Grounded in God’s Word
Where I live in the Middle East, people from many cultures love to comment about how I have my hands full. It’s not a figure of speech, because I literally have my hands full with four children swarming around me as we run errands. Without a hint of cynicism, men and women will say to me (as I take the groceries and little ones across the street like a ninja), “You are blessed!” I’m grateful for the reminders from my community that my children are blessings. But beyond whatever our culture’s view is of motherhood, Christians stand on eternal truth when we say that motherhood is a gift.
We read in God’s Word that people are God’s image bearers. Adam and Eve were given the royal task of filling the earth with more imagers of the one, true King (Gen. 1:26–28). Especially now, after the Fall, we see that life is a gift of grace, never to be presumed or rejected. Every minute of our lives has been numbered by a gracious God who does all things well. God has ordained all of our mothering seasons and moments “for such a time as this” until Jesus returns.
Not Feeling It? Think It.
Though we affirm these truths, it would be an understatement to say that we don’t always feel like motherhood is a gift. We need our shortsighted vision corrected with an eternal perspective. But eternity just seems so far away. (Unless you are ironing shirts, and then eternity feels very real.) We need to renew our minds in the Word of God, and walk in the obedience of faith with God’s help. Our fickle feelings about motherhood must submit to God’s truth.
Every day, I talk to my children about “consequences.” We need to talk to ourselves about consequences, too. If we neglect God’s Word, we will ignore the deepest need we have—to abide in Christ. We will not hold out the gospel of Jesus Christ to ourselves or anyone else as the one solution to our sin. We will forget the fact that right now and forever we are all in a season of life.
The Gift That Is Greater Than the Gift of Motherhood
God’s gift of life, in spite of our sin, is overwhelming. We are alive for a purpose—to make known the Lord’s mighty deeds among the nations. Let your mind be blown by the reality that Jesus is currently, intentionally holding our very lives together by the word of His power. Sisters in Christ, whatever season we are in, and whatever kind of nurturing work we are doing, and however long our season lasts, life in Christ is our new normal. And it will still be thirty trillion years from now.
When the Son of God was lifted up on the cross to die, His death atoned for the sin of all who would repent and believe in Him. Three days later, His grave was empty. It is still empty. The One who called Himself “the resurrection and the life” walked out of His grave. The world hasn’t been the same since. By the grace of God, you and I get to live in light of this truth. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, God has given us the greatest gift— life with Him.
A Gift That Keeps On Giving
With Christ’s joy as our strength, we can rejoice that the thousand deaths to self that we die each day are our servants—midwives that are bringing us gain, an eternal weight of glory. We mothers think we are the ones who are serving, but we are actually the ones who are being served as God uses motherhood to make us more like His Son.
Our nurturing work done unto Christ is part and parcel of the new creation, an invisible kingdom that is growing like a mustard seed in a garden, and spreading throughout the world like leaven through dough. Motherhood is a gift that keeps on giving. Each day (and night) bring even more ways that we get to live out his big story, the story that says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Cor. 5:17)
Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of four, cross-cultural worker, and writer. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, The Pastor’s Wife, and Missional Motherhood. www.gloriafurman.com