Some women are born mothers.
Some women achieve motherhood.
Some women have motherhood thrust upon them.
Just a riff on a well-known adage about greatness. Because I sense among the sisters of motherhood an unrest about our role as moms. A fearful tickle in our minds that maybe we got the short end of the stick when we became moms… the consolation prize: Thanks for playing!
As I shared earlier this year when I reviewed Triggers: Exchanging Parent’s Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses, as a mom, I was surprised by negative feelings that surfaced after a few years of motherhood: “I started to feel under-the-surface-angry all the time about my failure to have it all together.”
Mothers constantly receive subtle and not-so-subtle messaging from our culture to “do it all,” “have it all,” and “keep it all together.” (Hello, Pinterest! Which I love! ha!).
Granted, motherhood is somewhat of a limiting factor. Toting a baby on the hip, adhering to feeding, nap, and school schedules is limiting.
But that’s where I think we get distracted. Do we see this limitation of time and space and feel we got the consolation prize?
Maybe it’s time to look at motherhood through a new lens:
Motherhood is not a consolation prize, but instead a consecrated purpose that is pleasing to God.
Perhaps I can say this another way. Motherhood isn’t a prize at all. It’s a purpose given of God for a specific time in your life.
I think for many women, the desire to become mothers is so great, the path often so difficult, we DO feel we “won the prize” when we get that positive pregnancy test. But mothering can be hard and taxing, and if we pin our hopes on that child fulfilling our hearts, we easily become discouraged when the workload piles up. So it’s time to view motherhood in a different light, shift perspectives, look through a new lens, so to speak.
And, by way of clarification (because everything online needs a disclaimer these days), I am notsaying if you are childless, you don’t have a purpose from God. Or that mothers are better than other women. No, no, no! This is not a better-than statement.
I’m merely saying to us moms, instead of regarding motherhood as a negatively limiting factor, recognize motherhood as a positive limiting factor: you’ve been given a very clear call to a very specific purpose: ministering to your children. Not everyone gets such a clear and distinct call to arms as having a babe placed in arms!
Accepting your purpose focuses you and allows you to have peace when you decline other endeavors. (I’m reading The Best Yes – saying “no” doesn’t mean I failed, it means I simply chose my purpose).
Through our mothering, we influence children – the men and women of our future world. Again, as do other people besides mothers – dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers. But today I’m speaking to and encouraging moms.
Our influence as mothers is reflected in II Timothy 1:5 when Paul tells Timothy: “I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
The Bible holds many tidbits of wisdom for shifting our perspective of motherhood (or indeed, whatever role we are called to) to one of purpose and pleasing.
HOW WE PLEASE GOD THROUGH MOTHERING
1 Corinthians 12:18 – “ But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” Recognize that being a mom is where God has placed you in the body of Christ.
Colossians 2:10 – “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” A big frustration of motherhood comes from continuing to seek a different, separate, or perhaps additional purpose outside of our motherhood. Being fruitful in your motherhood pleases God.
Now, I’m not saying motherhood is our ONLY purpose in life. I think many times God gives us several different ministries in life. In fact, I’m really excited to read Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart’s upcoming book Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom. Because we do have creative yearnings we set aside to be a mom. I’m excited to hear these women talk about how to be a mom who ministers to her children through our natural yearnings for the creative.
Hebrews 13:16 – “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” Recognize that in fulfilling your purpose there will be sacrifices. The purpose and payoff of your motherhood sacrifice? Every day you have the opportunity to communicate God to little souls.
I Kings 3:9-10 – “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.” As moms, we’ll all need to ask for wisdom. Wisdom in our parenting, yes. But also wisdom to view our motherhood purpose with the right perspective. This is the job God gave you. When you feel overwhelmed, ask for His help. Ask God to show you the WHY of your motherhood afresh.
I hope these thoughts and verses have encouraged you to view your own motherhood through a new lens. To see it afresh. To take on motherhood with a renewed sense of your God-given purpose!
This article originally appeared at happystronghome.com.