We have a unique opportunity as mothers to shape the way that our children view themselves, our God, and the world. No one has spent more time around me in the past eighteen years than my children. They see me read my Bible at home and sit next to me in the pew at worship. They watch me interact with others and observe my reaction to both joyful and heartbreaking circumstances. They witness the countless times when I succumb to impatience, frustration, or anger. Daily life in close quarters with my children provides ample opportunities to teach them about God’s Word. I can point them to the truth of His character, share the good news of God’s grace when they sin, and model repentance and confession when I sin against them.
motherhood sanctifies us
As mothers, we influence our children’s faith and character while also being transformed ourselves. In Romans 8:28–29, Paul wrote that “for those who love God all things work together for good,” and that God’s purpose for us is to be “conformed to the image of his Son.” God uses the challenges of parenting to conform us to Christ’s likeness.
God works our sleepless nights for our good as He teaches us to depend on Him for rest and strength (Isa. 40:30–31). God uses those moments when we don’t know how to shepherd our teenagers to show us that His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9–10). When we lose our temper, God’s Spirit convicts us of our sin and reminds us of our need for the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Rom. 7:24–8:1). As we imperfectly love, instruct, and discipline our children, our heavenly Father perfectly loves, instructs, and disciplines us. God uses motherhood to fulfill His mission in us: to sanctify us and conform us to Christ’s image.
motherhood glorifies god
Finally, we fulfill the mission of God as mothers as we glorify Him. When we serve our families, we are serving the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 3:24). Even before our efforts bear any other fruit, our obedience brings glory to God. This truth can bring encouragement when our parenting efforts feel futile. We will have days when it’s hard to see any good coming from the hours spent cutting up grapes, folding laundry, and disciplining your child for the same behavior you corrected twenty times yesterday. Take heart, child of God. As you obey Jesus’ command to lay down your life for others, you’re fulfilling the mission of God, and your humble sacrifice brings glory to Him.
The details of God’s mission for us as moms will change in different seasons of life. Sleepless nights with infants turn into late nights waiting for a teen to arrive at home and then nights spent in prayer for adult children who are no longer sleeping under our roof. But in every season, God is at work through mothers. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58).