May is a quite month for mothers. In this 31-day period, moms are driven to the brink of insanity with more responsibilities than they can possibly fulfill (field trips to chaperone, end of school parties, end of sports season parties, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, summer camp registration, field day etc). Then, about mid-month, we pause the mommy tsunami to celebrate Mother’s Day. It’s kind of a Jekyll and Hyde month – light on the Jekyll, heavy on the Hyde.
Often – not just in May – motherhood can feel like a synonym for chauffeur, short-order cook, maid, homework tutor, personal shopper, nurse or school volunteer (in addition to the fierce professional demands a mom might have outside the home). But focusing on the mundane traits of motherhood can siphon the value right out of this highly and heavenly esteemed position.
This is where I have to be very careful. Where my mind goes when my mother load is full is crucial to the value I place on the kingdom work God has called me to do with my children.
If I’m not relying on truth from God’s Word, I can easily fall into the “I’m just a mom” mind-set. Woe is me. But the truth is, there has never has been and never will be “just a mom.” The very nature of motherhood carries a supreme impact and immeasurable value. There’s no “just” about anything a mom does or is.
There may be other places where we get more gratitude, applause and recognition, but motherhood is a ministry. A full-time ministry. It’s your opportunity to change the world for the better, one little set of eyes and ears at a time. And that is true for stay-at-home moms and moms who work outside the home.
One of my favorite examples of the importance of motherhood is found in 2 Timothy. It’s subtle and can easily be missed, but there is no mistaking the impact of motherhood in this letter from Paul to Timothy. Paul mentions Timothy’s mother, Eunice, when he encourages Timothy to fight the good fight as they lay the groundwork for the world’s first Christians. Paul was Timothy’s mentor, but he points to Eunice’s sincere faith as he motivates Timothy (2 Timothy 1:5). Paul reminds Timothy that his mother surrounded him with scripture from infancy, and he needs to rely on God’s Word for the important work they are doing as first-century Christians (2 Timothy 3:15).
Did you get that? Paul – the Paul who wrote most of the New Testament – pointed Timothy to his own mother as an example of courageous faith as they did the work of Christ, which held the penalty of death. Paul essentially tells Timothy, “This is life-changing, world-changing dangerous work we are doing because of Christ. Remember what your faithful mom taught you.”
And that really is our charge as mothers – to remain faithful. In all the added responsibilities of May, remain faithful to what God has called you to do: Spend time in His Word, pray, and share His truth with your children.
Being a mother brings many small opportunities to do big things. Don’t fall for counterfeit glory promised by lesser endeavors or thoughts that a mother’s work isn’t important. Not in the history of ever has there been “just a mother.” My fellow mothers, our endeavor is glorious, crucial and eternal.
Even as we fight the good fight through May, I pray we would take additional words from Paul to heart: “Do the work of an evangelist and discharge all the duties of (our motherhood) ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:5, parenthesis mine).
“No man is poor who has a Godly mother.” Abraham Lincoln
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