Last Sunday, our pastor shared a story about his oldest son (age 8) catching his 1st catfish. This was a reminder from God that we must enjoy our children and these special moments with them. I’m trying to learn to make special moments with my children where I can, even if it’s as simple as running weekend errands.
My child, listen when your father corrects you.
Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
Last Tuesday I started reading a chapter of Psalm and Proverbs each day. This verse of Proverbs 1 stood out to me. Like all children, my boys sometimes need extra disciplining when they don’t listen to dad or disrespect mom. But at the same time, God spoke to me that I must remember to mind HIM when he corrects me. Often I do things that I know I’ve been convicted by the Holy Spirit of doing, yet I make excuses just like my boys do to justify my behavior. This has to stop. Until I respect my Heavenly Father’s instructions, it’ll be more difficult to garner that same respect from my own children.
Chapter 2 – Beautiful by Design: Exploring the Meaning of Biblical Motherhood
See to it that no one takes you captive
through philosophy and empty deception,
according to the tradition of men,
according to the elementary principles of the world,
rather than according to Christ.
Some things I underlined while reading…
The heart of motherhood has been broken by sin’s perversion of God’s design throughout all history. Families have been broken apart. Parents have failed in their calling, and children have rebelled. Men and women have demeaned and mistreated each other and their offspring, and those offspring have passed along the painful results to their own children. (p.20-21)
God’s Word gives us the map or plan for the family so that we might better understand what he had in mind for us. … Exploring his design for families and for motherhood cannot only help us understand what has gone wrong, but also how, with God’s help, we can move closer to the joyful, fulfilling, and vitally important role he intended for us from the very beginning. (p.21)
These statements resonate with me because of me own childhood. My parents were “there” for me, but were so preoccupied by their own issues and careers (and my younger brothers) that I often felt pushed to the wayside. I rebelled. Once I became a mother, I struggled to identify with how what my beliefs of an “ideal mother” should be since I felt I never had that. I often see myself following the direction my mother did and I don’t like it.
Originally, each of us was given the purpose of partnering with God to rule over the world and make it productive. Each of us is created with a capacity and purpose to be productive and creative in life – according to our drives, gifts, and strengths. Each of us will be required to give an accounting of how we handled this responsibility. (p.24)
This is what I need to get a handle on. How to subdue my own little corner of the world while still being a respectful and submissive, Godly wife and mother.
Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
When God chose to bring Jesus into the world, as a full reflection of his glory and being, he chose to bring him into a simple family with a mother and father, and eventually, siblings. It was within the context of this home that Jesus was trained and instructed and loved and nurtured, both protected and prepared for his ministry ahead. Jesus upheld and affirmed the original design of marriage and family and stressed the needs and concerns of children. (p.25)
God equipped a woman from the very beginning to bring life into the world from her own body and to nurture growing families. … He even structured our brains to make it easier for us to handle several tasks at once – as the tasks of caring for a household and small children demand. (p.27)
Maybe if more of our husbands understood this, they’d complain less? LOL
A woman’s primary responsibility in a family, especially if she is blessed with children, is that of establishing and maintaining a home. (p.28)
Ahhh, here we have the crux of my ultimate struggle within my own life. Circumstances not within our control have resulted in a role reversal within our home. Manny has primarily been a stay at home dad since Alex was born, while I’m the sole income provider. I would love to be the Proverbs 31 / Titus 2 wife, but I just don’t know how to do it when I also have to hold down a full time job. I simply can’t do it all myself, and with his FM sometimes leaving him in bed all day b/c of the pain, much of the typical household chores fall on to the boys to complete. Being teen/pre-teen boys, however, things are often not done correctly (or at all); Dad gets angry b/c he’s hurting and can’t do it himself as much as he’d like to; I get angry b/c I don’t want to come home from a busy day at work to a messy house, no dinner, and yelling. It leaves all of us tired and frustrated and nobody wanting to interact much with anyone else. I certainly don’t feel like I’m being a Godly mother on those days. :`(
Many in our culture today look at the biblical view of family, children, and gender roles with much disdain and difficulty. When God’s commands are obeyed, people flourish because they are living in harmony with the way they were designed – and the One who designed them. (p.29)
Loving my children and nurturing their hearts and minds while training their characters and leading them to know the Lord and his purposes has satisfied my soul’s need for purpose. (p.29)
I do feel like I’ve satisfied my purpose in being a wife and mother; it was the one thing I’ve always wanted to be more than anything else. I don’t feel I’ve done an adequate job in nurturing their hearts and minds, nor do I feel I’ve done a good job in leading them to know the Lord. I was 30 before I myself gave my life to Christ, making them 4 and 10. I feel like we definitely missed that prime window of opportunity with Alex and now we struggle even more hoping that he’ll get the message now before it’s too late.
The common purpose for all women is to glorify God in whatever circumstances and boundaries of life we find ourselves, trusting him to show us how we can best use our gifts for him. (p.29)
Our mutual commitment has provided us with a strong emotional glue that has given our marriage meaning in the midst of life’s inevitable ups and downs. Our vision of serving the Lord together through our family keeps us ever moving forward. (p.30)
I strive for this!!
Destroying the foundation of the family, which was designed by God to be the stable foundation of life, is a natural place for satan to attack. (p.31)
When the biblical mission of motherhood is devalued and disappears from culture, the whole next generation suffers morally, emotionally, and spiritually. (p.34)
The most important factor in being successful as a mother is to turn our hearts to God, to seek his will, and to allow him to begin making sense out of the messes we’ve made of our lives. … For it is in finding God and submitting to him that we will find the purpose and meaning that he designed us to experience. As we learn to fulfill the design for which we were created, we will find the love, peace, and freedom that we long for. (p.37)