Motherhood is the most challenging job I've ever endeavored to do. The most rewarding...but the most difficult, indeed.
I'm posting on the third chapter of Feminine Appeal today, the book I am studying with the ladies of my church. I hope you've chosen to read along with me month by month as we discuss one chapter at a time here at GraceLaced.
When I was young and in school, I never aspired to being a mother, much less a mother of five...boys. I thought of children as "fun," and little versions of us as parents. I thought of parenting and motherhood as being about ME, and not about Christ. I did not understand the high calling of motherhood when I was first initiated in 10 years ago. I have a much better understanding now, but continue to grow daily in the cultivation of a godly pursuit of my mission in motherhood.
This month's chapter in Feminine Appeal is just as convicting as last month's chapter on loving our husbands! Once again, Paul uses phileo as the kind of love he exhorts us to have for our children. That's an affectionate, delight-filled, enjoyment-marked, tender kind of love. Does that describe your view of motherhood? Does that describe others' view of you in motherhood?
Again, like last month's chapter, we are called to go beyond duty and sacrifice--that which often comes easily as mothers--and embrace the enjoyment and delight in our children.
"As we discovered in the first chapter, the promotion of the gospel is the impetus behind the commands in Titus 2. The mandate to love our children is no exception. This phileo kind of love is appealing to the observant audience of our lives. It stand out in stark contrast to the strife and discord in families all around us and thus draws attention to the transforming effect of the gospel. May this extraordinary call to commend the gospel infuse our hearts with fresh vision and enthusiasm as we seek to love our children!" -Mahaney, pg. 51
Psalm 127:3-5 says, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!"
Heritage, fruit, reward, arrow...these are the words used to describe our children. They are described as blessings from the Lord. And yet, as Carolyn Mahaney points out in this chapter, we often think about our children in this manner: work, responsibility sacrifice, and burden.
I can so easily see that a sinful and selfish attitude destroys my tender love towards my children. I don't mean that my kids are always easy to enjoy or perfectly delightful--no!--they are children who require much training, correcting, and discipling. The delighting, enjoying, being affectionate, and choosing tenderness is an attitude of MY heart. Is it any wonder that we would be called to demonstrate this kind of love for an unsaved audience to see? Our own children may be that very mission field we will reach with the message of the Gospel, and the Savior who transforms us to love with both sacrifice AND delight.
Ask the Lord today for a heart that treasures him first, and his call for us to be godly and loving mothers. Ask him to give you a love that is not based on SELF, on satisfying yourself as a mom, or on earned merits of your child. Ask him to transform you as a Titus 2 woman. That's what I'm praying for myself today. Be blessed!
(I'm not doing a linky tool, but if you'd like to link up your post on this chapter, please leave a link to your post in the comment section!)