I have been reading the book, "The Mission of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson and have started a series of posts about my thoughts as I go through it. You might want to read Chapter 1 first.
Chapter 2, Beautiful By Design (if it's in quotes then it's Sally's words, NOT MINE!)
Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
God made mothers. He designed us, in His own image none the less. Our world is full of parenting books, counselors, well meaning friends and progressive ideas. But we must be so very careful. Only God's design for mothers will lead us to success with our children, fulfillment in our role as a mom and fruit in each season of our children's lives.
Genesis 1:26- 27 Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over everything that creeps on earth. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.
So as mothers (actually this part is for all of us, mothers or not) we should reflect God in everything we do. Let's think about what God looks like so we can try to look the same.
We should be loving, moral, wise (I better keep praying on that one), forgiving, consistent, slow to anger, firm with sin ...
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.
God blessed us (still is) and told us to have children. Sounds like a job for a mama to me. Okay, I have done this. Yay! Obeying God is a good thing. =)
There are many more verses about children and families being God's blessings to us.
We can also look to Jesus to see God's heart on the matter of children, family and even moms.
Jesus also demonstrated a consistent concern and affection for children and considered them important to the work of God's Kingdom. Again and again the gospels show Him spending time with children, talking to them, blessing them, drawing them onto His lap.
Clearly, nothing in God's mind had changed between the time of the Old Testament and the New in regard to the design of family and the centrality of children in His plan to bless and redeem the earth.
Even from the cross, Jesus expressed his respect for family, requesting specifically that his disciple John take care of His mother, Mary.
So I'm getting the picture that God equipped me from the beginning to be a mama and to feel blessed by the children He gifts me with. He designed me with the body to be able to do this. He made me with the emotions to reflect the aspects of Him He would want in a mom. We all know women are the emotional centers of their homes. Sometimes I think we can look upon this as a weakness, but it seems God did this on purpose. I can nurture my children with that helping nature I have and create that close relationship with them since as a woman God made me a relational creature.
So part of God's design/role for moms He already built onto us. It comes naturally. Yes!
But what about something more specific? Cause I am type A that way. I need to actually be able to make a list of what God wants a mama to be so I can feel like I have a chance of trying to do it. It's a sad thing, but true.
Proverbs 31: 10 - 31 tells us as moms even more specifically what our roles are based on the gifts God built into us from the very beginning. Notice most of these revolve around the home.
- preparing food (verse 14)
- clothing (verse 13, 21)
- ministering to others (verse 17 - 20)
- teaching our children (verse 26)
- spiritual life (verse 30)
- future and well being (verse 25)
- productivity (verse 27)
Now many of these verses may seem outdated. But we must remember the principle behind them. The principle that God is giving us is never outdated. It should never change, it is what we should use as our job description if you will. But the method, now that I believe can sometimes change to reflect the times.
For instance, Proverbs 31: 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
I do not believe God will think we are shrinking our duties as mothers if we buy our children's clothes from Target instead of sewing or knitting them ourselves. As long as we are upholding the principle of taking the responsibility of providing our children with clothing. This is a good thing since I can not sew anything. Nothing at all.
Proverbs 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Now that's the kicker for me. The one I can struggle with. Idleness, that is. As a mother I am supposed to look "well to the ways of my household and not eat the bread of idleness" and being lazy or selfish or not feeling like it is not a part of that job description. Good thing God forgives, extends grace and equips us with the Holy Spirit. Because I really enjoy being idle. I do this with my kids often, not just by myself, but it's still me being lazy. That's that sin nature in me that I hate so much.
As I look at these verses I believe most of what is described here is a form of nurturing our children. When I look at it that way, well for me it's easier to swallow and makes me more motivated. I don't really want to do laundry and grocery shopping. But I really want to nurture my children in a Godly way. And I think as a mama I can forget that all of those dirty clothes being washed, all of those never ending messes being cleaned, well my kids feel loved when I do that for them. They feel secure.
Plus, and I love that Sally put this in:
When God's commands are obeyed, people flourish because they are living in harmony with the way they were designed and the One who designed them.
Creating a household with God at the center, loving my children, nurturing their hearts and minds, training their characters, leading them to know and love the Lord will bring about a feeling of harmony, focus, and completeness within me. Within me, not just my children. God is good!
Chapter 2 to be continued...