Motherhood is an awesome privilege…one which I am immensely thankful for. But mothering is hard work, some days, I feel stretched at all sides till I am losing it…This Mothers’ Day, I am reminded that I have the best job in the world but I need to set my priorities right in order to be the Godly mother that God intended me to be.
|Can’t be more grateful than to be a Mom…|
One of my favourite Christian Pastors, Ted Tripp (author of Shepherding a Child’s Heart) once said: “Parenting will mean that you can’t do all the things that you could otherwise do. It may mean your home doesn’t look like a picture from Better Homes and Gardens. It will impact your career and ascent on the corporate ladder. It will alter the kinds of friendships you will be able to pursue. It will modify the amount of time you have for your hobbies, your television time, or how many books you read. It will mean that you can’t develop every interest that comes along. The costs are high… God calls you to invest yourself in this way with your children.”
Another renowned Christian author, Elisabeth Elliot wrote in her book: “There is no such thing as quality time. All quantity time is quality time. Raising a family means that we just can’t do everything. Squeezing in ‘quality time’, amongst our busy lives, is short changing our children. They don’t need to be doing loads of activities, or going to playgroup or preschool every day. They need us. They need our time. Of course, there are times in our lives when we need to make very difficult choices, that may impact our children. But we also need to make sure that we are not pursuing ourselves, our work, our ministry at the expense of our children.”
As Moms, we should not sacrifice so much of our lives for our children, such that we become worshippers of our children. Sometimes we get so caught up in doing the best for our children, that we lose out on relationships with those around us – our husbands, our extended family, and our friends. When we find time for those around us, we are modelling to our children how to have healthy relationships, while maintaining a solid family life.
We Moms need to avoid the trap of worshipping our house. We can’t make our houses so important, that they come before the family, or our friends. If we don’t invite people around, because we are concerned that our house might get messed up or if we don’t allow our children to play in the house because we don’t want it messed up; if we can’t reach out to others for fear of them encroaching on our house; if we can’t bear to stick up our children’s precious art work for fear of having things on the wall, if we spend every moment of the day scrubbing and cleaning after our children; if we don’t have time to spend with our children because we are too busy keeping the house clean; if our children are anxious about making a mess; if we are buying items of furniture that aren’t allowed to be used for fear of getting them dirty…we need to rethink our attitude.
Don’t fall into the mothering trip of smothering our children and not allowing them to fail. As they grow, there are going to be times when they need to be allowed to make some choices that end in difficult situations, from which they learn valuable life lessons. There are going to be times when they are hurt, or see the negative side of others. They are going to need to understand the consequences of their actions. We cannot protect them from everything, and we need to, at some point, allow them to grow up. We cannot protect them for ever. Things are easier when they are young – we have much more control over their environment. But keeping control for too long will be frustrating to them, and possibly not helpful in the long term.
Finally, let’s enjoy every stage! Train them diligently, love them, cuddle them, savour every precious moment with them.
The ultimate goal is not to raise perfect children. They won’t ever be perfect – after all, they don’t have perfect parents! We want to spend eternity with them in Heaven. We can have beautifully trained, obedient children in beautiful tidy homes, but if they don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, then we may have focused on the wrong things. Of course, we cannot determine all their choices, including spiritual, and they will need to make their own decision to follow Christ, but we can be mindful that we haven’t focused on all the outward things, at the expense of their hearts.
This Mothers’ Day, let us be reminded that what an awesome privilege it is to raise these children that God has given us. And what an awesome responsibility that God has placed on the shoulders of those He has appointed Mothers.