What can we say about mothers that has not been already said? Mother’s have been our confidant, our role models, our advocate, our inspiration, our helper, and our best friend to name a few. A mother is able, accepting, accessible, accommodating, active, adaptable, admirable, adoring, amazing, assuring, attentive, authentic, available, and awesome; and that is just the A’s. Being a mother is an important job, but one that can easily feel frustrating and unrewarding. Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling from God. Parenting is a ministry, full of spiritual experiences and opportunities for deeper meaning.
Something To Talk About:
A mother’s role can sometimes seem like a caretaker, but it is so much more. No doubt, a mom has the greatest influence on her child’s life. Either positively or negatively, how she lives her day to day life, has the power to bless or distress her child. That is the reason mom’s must rely on God to help them parent their children well. Andy Stanley says, “your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.” Let’s look at a few key points on how mothers can raise children to have a heart for Jesus in a world that seems to be crumbling around us?
- Mom’s role and God’s role in raising children: Contrary to popular opinion it is not easy being a Christian parent. Just because a child grows up in a Christian home does not mean they will be a little “angel.” There is no owners manual, no frame of reference for what a Christian childhood should look like. But while there are no magical formulas, there are things we can do to pave the road for our children to have a deep, lasting relationship with God. Those include praying for the children to have faith. Second, for the kids see the parents rely on God in real, concrete ways and have a genuine love for Jesus. And third, the parents rely on God to help them. Because every mother will have struggles in their role, and should lay down the weight of being a mother and trusting that God, the author and finisher of their faith, is also theirs. Let your children witness you experiencing a daily walk with Christ. When they wake, allow them to find you with your Bible, not on your laptop. Practice what you preach and let them see the light of the gospel. Children grow spiritually not only because of the controls that we impose on them from the outside, but because of what they catch from us on the inside. Most of what kids learn from their parents isn’t taught on purpose and it is so important to be aware of the messages that you are unconsciously sending to your children.
- A mother’s influence is forever: There are some telling portraits of motherhood in the Bible. There is the picture of Jochobed (Exodus 2:1-10) who cared so much for her son Moses that she broke the law to keep him safe and teach him the faith of his people. There is the picture of the mother who appeared before King Solomon (1 Kings 3:16-28) who loved her child so much that she was willing to give him up forever rather than see any harm come to him. There was the mother of James and John who loved her boys so much that she wanted them to sit by the Lord’s side, one on the right and one on the left, in the heavenly kingdom. (Matthew 20:20-23) The list could go on and on. Only God Himself fully appreciates the influence of a Christian mother in the molding of character in her children. The influence of a mother upon the lives of her children cannot be measured. They know and absorb her example and attitudes when it comes to questions of God, love, loving others, etc. The question is what are we doing with that influence? Did her influence make Jesus beautiful to them? What are some ways that you can influence their spiritual lives even more? Kids are soaking up everything mom’s do and say. So how can we impact them to grow more spiritually today? Tomorrow?
- The power of prayer: Sometimes you wonder if it is safe to send our children out the front door into the world. There is potential danger everywhere and you have to come to grips with the realization that we cannot protect them from life. While we cannot hide our children away from the world, we can be proactive in guarding them. We can shield them in far greater ways than wrapping them in a plastic bubble or locking them in their rooms for the rest of their lives. We can pray. We can intercede for our children, praying for wisdom, protection, peace, and strength. It’s comforting as a mom to know that wherever you are gathered and praying, Jesus is in the midst: “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:19-20). We may not see immediate results or results may be slow or even nonexistent. But if only for a moment we could glimpse through the corridors of time and see the results of consistent, heartfelt prayer through God’s eyes, we would probably not hesitate a second before praying again. Knowing our God is sovereign over all things, there is no need to see the future. We only need to trust Him with our lives and the lives of our children.
- What is a favorite memory you have of your mother? What do you, or did you appreciate about your mom?
- Read Deuteronomy 6:6-7: What does that mean to as moms/parents today?
- Read Colossians 3:12-14: What does this passage mean to you in light of this week’s message?
- Being a mom is a balancing act. How do you practically “put on” patience when your children are driving you crazy? How can you prioritize your spouse and show him love? How can you teach your child to have a compassionate heart and love others? And all in one day.
- Why is dependence on the “failsafes” offered by the culture an inadequate offer of real security for parent’s today? What do you see as the solution?
- What are some practical ways we can pray for and with our children?
- Instead of honoring the moms/women in our lives only once a year, what are some ways that we can live in constant respect and honor for them that makes them feel valuable, appreciated, utilized and thought of throughout the year?
Take One Thing Home with You:
If Mother’s Day is about love, it’s also about loss and longing. Mother’s Day is also recognizing the pain that comes with Mother’s Day. We all know women who are hurting today for any number of reasons. Some have lost children. Some grieve for the babies they could never bear. Some weep for children gone astray, or for children who face a myriad of challenges. There are women who have suffered miscarriages. They endure the anguish of feeling their bodies begin to change to make room for a growing baby only to lose the child. There are women who made the brave and loving decision to place their baby for adoption, but now aches for the baby they carried and are being judged of their careful, difficult choice. Somewhere a woman is staring at yet another single line on a pregnancy test, while another receives a call that the infertility treatments were unsuccessful. Still others continue to wait out the process of adoption. Somewhere a young woman waits patiently, wondering if her turn for marriage and motherhood will ever come. For many women, Mother’s Day holds both joy and sorrow.
To those who endure grief on Mother’s Day: I am deeply sorry. I hope you are touched with love today, somehow, through the pain. I hope you feel that your sorrows are seen, and that your love and your losses are honored.