Why Motherhood Matters

Children – We believe that investing in the next generation is every woman’s task; that women are uniquely gifted to nurture, teach, and train children; that children, as blessings from the Lord, are the most worthy investments for a woman’s energies whether as biological, adopted, or spiritual children (Deut 6:1-25; Prov 31:21, 28; 2 Tim 1:5; Titus 2:3-5).

 

For many years, I thought that marriage and children would not be a reality for me. To make matters worse, when I was 27 years old, my doctor told me that I would probably never have children of my own. It was heartbreaking news. However, at that time, I was not dating anyone nor did I have any prospects. Fast forward three years, and I was finally walking down the aisle with my amazing husband standing at the front of the church. Seven months later God surprised us when we discovered that we were expecting our first daughter. Four months after she was born, God would allow us to become pregnant with our second daughter. It has been eight years since my doctor’s “diagnosis,” and I have gone from single to married to mommy. Through this journey, God has taught me much about His love and passion for children.

All women, regardless of their marital status, are called to spiritually nurture the next generation.

In Titus 2:3-5, Paul commands older women [in the faith] to teach younger women. Fortunately, the Titus 2 model of discipleship does not hinge on one’s marital status. God only gives women one stipulation, they must be older. My husband is a college minister, and I encourage our girls to get involved in the children or youth ministry at our church. Why would I do that? It provides our college girls an opportunity to practice ministry and, in some ways, motherhood. I did not have my first child until I was 32 years old, but I had already developed the practice of investing in the next generation through discipling younger women in the faith. Therefore, the moment I looked into my daughter’s eyes, I already knew some of the spiritual truths I wanted to pass along to her. In being a spiritual mother to the next generation, God prepares women for any future children of their own.

 

Children are a blessing and not a burden.

The Bible speaks over and over again about the blessing of children (Ps 128, Ps 139:13-19, and Jer 1:5). Psalm 127:3-4 says, Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” From the moment you hear those amazing words, “You’re pregnant!”, God desires to use the blessing of motherhood to mold and shape you into the parent who resembles His fatherly love. But this shaping can only happen as we give over our rights to ourselves and allow God the freedom to shape us. The problem I have noticed in myself and others is that, oftentimes, we push against His molding. God wants to produce within us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control, and the tool He frequently uses to teach us these virtues is our children (Gal 5:22-23). When God looks at us, thankfully, He does not see us as a burden. He encourages us to come to Him at any moment and with any problem. This should be our attitude towards children. Children are often dismissed in American culture instead of nurtured and valued. In seeing children as a blessing from the Lord instead of an inconvenience, God can use our example to disciple our own children and reach the next generation for Christ.

 

Children should be the primary ministry of a mother.

I will never forget when I heard my seminary professor declare that the highest calling of a woman is to be a wife and/or a mother. This is not a popular statement in our culture, and my neck hair bristled when she said it. However, when I first held my daughter in my arms, I knew my life would never be the same. Titus 2:4-5 says that older women are to teach younger women to “love their husbands and to love their children” and to teach them how to be workers at home (homemakers). The Greek word used for homemakers means “watching or keeping the home.”[1] The idea of being a guard or keeper of one’s home is a huge task. Mothers are given the responsibility to guard what comes in and out of her home. She can guard what her children watch on TV, what they listen to on their iPod, and what they read/see on the internet. Being a homemaker is so much more than mopping floors, washing clothes, and cleaning toilets. The task of mother and homemaker requires a mother’s full attention and primary creativity.

I must also note that motherhood and the responsibility that comes with it can be a shock to one’s daily routine and conditioned American mindset. This reality is especially true if she has been in the working world for many years. Thankfully, we serve a God who knows and understands this struggle. But, He is also faithful to cultivate and nurture the desire to serve Him through serving and ministering to one’s children. The service might look different from sitting behind a computer, teaching lessons, or interacting with adults all day. However, it is a ministry that brings great joy and fulfillment as a mother submits her heart to God and allows Him to produce within her a desire for her home.

Every day I am amazed at how fast my life has changed. I never imagined that God would take me on the journey of motherhood, but I am glad He entrusted me with this blessing. If you are struggling to determine how you fit into the life of a child (including your own child), my prayer is that you would allow God to show you how to use your mothering instincts to serve a child in your sphere of influence.

 

[1] BibleSoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary, (BibleSoft and International Translators, Inc: Copyright, 1994).