Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What Mothering Teaches Me

Usually I am concerned with what I teach in mothering.  I want to teach my kids so many things.  I want to teach them to read, to be kind, to be responsible and the list goes on and on.  But there are times when it becomes obvious that mothering is teaching me. 

Every other time in life when things were hard or hurtful or annoying I could walk.  Quit.  Pull out.  Commitments to friends, jobs, activities, education, volunteer pursuits all could easily be dropped with little or no personal cost. 

Isn’t that the way the world is?  It is totally fine if it is too hard or too much of a personal sacrifice to get out.  Many therapists will tell you that.  Do what’s right and feels good to you. 

Although being a mom is one of the toughest things I’ve ever done and every day there is a battle or challenge or difficulty, I know that I cannot walk away.  I must persevere.  No one else can or should do the work God has given me as a mom.

That floods to the front of my mind while I’ve been struggling to keep going in some other areas of my life.  It’s hard and sometimes it hurts.  I long to be able to pack it in and run away.  And I could. 

But as God continues to challenge my heart as a mom, He’s pushing me in other areas too.  Why can I not stick with it?  Because I feel hurt or sad or mad?  Is it really all about me? 

What about other people left in the wake of my retreat?  What if God wants me to go through things that are less than pleasant?  What if hard times send me searching through the bible for hope?  Because it does and this is what I found.

Perseverance brings blessing.

Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:10-11

Perseverance promises eternal life.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.  James 1:12

Perseverance is love.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Perseverance is the path to maturity.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish it work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4

Perseverance glorifies God.

In this you greatly rejoice, through now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1 Peter 1:6-7

When things are tough I get pretty self focused.  I don’t think about how my actions might affect others or how they might affect God and his glory.  It’s not about me, but Him.

So can I persevere?  I must!  Not just in mothering where I have to and want to, but in many things.  Things that are painful.  Things that are boring.  Things that hurt. 

Oh that my perseverance through the power of the Holy Spirit would result in the praise, glory and honor of Jesus Christ.  Lord, make it so.

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

This is one thing that concerns me about people age 30 and younger -- after seeing a divorce rate in the church that's the same as everyone else, I fear that they won't see many examples of perseverance in marriage. Like parenthood, it should be permanent . . . and it's up to us to demonstrate that, by God's power and grace.