Motherhood can be a delight but also a danger, if not done with caution.
If you’ve ever wondered how someone can go from one job to another to another to another in just a matter of days or even a matter of hours, ask a mom.
Moms are seriously Heaven-sent. Most of the time, they are the chef in the house, the housekeeper, the nurse or doctor, the teacher, the project manager, the ceo, the baker, and the list could go on and on. I mean, let’s admit it, moms are pretty great, aren’t they?
However, in the midst of all that “mom-greatness” there are dangers that we can easily overlook or not even realize. Today, I will mention two dangers in motherhood from a two-part series. While these may not all apply to you, I hope that you would glean and take away something that you can apply to your motherhood journey.
I’ve always wondered (and still do) how some moms make it without Christ. Although I’ve been a Christian for a while and a mother for five years, I can honestly admit that I haven’t always parented with Christ as my guide. And it is during those times that I become impatient, short-fused, frustrated, and hot-tempered with my children. After all, you are dealing with little sinners who put on the cutest, most adorable faces but in just a few seconds, they become like little devils. So for this first danger, I’m talking to two specific moms – the one who personally knows Christ and the one who has only heard about Him but doesn’t know Him on a personal level. You know which one you are. But if you identify with the latter, I hope you wouldn’t leave the same. May you allow Christ to be your help in this journey we call Motherhood.
I grew up in a non-Christian family. We rarely attended church. We only prayed when we were in trouble. And the Bible was never a priority. My father raised us to be good people. And I can honestly say that overall, we’ve lived up to that. My older sister and I moved to the States from the Philippines, along with my father when I was only five. My younger brother and sister stayed behind with my mother. We reunited in 2014. I’d say that we haven’t done our society any harm. In fact, none of us are criminals, murderers, or whatever else is considered a disgrace to our society.
Growing up, I did my best to get good grades, obey my elders, respect my teachers and others, and befriend the unfriendly.
But Christ didn’t die on the cross so we could do our best to be “good people.” He died so he can save us from our shortcomings and sins.
In April, I became a mother for five years. In those five years, the Lord has blessed my husband and me with three beautiful but very different girls. Motherhood hasn’t been easy but no one ever said that it would. It truly is a journey because you are going from one place or point in time to another –constantly.
I have known ladies with children all grown up but it wasn’t until recently that they came to know Christ as Saviour. It’s a little more difficult to start training their older children in the ways of the Lord now. But on the same note, there are mothers who have known Christ at an early age or stage in their life and did their best to raise good humans but failed in raising godly humans. These dangers I will mention may not be quite prevalent in your life now, but we must still stand on guard because sometimes, dangers creep up upon us and if we aren’t careful, they can harm us in ways we never thought possible.
Mothering without Christ
Although there are many in the world today who don’t know Jesus as Savior, they would be considered as great mothers and may even have amazing children. On the contrary, there are mothers who know Jesus as Savior and would be considered as amazing ladies but maybe failed in the area of parenting their children. Still, some of their children may have turned out right. However, I am not here to give you statistics; I am here to ask you one simple question: Do YOU know Jesus as your Savior? Knowing Jesus in your head is very different from knowing Him in your heart.
Although I consider myself a Christian mom, there are many times I have mothered without Christ, meaning I wasn’t led by His Holy Spirit, thus resulting in me lashing out, becoming impatient, or causing tension with one of my children. I have seen how many children on television treat their parents and that is what our culture is engraving in our children’s hearts if we are not careful. Television in and of itself is not sinful but many times what is displayed and taught, is.
Just think about this:
You are a mother who is a sinner and have a child who is a sinner. You both have your own minds. You both might think you know better. And this mindset might go on for the rest of your life. If we don’t read the Bible, then we won’t know what God’s Word says about how to be a mother to our children and if we don’t know how to follow God’s Word, we will follow something else, usually culture. We might even follow our own hearts and what we think is right and just in our motherhood journey.
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)
If you read the Bible, you will find which moms to emulate and which ones to avoid being like.
a. Athaliah – she massacred all but one of her own family so she could rule over Judah (2 Kings 11).
b. Herodias, Herod Antipas’ wife. She was responsible for the death of John the Baptist because he told her and her husband they were in sin. She could not get Herod to kill John – so she made her daughter dance sensually to get him to agree to anything she asked (Mark 14:8). Her request … John the Baptist’s head.
c. Eve. The mother of every living person. Imagine being remembered as the person who broke our relationship with God because you ate something you shouldn’t have. Her character transferred to her children. Two of her sons were part of the first homicide in human history and became the first mom to bury a child.
On the contrary…
d. Sarah – She waited 25 years to have a child (Isaac). She gives hope to every lady who is still waiting to have a child.
e. Hannah – She was a woman of prayer. She prayed for a son and when she had him she kept her promise to give him back to the Lord.
f. Naomi – She was such an incredible woman that Ruth chose to stay with her after the death of her husband. Something about Naomi caused Ruth to love her, care for her, support her like she was her own mother.
g. Mary. The mother of Jesus. Pregnant as a teenager — Big problem in that time. She could have been stoned in the center of the village – but she and Joseph chose to protect their child and not just any child — the child that would save us from sins.
Can you mother without Christ? Sure you can. But it’s going to o be dangerous. Without the guide of the Holy Spirit is God, we will go through motherhood trying to survive rather than thrive.
I don’t know about you but I would rather thrive than survive in mothering my children. There’s a great difference.
Mothering without Rest
I remember the times of when my kids were newborns…I wondered if I would ever get any rest. My children now are 5, 4, and almost 2. I still may not be sleeping through the night because of my youngest who is still breastfeeding but it is definitely better than waking up every 2 hours to feed my babies. Ever since I had my first child, I did not enjoy waking up in the morning… I struggled with getting my quiet time with Jesus in on a consistent basis, which led me to becoming a night owl.
However, when my daughter began Kindergarten this past year, I had to force myself into getting up earlier than usual…I am so thankful that my husband is a morning person. I stayed up later last night so he was the one that helped our daughter get dressed for school this morning. In fact, he usually is the one that helps her get started and by the time she’s almost done, I usually get up and help her finish. So we work together but when your baby is a newborn, it can be rough, can’t it?
Thank the Lord for good husbands who help us out.
But rest is necessary in order for our bodies and minds to properly function. Most adults are supposed to get 7-9 hours of sleep but the majority of us probably don’t. We live in such a fast-paced world that we often forget how to rest. If you’re like me, you sometimes need that reminder that it’s ok if not everything on your to-do list gets accomplished as you planned.
Jesus rested. YUP! He did. Although He was 100% God and 100% man, He still needed to rest. It was vital to His ministry. He set the example for us. If He was going to be able to perform all the miracles He did or minister to other people, rest was necessary. Therefore, if we are to function as we would like, rest is necessary. But if He is God, why would He need to rest? Wouldn’t He have all the energy in the world? That is for another blog post!
Anyways, back to the topic, I cannot imagine staying up for 24 hours straight. Yet, some people do and the results of sleep deprivation don’t just affect you, but they affect those around you or with you. Some results are moodiness, depression, forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, difficulty learning new concepts, and just a lack of functioning well.
If we fail to get the rest we need, we will not be able to “mother” well. We will become more irritable, impatient, and frustrated with our children., causing us to not demonstrate the love of Christ. I am not saying that it is just sleep deprivation that causes this — there can be other contributing factors. But if we can avoid this danger, we should avoid it.
Mothering without Prayer
"Pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
That doesn’t mean that every second of every single day, you ought to be uttering words to Jesus… but what it means is that prayer should become so ingrained in our lives that without it, we wouldn’t survive.
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”Martin Luther King
“Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”Max Lucado
“The reality is, my prayers don’t change God. But, I am convinced prayer changes me. Praying boldly boots me out of that stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself.”Lysa TerKeurst
“True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that – it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.”Charles Spurgeon
“As you pray for your children, you will find it to be an unending habit of your heart. Being able to positively affect your children in prayer will keep you in close contact with them and actively involved in their lives, even after they leave home. And it will continually contribute to your joy as a parent!”Stormie Omartian
I’ll be the first to admit it — I don’t pray for my children as much as I should or as much as I desire. I know that prayer is powerful and I know that prayer can “move mountains.” But I am still human and I am still a sinner and I still have a finite mind. So this is where faith comes in. We need to have faith and confidence in the Lord that He is able — He is able to change lives; He is able to save our children; He is able to give us the grace we need to mother our children.
Remember the story of Lois, Eunice, and Timothy? Lois was the grandmother of Timothy and Eunice was the mother of Timothy. Although Timothy did not have that fatherly figure, Paul became his father in the faith. Paul, formerly known as Saul took Timothy under his wing and trained him and taught him. But long before Paul came, Timothy’s grandmother and mother were able to instill, invest, influence, and impact his life for the better. Timothy turned out to be a man who loved God. This didn’t happen as a result of Eunice and Lois being selfish. I’m sure there were many days and nights that they invested in praying for Timothy.
How about the story of Hannah? Hannah prayed earnestly for God to give her a child. In return, she vowed to give him back to serve God with his life once he was only enough. She prayed and prayed and eventually God blessed her with a son, whom she named Samuel.
I’ve seen a commercial about a football player being asked to say one thing on television and you know what he said, “Thanks, Mom. I love you.” Does that mean that his dad wasn’t there or that he wasn’t grateful for his dad? Maybe. Maybe not. But the influence his mother had on him was prevalent and possibly the prayers, both known and seen and unknown and unseen had an impact on his life that would last for years to come.
Now, you may not be raising a future football player or someone famous, but you have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your children and you can do that through prayer. Will it be easy? Sometimes. But even when it isn’t easy, keep praying.
“It’s the best of jobs. It’s the most difficult of jobs. It can bring you the greatest joy. It can cause the greatest pain. There is nothing as fulfilling and exhilarating. There’s nothing so depleting and exhausting. No area of your life can make you feel more like a success when everything is going well. No area of your life can make you feel more like a failure when things go wrong.”Stormie Omartian
God doesn’t dismiss a humble heart ever. And when we pray, we are acknowledging our finiteness, our inability to do what God is able to do. It is in our weakness that God can truly reveal his strength.
I would rather have the God of the universe, the Creator of the world to lead the hearts of my children than my sinful, human, incapable mind to lead my children.
Praying for your children is an investment that money can’t buy and it’s an investment that has an interest rate that far exceeds the time we put into it.Tweet
So, how is your mothering? Do any of these dangers apply to you? Are you at your wit’s end and see yourself threading on a thin wire? If so, maybe you’ve been mothering without Christ. Until you know Jesus, there is nothing and no one in this world that can give you the peace, the strength, and the courage to mother your children more than Christ can. Maybe you’ve been raising your children and the daily mundane tasks are so overwhelming that you just want to give up… you want to throw in the towel because you realize that you can’t do it. And friend, you’re right.
You can’t. But God can!
And He can use you and He wants to use you.
So let Him. Rest in Him.
It is when we are resting in Him that we can find the strength to continue going on.
And lastly, have you been neglecting the most powerful tool we have as Christians and as moms?
It’s powerful and it’s free. However, it will cost you your time and maybe tears but there is nothing that proves that we need God’s help more than when we come boldly unto His throne of grace.
Join me next week as we continue the second part and talk about three more dangers in motherhood!