The next things that Paul says that the older woman is to teach the younger woman is: to love their children. It is easy for most Moms to love their children, especially Christian Moms. The love a mother has for her children is a beloved, tender love. God made Moms with a special capacity—a special ability to love those little rascals. He gives your little one the ability to smile—that smile which melts your heart and helps you forget all the nights of no sleep!
He gives a toddler the ability to crawl up on your lap, give you a sticky kiss and a bear hug, and say those words we enjoy hearing so much, “I wuv you Mommie!” It helps you to forget the precious vase he broke, or the muddy tracks on your clean floor, or the thousand times he interrupts you to ask those questions for which there is no answer.
All people have the need to know they are loved and accepted, and in a child that need is especially important. If we are not loved as children, it can scar us emotionally for life. As we remember how God loves us unconditionally and forgives us when we do wrong, we in turn can love our children unconditionally and forgive them. This does not mean overlooking their wrong doing, but dealing with it in a correct way.
Raising children takes a lot of time, money, and love. Because we as mothers pour a lot of pain, expense, and long hard hours into our children, we sometimes tend to forget something very important. Our children belong to God first and not to us (Psalm 127:3). For a lot of Christian parents, that is hard to swallow. Our pride and selfishness sometimes get in the way. We need to remember God has loaned our children to us for however long He sees fit. We are responsible to Him to care for them, to love them, to teach them. We are responsible to train them up in His way.
We need to remember also that God has a purpose for their life, and sometimes it may conflict with what our purpose for their life would be. Therefore, we need to remember that there comes a time when they are old enough that we must let them go. We need to be sure that we are not standing in God’s way as He is working in their life. If we have trained them and taught them in the right way, the Bible promises that they will continue in that right way, and their life will bring glory and honor to Him.
Motherhood can be both exhilarating and exasperating. There are days when we can’t imagine doing anything more rewarding. Then we have days when caring for our children feels anything but significant. But our perspective of motherhood should not be defined by these various things. The true meaning of motherhood can only be discovered in God’s Word.
If you are a mother, you understand exactly what I am talking about. From the moment a woman finds out that she is expecting a child, that child, even though unseen at that point, is tied to her heartstrings. Once that baby is born and she holds the child in her arms, there is an overpowering sense of love and protection. There is no need for someone to come alongside and tell her to love her baby. Not at that moment anyway.
But things have a way of changing. In the days, weeks, and years ahead, as she faces the persistent crying of her newborn baby, the temper tantrums of her two-year old, the whining of her four-year old, the disrespect of a ten-year old, the selfishness of her teenager (or a myriad of other problems that can arise along the way) a mother doesn’t always feel those same tender emotions of love she experienced in the birthing room at the hospital! She quickly discovers that this love is not always easy to sustain.
Yet even in the trials and challenges of motherhood, she needs to remember that God has commanded her to love her children with a tender, affectionate, and passionate love. Although many mothers are committed to caring sacrificially for their children, they sometimes neglect to delight in their children, to show them love, and to enjoy them. They fulfill the responsibilities of motherhood but overlook the pleasures.
In the career of motherhood, there are no weekends off, no paid vacations, no bonuses or yearly raises, and no quitting time. It is just day-in and day-out giving. There are times when we feel we do not have another ounce of energy left to offer. Oh, how nice it would be to curl up with a good book, enjoy a long, leisurely bubble bath, go for a long walk, or simply go to the bathroom without interruptions!
No profession requires harder work or greater sacrifice than motherhood. Because mothering requires constant sacrifice, the temptation to give in to resentment, complaining, and self-pity are always close at hand. But this selfish focus can quickly rob us of our love for our children.
As mothers we have a choice. We can either resent the challenges and demands that go along with motherhood and persist in our selfishness, or we can draw from God’s grace and receive His help to cheerfully love and sacrifice for our children.
The world may not applaud us for wiping runny noses, staying up all night with a sick child, or talking with our teenager into the wee hours of the morning. And until they are grown, our children may not thank us either. But as we set aside our own selfish desires and, with a true servant’s heart, love and sacrifice for our children, God will indeed be pleased.
Beverly is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and Doug Hammett have been married for over 35 years. Since her father was a pastor and her husband was already a pastor when she married him, she is well acquainted with the blessings as well as the problems of the ministry! Bev’s favorite things to do are read and spend time with her family.
In Autumn of 2010, Doug stepped aside from his position as senior pastor at LVBC to reach and train men in Botswana and South Africa. Beverly continues to write for our ladies publication, giving her unique perspective of life in the ministry, and now life on the mission field. You can read more about their ministry here.