Monday, May 12, 2008

The Cost of Motherhood

Being a mother is my greatest personal blessing, or as Charlotte the Spider from Charlotte's web said, "it's my magnum opus - my great work". Most of the time, it's a joy to be a mom. I love to see the happy smiles of my children, from the younger ones to the married ones. I miss them when I am away from them, or when they are away from me. They are always on my mind. I desire that they would grow in grace, and in the knowledge of the Lord, and I pray that God will use them for His glory.

There are times when motherhood is discouraging, though. When I have to tell my kids for the thousandth time to make their beds or put that load of laundry away, I wonder if they'll ever get it. When I have to listen to both sides of an argument, and both kids are upset and are certain that they are right and their sibling is wrong, and unfair, and unkind, it takes great patience and much wisdom. I feel my own weakness in times like that.

And that's when I cry out to God. I cast my cares on Him. I repent for the wrong attitudes I still hang on to, and for the lack of patience with which I treat my children. He is ever faithful.

Doug Phillips wrote the following:

The Rise and Fall and Rise of Motherhood: The Cost

Once a lady went to visit her friend. During the visit the children of the friend entered the room and began to play with each other. As the lady and her friend visited, the lady turned to her friend and said eagerly and yet with evidently no thought of the meaning of her words: “Oh, I’d give my life to have such children.” The mother replied with a subdued earnestness whose quiet told of the depth of experience out of which her words came: “That’s exactly what it costs.

There is a cost of motherhood. And the price is no small sum. And if you are not willing to pay this price, no amount of encouragement about the joys of motherhood will satisfy.

But the price of motherhood is not fundamentally different from the price of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In fact, Christian mothers see their duty as mothers flowing from their calling to Jesus Christ. And what is this cost?

Christian motherhood means dedicating your entire life in service of others. It means standing beside your husband, following him, and investing in the lives of children whom you hope will both survive you and surpass you. It means forgoing present satisfaction for eternal rewards. It means investing in the lives of others who may never fully appreciate your sacrifice or comprehend the depth of your love. And it means doing all these things, not because you will receive the praise of man — for you will not — but because God made you to be a woman and a mother, and there is great contentment in that biblical calling.

Great contentment, and great joy.

Proverbs 23: 24 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, And he who begets a wise child will delight in him. 25 Let your father and your mother be glad, And let her who bore you rejoice.

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