Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Blessings of Loving My Children

I can remember seeing my first child, her tender face, her sweet lips, the touch and smell of her sweet skin and than the tears. An overwhelming rush of emotion coming over me and the incredible miracle that lay before me. I loved her immediately and urgently I plunged into my new vocation, loving my new role and title, "mom". I went on to do this a total of five times and probably would have never stopped if I could have remained in that moment for ever.

But things do change. In the days, weeks, and years ahead I have experienced a newborn who wanted to nurse all the time. A two year old who could climb anything and was into everything. (I am still experiencing this one) the whining of a four year old, crying on the first day of school, talking to a nine year old about lying, the attitude of a adolescence. I haven’t always felt those same tender emotions I experienced those first moments and days. Yet it’s in the midst of the trials and challenges of motherhood that the command comes to love our children. In Titus 2 we are told “to love our children” and the type of love that the original language is speaking of is a tender, affectionate, and passionate love. Carolyn Mahaney states, "Although many mothers are committed to caring sacrificially for their children, they sometimes neglect to enjoy them. They fulfill their responsibilities of motherhood but overlook the pleasures." I have made this mistake!

The book goes on to answer the question, "What’s the goal?"

"The ultimate purpose of loving our children this way is the salvation of our children’s souls. This is the chief end of mothering. Our goal is not that our children be happy, fulfilled, and successful. Our highest objective should be that our children would repent from their sins, put their trust in Jesus Christ, and reflect the gospel to the world around them. While the salvation of our children is our highest aim, our tender love is not sufficient for this task. Only the Holy Spirit is able to reveal the truth of the gospel. However, our tender love can be an instrument in God’s hands. I am convinced that no one has more potential to influence our children to receive and reflect the gospel than we do as mothers."

One of the ways she encourages us in loving our children is to have regular time alone with God. This time should be spent in a quiet place alone. If I am going to enjoy my children, I need strength. She also reminds me to have tender thoughts, tender behavior, and to number my days.

Mothers, you may be up to your earlobes with babies and dirty diapers. Or you may be spending half your life in the car, driving your children to and from numerous activities. In whatever stage of motherhood you find yourself, may I remind you of something? It won’t last for very long.

I found this cute quote written by another mother and wrote one for myself.

"Just when I figure out how to mother this soft, sweet, cuddly, moving, growing preschooler, I have a kindergartener. I turn around and a first grader is standing before me instead. I have just learned how to love and live with a nine year old when the nine year old vanishes, leaving a preadolescent in their place. They don’t stay still long enough for me to have my fill of them ever, at any stage. “Stop!” I scream. “Let’s just do it this way for awhile, let’s stay right here.”

At the end of this chapter the book says this, (slightly changed to fit me)

No one needs to remind us that it is an enormous responsibility to be a mother. How well we know it! I seldom feel like much of an adventurer – standing in this kitchen, pouring cereal into bowls, refilling them, handing out paper towels when the inevitable cry comes: “Uh oh. I spilled.” But sometimes at night the thought will strike me: There are five small people here, breathing sweetly in their beds, whose lives are for the moment in our hands. I might as well be at the controls of a moon shot, the mission is so grave and vast. I leave you with this, although the mission is grave and vast, God’s grace is greater. He kindly reminds us in His Word. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. Mothers like you make a difference.

Heth said...

This is just beautiful Chris, It brought tears to my eyes. Just like you said,so many times I feel like I am fufilling the responsiblilites of the role of a mother but not truely taking time to enjoy it. What a wonderful reminder, thank you for sharing your wisdom.