A Pre-Mother’s Day ReCharge
A few weeks ago, the hands on my wristwatch stopped. I took it to a jeweler who replaced the old battery with a new one. The battery is the mainspring power source that keeps my watch running day and night.
But what is it that keeps a dedicated mother running day and night, year after year, even decade after decade? Inspirational historical models may provide a temporary enthusiasm, but a mother of dominion needs something more. Otherwise, the grueling day and night demands of crying infants, filthy bottoms, vomit-soaked blankets, strong-willed naughtiness, physical exhaustion, heart-rending grief, dull routine, deferred gratification, lack of recognition, cultural criticism, and personal disillusionment will bring the work of her hands (Proverbs 3:13, 19, 20, 31) to a grinding halt.
There she sits exhausted on the edge of her bed, her face in her hands, wondering, “Where’s the glory in this?”
She needs something more empowering to keep her going.
She needs to gain and maintain the deep conviction of the glory, honor, and nobility of selfless service. This she finds at the foot of the cross, looking up to One who earned for Himself “the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9), by “emptying Himself, taking the form of a bond servant” (2:7), humbling “Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (2:8). There she beholds her Savior who mopped up the damning vomit of her own sin with the precious sponge of His perfect life and atoning death. The love of Christ constrains and compels her to press on (2 Corinthians 5:14). The Spirit of Christ empowers her.
John Flavel writes about the powerful, invigorating effect of a Christian’s continually looking upon and remembering her Lord Jesus hanging on that cross to save her soul from Hell:
Are you staggered at your sufferings, and hard things you must endure for Christ in this world? Does the flesh shrink back from these things, and cry, “spare yourself”? What is there in the world more likely to steel and fortify your spirit with resolution and courage, than such a sight as this? Did Christ face the wrath of men, and the wrath of God too? Did he stand as a pillar of brass, . . .till death beat the last breath out of his nostrils? And shall I shrink (back) for a trifle? Ah, He did not serve me so! I will arm myself with the like mind. (The Works of John Flavel, Vol 1, p. 270)
The writer of Hebrews puts it this way:
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:2-3, emphasis added).
There’s the glory in a self-sacrificing vocation like motherhood! A woman, who takes up this assigned cross is walking in the footsteps of the One who is now glorified at the right hand of the Majesty on high. He said: “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all” (Mark 9:35).
Dear faithful mothers, though you may not receive the immediate gratification of the applause you deserve now, on the day of glorification, when the Master’s “well dones” are handed out, you’ll not regret your Christ-like service. Each child is a talent of gold. Good and faithful servants invest their full energies into each one. Ostrich-like lazy ones wrap them up in napkins and bury them in the sand (Matthew 25:23-25).
What could bring more joy to an aging woman than to have her children rise up and call her blessed by their walking in the faith? What could bring more joy to a glorified woman than seeing around the heavenly throne a multigenerational crowd of her maternal influence? Look, Mom, you’ve fetched a thousand tongues to sing His praise!
I know that self-sacrificial, servant-hearted mothering is no air-tight guarantee of the salvation of all of our offspring. But J. C. Ryle is correct:
The path of obedience is the way to blessing. We have only to do as the servants were commanded at the marriage feast in Cana, to fill the water-pots with water, and we may safely leave it to the Lord to turn that water into wine. (The Duties of Parents, p. 8 )
So in the meantime, good and faithful Mommy, who’s taking the rugged path of selfless obedience, walk with your head held high, for you are stepping in His noble footprints. Be assured. They lead to rich joy and everlasting glory.
— from Womanly Dominion, More than a Gentle and Quiet Spirit by Mark Chanski (Calvary Press)