My Roles: Mommy.
Of the roles God has currently blessed me with, my most entertaining role is Mommy. Three babies under age three is a whirlwind of energy, tears, dancing, snacks, crafts and cuddles. In the midst of the whirlwind, God gives so much joy. Our babies are our most precious gifts. Gifts that I’m learning to give back to the Lord daily, because He is the one who entrusted me to be their Mommy for His glory. I’m daily asking God for the grace I need to parent my children towards Christ each day. I am far from perfect and I have to ask God and my kids for forgiveness daily. In spite of that, my God is faithful and is working in my children’s hearts. He asks me to daily die to self and let Him shape me into a mommy who loves, teaches and leads by example.
A Mommy Who Loves
Love is an action. It is easy to say, “Of course I love my children!” without actually taking the time to put your love into action. However, this is not how God loved us. God put His unceasing love for us into action by dying on the cross in our place so that we could experience intimacy with Him for eternity.
Putting love into action requires studying and knowing your kids, discovering their needs, and then following an intentional plan to meet those needs. Ella Jane needs my love differently than Clara. Ella Jane thrives when I spend undistracted time with her, while Clara needs cuddles. Both girls take tremendous joy in receiving encouragement and tender words. I know this because I’ve been blessed to be able to spend time with my girls getting to know their hearts. I’m learning that I can’t just generalize them by saying, “I showed them my love today because I sat and read to both of them”, or “I made three meals”, or “I told them I love them”. While both girls love when I read to them, need to be served meals, and appreciate being told they are cherished, love goes beyond that. It looks to their particular need of that day. Right now, Ella Jane needs extra mommy time because she knows Jack will be here soon. So even if all I have is two minutes, I try to pull her aside and let her help me cook or carry her to her room while telling her she is going to be the most amazing big sister to Jack. Clara thrives on tender words and planned transitions. Gently preparing her for the fact that I’m about to set her down or give her a different toy gives her security. She loves when tenderness is poured on her through words and touch. In my selfishness, I don’t always want to spend the time getting to the heart of what my girls need that day. However, God is working in me and showing me that knowing and loving my girls is more important than my checklist.
Loving my kids is not possible without Jesus Christ. As 1 John 4:19 reminds us, “We love because He first loved us.” My sinful human heart is not even capable of loving my children, unless it has experienced the redeeming love of Christ. The gift of my salvation is the only reason I’m able to love my children. When God gave me salvation, He not only poured His unconditional and eternal love on me. He also modeled how to love my children. He set aside any selfish ambition by humbling Himself and taking on flesh. He served, taught, took compassion and called to repentance while on earth. Then He suffered my unthinkable punishment, so that I could be made right with Him. Through His resurrection power and thanks to His Holy Spirit, I can show my children how much they are loved by me and by their Heavenly Father.
A Mommy Who Teaches
The teacher in me has lots of fun doing games, crafts and reading with my girls. I view my girls’ education as an important aspect of my role as a mother. However, academics is not the most important teaching I do with my children. The most important things I can teach them come from the Word of God. One of my many prayers for my children is that they will be humble and teachable, submitting themselves to true wisdom that comes from the Lord. I pray Proverbs 8 for them.
“Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways.
Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts.
For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death.”Proverbs 8:32-36
I want them to recognize the God of All Wisdom as their ultimate authority and teacher. In order to teach them to obey God, scripture makes it clear that I must be faithful to discipline them to obey my authority. Discipline is one of the greatest teaching tools God gives to parents. Loving and grace-filled discipline enforces that wrong actions are an indicator of a sinful heart that can only be made right by God. The goal of discipline isn’t to create well-behaved kids. It is to point sinful children to a loving God who calls them to repentance. When I choose to faithfully discipline with love, never out of anger, I receive the blessing of teaching my kids about the holiness of our God who requires our obedience.
A Mommy Who Leads by Example
My kids are never going to have a perfect mom. That is something I truly hate to admit. So often I bear the impossible weight of being the perfect mom. The example my kids need to see is not the perfect mom. It is the repentant mom. I WILL mess up. I will yell at them. I will spend too much time on trivial things. I will put unfair expectations on them. I will discipline when I should extend grace, and extend grace when I should discipline. My kids get a front row seat to all of my mistakes, which is why they should get a front row seat to my repentance. When I sin against them, I’m praying the Lord fills me with the humility I need to immediately recognize my sin, confess it to the Lord and my children, and ask for their forgiveness. That’s the example my kids need to see.