On hard days of mothering, it’s easy to see it purely as a type of suffering, rather than a blessed privilege. And it is a type of suffering. Motherhood is tough. It requires us to give up our plans in favor of what our kids need most. It demands our preferences for theirs. It’s strenuous on our bodies as we carry babies and hoist toddlers, and it tests our hearts as we soak up tears, discipline in love, and spend ourselves for little immediate return.
Yes, motherhood is a form of suffering. But in the middle of its trials, when we’re exhausted and weary, we can quickly forget what a privilege it is––often at the same time as when it’s hardest.
Pictures of Jesus
As I rocked our infant daughter in the quiet of her room, the day’s trials melted in light of the moment. Wise words from a mentor came to mind: “Remember what a privilege it is to be the picture of Christ to her.”
What a privilege indeed.
Don’t we need to know this truth, mommas, when it seems we can’t catch a break? When our kids are demanding so much from us, and we aren’t sure we can give any more? When our patience runs low because our little one has pushed our buttons and tested our love?
We need to know who Jesus is—what he’s already done and what he’s doing right now. Then and only then, as his Spirit works in us, will we grasp what a privilege it is to reflect him as we mother.
Consider Jesus, who sustains you.
He upholds the universe by the word of his power, and he upholds you (Hebrews 1:3). The One who breathed life into your very being sustains you as you care and provide for your child. He sustains them through you—and what a privilege it is to be a tool in his upholding hands.
Consider Jesus, who sacrificed for you.
It’s our privilege to give ourselves up for our children. Why? Because Christ first gave himself for us (Titus 2:14). Sacrifice apart from love means nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3); but when we grasp the depths of God’s love for us “while we were still sinners,” we see how astounding his sacrifice is. It is undeserved, lavish love. This Jesus who offered up himself for us pours this love into our hearts (Romans 5:5), freeing and enabling us to love our kids through a lifestyle of sacrifice…