Seeking God in the mothering journey
By Judith Alagirisamy
Focus on the Family Singapore
Mothering is a unique calling that God has entrenched in the hearts of women. This can extend beyond the mother-child relationship into other spheres of life; a woman can be deeply nurturing and caring in her role as a friend, mentor and colleague, amongst others. Indeed, in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8, Paul uses the analogy of a mother to express his deep affection and commitment to the Church in Thessalonica.
While motherhood may be desired, anticipated and prayed for, the mothering journey itself can be challenging. As a mother, I find myself constantly bombarded with conflicting messages on the best way to nurture and raise my children – and this begins even while the child is in utero! When added to a mother’s natural in-built concern for her kids, this creates a heightened sense of stress and anxiety – a recipe for disaster in any home.
However, when we tune out popular opinion and focus closely on God’s Word, there are some encouraging and life-giving truths about mothering to serve as a guide.
Commit your children to the Lord…
When we are blessed with children, handing them back over to God is usually the last thing on our minds – this was true for me. While I had hopes and aspirations for my soon-to-be-born child and prayed a generic blessing for health, wealth and happiness over him, God wanted more of us. The pregnancy proved difficult, and when faced with the possibility of losing the baby, we sought God and committed our child to Him. In hindsight, this was the best parenting decision we ever made! Now, when I feel anxious about my children, it is liberating to remind myself that I have fully surrendered them to Christ and that as Romans 8:28-30 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.
...And turn their hearts towards Him
Mothers are usually the main caregivers for their children in the early years – a tiring role, but one full of promise. Deuteronomy 11:19 exhorts us to continually teach our children about God’s Word, and mothers are in the ideal position to achieve this. This may be through talking about God during family devotions, encouraging our children to bring their worries and thanksgivings to God in prayer, and modelling how to live a Christ-centered life. Children are like sponges, and will learn to be in tune with God, simply by observing and emulating your close walk with Him.
Appreciate the journey
Motherhood is a journey for the long haul, but often we get caught up in the minutiae of meeting the daily needs of our kids, and forget to step back and appreciate the progress made. Maintaining a prayer journal for our children is one way to keep track of how far they (and we) have come, milestones reached and challenges overcome. Take time to enjoy your children, and savor the mothering journey.
One of the greatest encouragements for mothers can be found in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. It is tempting in our competitive society to constantly strive to ‘be more’ and to ‘do more’ as mothers. However, this usually backfires and leaves us feeling burnt out. Paul’s words are a comforting reminder that God has not called us to be perfect mothers. Instead, He uses us as we are, choosing to refine us and inspire us along the way. Indeed, the calling of motherhood can be challenging, but by relying on God, we can be assured that it will be a richly rewarding journey as well.
© 2016 Focus on the Family Singapore
Read and watch more stories of children affirming their mothers this Mother’s Day at our #LoveHonors site at www.family.org.sg/LoveHonors