity, and self-sacrifice mode, as if what we’re doing is a chore and not a CHOSEN work; we begin by rejecting the lies of this world and walking in the TRUTH; we begin by keeping our eyes off of ourselves, off of our neighbors, off of the world, and focused on HIM.
Sisters in Christ, let me encourage you–live CHOSEN today–because you ARE!
For further reflection and study in your time with HIM:
- Mark 10:13-16
- Matthew 18:2-5, 10
- Titus 2
- Proverbs 31:28
- Psalm 127:3-5
- Psalm 113:9