Friday, June 18, 2010

Instructions for Moms - Part 1

Motherhood is a high calling. The Bible tells us to teach and discipline and nourish and protect and love and prepare our kids. The responsibilities of motherhood are many and demanding and if you are doing them well, tiring, repetitive, challenging, and it can all easily become weary and discouraging. I’d like to offer you some instructions found in scripture that can be applied to anything, but through these series of posts I will apply to motherhood and I hope you find it encouraging.

-Part 1-

Be humble and recognize that you can’t do it on your own

Even the most organized, best-intentioned, and well-prepared mom will quickly realize after a few weeks into motherhood that even she is frustrated and tired and things aren’t going the way she planned them to go. The sooner you can admit your limitations, your shortcomings, your sin, your pride and acknowledge your dependency on God and your need for Him, the sooner you will find joy and delight in mothering.

In Isaiah 66:2 we read- This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.

God looks to the one who is humble. And he promises blessings to those who are humble.

Matthew 5: 3-6 Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

These are promises of God. Do you believe them? When you are humble and truly broken in heart from your sin do you not feel God the most? If you are truly hungry to do what is right, will God not fill you? Humble yourself. Ask God to stir the desires of your heart towards Him.

In his book Humility: True Greatness, C.J. Mahaney defines humility as “honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness”. And the opposite of humility is pride. Pride is “when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him”. No one is immune to the affects of pride. Mahaney says, “It’s not if pride exists in your heart; it’s where pride exists and how pride is being expressed in your life.” In what areas of your life, as a wife and mother, are you contending for God’s supremacy? Mahaney also spends some time in his book explaining ways he has found to cultivate humility and weaken pride. His first suggestion is to begin your day acknowledging your need for God. Here's an excerpt from his book:

How we begin our morning so often sets the tone for the day. I am convinced that the most decisive time of our day is very often our first waking moments, because they color everything to come.

The first daily item from my list is this: Begin your day by acknowledging your dependence upon God and your need for God. Purpose by grace that your first thought of the day will be an expression of your dependence on God, your need for God, and your confidence in God.

Sin--including especially the sin of pride--is active, not passive. Sin doesn't wake up tired, because it hasn't been sleeping. When you wake up in the morning, sin is right there, fully awake, ready to attack. So rather than be attacked by sin in the morning, I've chosen to go on the offensive. I've chosen to announce to sin, "I'm at war with you. I know you are there, and I'm after you." From the moment I awake, I've learned to make statements to God about my dependence upon God, and in this way I'm humbling myself before God.

This is simply a strategy for taking control of the thoughts we allow in our mind. In his excellent book Spiritual Depression, Martyn Lloyd-Jones asked, "Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?" That's profound, and it's true.

Take a moment to review and examine your pattern of thinking from yesterday. Did you spend more time speaking truth to yourself, or was most of your time spent listening to yourself? Most of us spend more time listening to lies than we do speaking truth to ourselves. And the listening process usually starts as soon as we get up. The alarm has rudely interrupted the gift of sleep, and the listening begins. As we stumble through our morning routine, we're not directing the thoughts in our mind--we're simply at their mercy. We entertain complaints about what happened yesterday or worries about what's coming today. We look in the bathroom mirror and assess the damage, then brood over how we feel. We're not in charge of our thinking. We're just there.

But instead, you can declare war on pride by speaking truth to yourself and set the right tone for the day by mentally affirming your dependence upon God and your need for Him.

Whether you acknowledge it or not, you are dependent on God and we need to seek Him to know how to mother our children.

Psalm 25:9 - He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

Or how about Proverbs 11:2 - When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.

Oh how we need wisdom, godly wisdom as we shape our children! We can’t possibly know what is best for our kids. Humble yourself. We can’t do this on our own….

Next week...But, you can through Christ because He is sufficient-

1 comment:

Granola said...

That was so encouraging and challenging to read Heidi! Thank you!