Happy Mother’s Day!
From what I’ve observed in my last 18 years of being a dad, I’ve noticed that being a mother is no easy task.
Something always amazes me about our children. Our kids were born just about as close to one another as they can be. They were raised together going through all of the same seasons of life together from learning how to crawl, walk, talk, potty-train, elementary, high school, and now moving into adulthood. They had the same parents, family, neighbors. They went to the same school, rode the same bus, had many of the same teachers.
However, they still are as different from each other as they could possibly be! In fact, Becky has twin brothers and even sharing the same womb at the same time, they’re just as different from one another.
For this reason alone, I can understand why there is no guidebook for parenting and especially mothering. There is no singular method of parenting that anyone could write and follow that would be the perfect fit for every child.
It might be a bit surprising, but I would say that even the Bible, itself, offers up only principles and general guidelines to help parents raise up their children in the way that they should go. When it comes to the specifics, well, we’re in desperate need of assistance from the very One who knitted them together in your womb. We need the Holy Spirit!
Although motherhood has an incredible number of challenges and obstacles, I felt that the Holy Spirit wanted to offer up some assistance this morning on one particular area that seems to trip up women the most when it comes to mothering their children. Their own thoughts.
I’ve watched my wife walk through many ups and downs while mothering our children. However, there is a giant obstacle that seems to trip up so many mothers out there. This obstacle is a voice within that slips out of mother’s mouths every now and then. In their greatest moments of weaknesses, you may hear laments like:
I’m a failure.
I’m not good enough.
I’m never going to get this right.
I’ve screwed these kids up.
I’ve failed them.
Everything that I do just falls apart.
I’m not a good mom.
Why, just why?
And perhaps one of the rawest is a simple tearful cry of:
These types of lies come from a voice within that always seems to sneak in when moms are at their weakest.
There are so many things that I can help out with as a father, but that voice within is one that I’ve never seemed to be able to help with in any way. When I speak the truth from my perspective about how incredible I truly think the mother of my children is, that lying voice convinces her that it speaks truth and I’m just trying to be nice.
Jesus’ disciples were struggling with their own grief and overwhelming emotions and trying to understand what was going on and to understand what Jesus was saying and in the middle of that mess, Jesus told them this.
John 15:26 (AMP)
when the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, He will testify and bear witness about Me.
Moms, when you are at your weakest and lowest, you are not alone! God has sent you an advocate, a helper, a comforter, a counselor, a strengthener, a standby, a friend. God is with you through His Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Truth whose voice can slaughter, deconstruct, demolish, destroy all of those lies that you are feeling about yourself.
The Holy Spirit that testifies about Jesus and who you truly are in Him. The Holy Spirit who helps you to understand and become who you already are in Him.
Jesus then goes and explains that His disciples were going to face some pretty hard times. Jesus didn’t sugar-coat it and said that there will even be those who kill them and think they were doing God a service. That’s when He explained the purpose for why He was sending the Holy Spirit to us:
so that you will not stumble or be caught off guard and fall away. I have told you these things [now], so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them. When He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears [from the Father—the message regarding the Son], and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future].
In those times of overwhelming weakness when you feel like you just can’t; focus in and listen for the Voice of Truth. The Holy Spirit will disclose to you that it’s not over yet! You may feel like you are finished, but He is not! He has plans to renew and restore your hope and strength! He wants to reveal to you the good things that are coming in the future to give you the courage and strength to keep moving on!
Jesus went on to say:
20 …your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
In the same way as it was at their birth, there will be seasons when you feel like you just can’t with your children.
You know, I was recently really surprised and even a bit discouraged to learn a truth from some parents who are seasons ahead of us in life… Apparently, your children do not stop being your children at the age of 18? 🙂
All throughout life as a mother, there will be seasons where you feel like just giving up. There will be seasons when you will feel like you just can’t possibly endure any more. However, all of those seasons will come to an end. If you just keep pressing on in the strength and direction of the Lord, you will birth a new season and your current overwhelming pain will be overcome by an unspeakable joy! In just a moment, you will forget all about the hardships as they are swallowed up by joy!
It’s sort of like when your toddler goes quiet in the other room and you turn the corner to see them in the bathroom with Vaseline and baby powder and liquid soap poured out everywhere. Then, before your brain and emotions catch up with each other from the shock, you notice scribbling all over the wall in brown crayon except there is no brown crayon and then you notice what they are holding in their hand… Yeah, all mothers have been there…
Then, in the middle of your shock and horror and grossed-out-edness, they waddle over and wrap you up in a big hug with a big smile and tell you how much they love you. Somehow, their pure love makes that mess a bit less messy…
Personally, I never thought that the toddler years were going to end. Of course, we had three kids all going through them at the same time. We would find ourselves arguing over whose turn it was to discipline the kids because neither of us felt like we had the strength to do it. However, those seasons of disciple eventually resulted in a harvest of righteousness as they grew up and matured and chose to do what is right on their own. Well, most of the time. That early discipline paid off and was well worth the effort invested.
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
As a mother this morning, the season of life that you are going through may not seem pleasant right now at this time. However, when placed in God’s hands, He is able to produce from it a harvest of righteousness and peace. God is able to bring beauty from ashes, life from death, and to work ALL things, yes ALL THINGS, together for good. He is able to end this season, no matter how painful it might be, in His joy!
Not only do mothers have to struggle with that voice within, but there are also the countless voices from those around you. Others who tell you how to parent like the stranger at the store while your kid is in the middle of a melt-down. Others like those perfect, over-achieving mothers on social media posting studio-perfect moments full of nothing by smiles and sunshine. Others like their own mother and mother-in-law who always have advice to offer up whether you ask for it or not.
This brings to mind the account of Hannah in the Bible. Hannah was very loved by her husband and she desperately wanted to be a mother, but she just could not get pregnant. She often cried and was so overwhelmed by this depression that she wouldn’t even eat. To make matters worse, she had this encounter at the temple, aka, church:
1 Samuel 1:10-20
10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
Because of Hannah’s gracious and honest response to Eli’s accusations, the very same one who heaped judgment upon her turned around and gave her a hope that removed her depression!
19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
Mothers face not only the voice within and those who offer up advice on how to be a good mother, but they also often face accusing voices. Voices who falsely accuse and judge and condemn mothers of wrong-doing.
This morning, whatever voices may be ringing through the minds of every mother here, the Holy Spirit desires to drown them all out so that you clearly hear His voice of truth! After all, you are not who you say you are, you are not who the enemy says you are, you aren’t who others say you are,
YOU ARE WHO THE LORD SAYS YOU ARE!
You are not a failure because it’s simply not over yet!
You are good enough! In fact, God intentionally chose YOU to be their mother.
You have access to all of the goodness of God and it is that goodness that will mark and follow your motherhood!
God knit together and fashioned that child within your womb:
Knowing full well every one of your weaknesses and strengths.
Knowing full well all of the mistakes that you would make.
Knowing full well all of the mistakes that your child would make.
He still chose YOU!
YOU are exactly what they need.
Through Christ, you have everything that the both of you need and in abundance!
God’s word encourages you to:
Be still, and know that I am God
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.
1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one (Jesus) who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.
Hang in there and you will hear the Lord declare of you:
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”