(This was written a few years ago and shared a few times since, but it certainly rings true)
I recently heard a story on the radio of a young woman who gave her life to Christ after years of rebellion. She remembered how her parents prayed for her and never gave up on her. The radio DJ was touched by her story and summed it up like this: “what you’re saying is that all the Sunday school lessons and youth meetings and church camps didn’t lead you to Christ. Your parents never stopped loving you, even in the midst of your rebellion. That’s what led you to Christ.”
While church camps and Sunday school lessons are good things, ultimately loving our children as God loves us is the best picture of the Gospel we can give them. We can’t rely on someone else to show them the Gospel. Loving them, lovingly disciplining them and praying for them is the best mothering we can do. Pointing to Christ in the moments where we want to tear our hair out, when we wonder if we’ll ever sleep again, when we just need to take a deep breath. Our children watch us, mimic our behavior, see us in our weakness. The beauty of that is that He makes us strong in our weakness. “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 1 Corinthians 12:9
To all the moms and step-moms and future moms and moms to kids that aren’t yours (we’re all moms in some way, right?): You’re doing a good job. Be encouraged. Pray. Pray with your spouse, pray with your child. Remind your child that God loves him. Remind your child that God made her. Remind yourself that God is in control. Use the frustrating moments to fix your heart and mind on Jesus. Use the sweet moments to praise God for the blessing of life.
I sometimes ask myself why this is so hard. In the midst of laundry piles and long work days and day care drop offs, in planning play dates and family days and trying not to lose it when the house just CAN’T STAY CLEAN. When we’re tired and all we want to do is sit and be still and escape with the TV. Why is it hard to fix my eyes on Jesus? To see the miracles right in front of us? Why is it hard to pray as a family some nights? I need the peace that passes all understanding, and I know the One who gives that peace, yet it seems my unbelief takes over. 2 1/2 years ago my father passed away suddenly. 3 months after that Caleb was born and 2 weeks after his birth Mike was diagnosed with cancer. Only God's grace got me through that time. But I still struggle with anxiety, which I believe is a result of those events and a very stressful job. I'm sharing this to be human… to be real. Sometimes I feel like I can't be the Mom my children need and deserve. But there's grace there, too. My Katelyn tells me I'm the best mommy. My Caleb hugs my leg every chance he gets and gives me slobbery kisses. I may be inadequate and I may struggle, but God's grace is intertwined in raising my children, and God gives me those gifts to remind me He is in the midst of it all.
Moms, let’s pray for each other. Please pray for me! Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to guide our prayers and dwell in our homes and in our lives and in our work and relationships. When we do this, everything falls into place. The peace comes, the prayers flow, we live in grace and our children will see the beauty of living a life focused on Christ.
900 Ben Mclean Ln, Stanley, NC
(626 North Carolina 16 BUSINESS Stanley, NC 28164)
(704)947-3829 (church phone number)