Be This Mom

In the United States, Mother’s Day is just around the corner. To some this is a blessed and happy day—a day when we celebrate being mothers and spoil our own mothers. To others it is a painful reminder of broken and lost relationships or of mothers who are no longer on this earth. There are also those who long to be mothers but for some reason have not been able to have children of their own. Regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, one thing I know for sure is that the role of motherhood, be it physical or spiritual, is dear to God’s heart and vital in our world today.

Unfortunately, in our culture the role of the mother is oftentimes cheapened and devalued. Women are deciding that they don’t want to be mothers and disposing of their babies because they are a “mistake” or an inconvenience. However, God holds the role of mother in high esteem. Behind every great man and woman who has walked this earth, most of the time you will find mothers who have prayed, encouraged, supported, and sacrificed for them, often without the recognition they so rightly deserve.

One such mother is Jochebed. Have you ever heard of her? I hadn’t either, until my dad (who was also my pastor) mentioned her in a sermon a few years back. Since then I have had the utmost admiration and respect for her. She is mentioned by name just twice in the Bible, and only in genealogies (see Exod. 6:20; Num. 26:59). Even so, Jochebed gave birth to one of the greatest men in history—a man who changed the world and was a hero of the faith: Moses.

Most of us are familiar with the story of Moses, right? The little baby that was placed in a basket in the river and saved by the Pharaoh’s daughter. We’ve heard it over and over. But what do we know about the woman who was responsible for placing him in the river in the first place?

First, Jochebed was aware of what was going on in her culture. She knew that Pharaoh had decreed that all Hebrew baby boys should be killed at birth. Knowing this, she took action by hiding Moses after he was born. When it comes to things happening in our society, how often have I said things like, “Oh, I’m a Christian; that doesn’t apply to me,” or, “I homeschool, so my kids aren’t at risk”? Unfortunately, we can no longer put our heads in the sand and ignore the culture. People are seeking to dispose of our children, and we need to be proactive in protecting them.

Second, Jochebed was brave. She risked her life by hiding Moses. Can you imagine the stress of trying to quiet a screaming baby in the middle of the night, knowing that if you are discovered, that baby will be killed? Jochebed did what she needed to do, and when she could no longer keep her baby a secret, she was, like any mom would be, resourceful and came up with a plan.

Third, Jochebed trusted God and let go of her son. This part of the story just makes my stomach turn. Can you imagine putting your child in a basket on the water and letting him go, not knowing what the outcome would be? But Jochebed did it. Hebrews 11:23 says, “They [Moses’ parents] saw he [Moses] was no ordinary child” (NIV). Jochebed knew her baby was special, so she trusted God with his life. How often do we hold on to our children when God is calling us to give them and their futures to Him? It was no easy task, but Jochebed released control and put the future of her son completely in God’s hands.

Last, God blessed her sacrifice and gave Jochebed’s son back to her. Jochebed was not only asked to nurse and care for Moses by the Pharaoh’s daughter, but she was paid to do so! We will never be able to out-give God. If we are willing to release our children into His hands, He will always honor our giving. Because of the decision Jochebed made as a mom, her son was spared and raised up to eventually lead the Israelites to freedom. Do you think Jochebed knew what Moses’ future would look like? I highly doubt it. But she knew her God!

Ladies, we have so much to learn from Jochebed. God loves our children more than we ever could. Just think, we may be raising giants who one day will change history; we may be raising future moms and dads who will reshape the culture and bring it back to where it should be; we may be raising missionaries who will win countries for Jesus; and while some of us may not have been able to have children of our own, we all have the opportunity to be spiritual mothers to others whom God has placed in our lives. Whatever the case, we can rejoice in the opportunities we have. Just like Jochebed, we may never be lauded or acknowledged publically, but our reward is in heaven, and we will one day hear from God Himself, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt. 25:23, NIV).

Cease Striving Precious Mom

strive

Motherhood is the greatest job on the planet. It is also the hardest. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually draining. Motherhood is filled with sadness, joy, triumphs, losses, anger, frustration, laughter and wonder. But even with all of the strong emotions motherhood brings, we, as mothers still find ourselves feeling unworthy. We oftentimes find ourselves feeling like failures; without purpose.  Motherhood is the most varied, exciting job, but it can also be the most boring, depending on the day! Motherhood is full of  crazy days dealing with  tantrums, attitudes, dirty diapers, fingerprinted walls and messy floors. Much of the time we feel  frumpy and ugly. 

What I have come to realize is that motherhood is a long journey. It takes you up mountains, through valleys, down the rapids, and sometimes, very occasionally let’s you relax on life’s beach. Regardless of where it takes us, it is one of the most rewarding and gratifying journeys you will ever take.

God has given mothers a deep, protective instinct that once awakened, never goes back to sleep. We are strong and brave and will do anything to shield our babies. Even so, we sometimes still feel like we are not enough. But I have great news for you! No-one as it all together all of the time. The truth is, we will never be enough. Doesn’t that kinda take the pressure off?

Unfortunately society has placed women under so much pressure to succeed in the career of motherhood, that we often set the bar too high and then have a hard time forgiving ourselves when we fail to reach it. If we work outside of the home, we try to justify why it’s necessary. If we stay home we have to prove that we can run our home perfectly and get everything so we can justify not financially contributing to the family. Here’s the real problem; We are allowing society to decide what a good mother looks like, when really we should be looking to Jesus. His list of requirements for us is pretty short. They are:

  • To love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
  • To teach our children His ways. Deuteronomy 6:5-11 
  • To commit our ways to Him. Proverbs 16:3

In return He promises that:

  • He will give us rest, peace and wisdom & satisfaction
  • We will succeed.

We need rest when times are crazy; we need peace when our nerves are shot; we need wisdom when our children are driving us crazy; and we need to feel satisfied that we are doing well.

I know many of you reading this may relate to the things written here. Outwardly you are successful in keeping up appearances; but inwardly you are crying out for someone to rescue you from the constant demands of your children. You fail to live up to the expectations you have set for yourself.  The Lord is saying to you precious mom, “cease striving! You are not alone.” God’s Word is full of wisdom and guidance, knowledge and instruction. If we could only learn to cling to and hold on to His promises we would see that His requirements are few, and His rewards are many.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all you (precious moms) who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

“Lord help us as mothers, to come to You daily. Help us to look upon our children not as projects or pests, but as souls given to us in order that we might raise them in the knowledge of You. Help us to rest in the promise that you are there to carry our burdens and struggles. May we look to You for our value, and not allow society to steal the joy we should have in our children” – Amen