Written By Audrey Broggi “Mothering From the Heart”
I’ve been talking with a lot of young women recently about mothering and I was reminded of a letter a young woman wrote to me some years back. Perhaps her question and my answer will encourage you:
Struggles with the Calling
She asked: “Do you honestly feel as though every woman will LOVE mothering? My sister struggles. She loves her children, she loves her family, but she doesn’t love the job of mothering. I know older ladies that gave their children their all, but they are glad that season is over with. They don’t miss the diapers, the dirty dishes, or constant laundry….but they were diligent and committed during that season.”
First of all, the issue is not that all women LOVE mothering. Although most women possess an instinctive love for their children and will mother them, God tells us in His Word that the kind of love we are to have must be taught. Secondly, if I had some time with your sister, I would ask her why she struggles. And I would listen to her answer. Then I would ask if there is a misplaced longing to be somewhere other than where God has placed her.
See, I really believe that one of the reasons so many young women struggle with “wifing” and mothering is because we want so many other things. Husband and baby get in the way. Women want it all.
Please understand, there is nothing wrong with pursuing interests – seriously – there isn’t. BUT, interests can be set aside – they can wait or they can be done/pursued in a woman’s spare time. A mother has to remember that her family can’t be managed in her spare time, nor is mothering an interest or a hobby. If we invest too much of our time in our interests, our families will suffer.
Here’s the thing – if you have a husband and children, they are your ministry. They are your fulltime job and a fulltime job cannot be done properly in a woman’s spare time. Mothering is not a hobby; it is a calling. If God has given children to you, then you are called to be a mother. Period. And if we struggle with the calling, we have to ask God to give us the heart for His calling in our lives. We have to ask Him to give us undivided hearts.
Yes, there are struggles with any calling and/or job. I immediately think of Jonah whom God called to go to Ninevah but he did not want to go. His struggle with his calling didn’t relieve him of his responsibility or his obedience to God. God said go. God put that calling on his life. And we know from his story, that Jonah didn’t love preaching or calling the people to repentance. Yet, that’s the very assignment God gave to him.
Most women, I believe, just need a fresh perspective about this high and holy calling. God never promised us that being a wife or mother or homemaker would be easy. What job is? I mean, really? In fact, God’s curse on women was in these very areas. God didn’t change His plan because Eve sinned. She’d still be a helper to her husband and mother to children, yet now these areas in her life would bring struggle.
This is the VERY REASON God says that young women must be taught even to love their husbands and children. This is the very reason older women are supposed to know doctrine as it relates to home and family. Temperaments have nothing to do with it. I constantly have to bring my feelings, attitudes, and selfishness under the scrutiny of God’s Word. He is the One Who gave this calling to women, not me.
I am a sinful, fallen woman who wants what I want, yet God hasn’t given up on me. Satan is always there tempting women to place everything and anything above His calling even good, spiritual things. He hates EVERYTHING God loves. He wants to ruin EVERYTHING God planned. We have to decide if we want to cooperate with God or the evil one.
If you have children, mothering them God’s way is your calling. God is the author of life. He is the One Who opens and closes the womb even though we think we have it all under control.
He wants His people to raise a godly heritage and once again this job, this responsibility cannot be done in our spare time.
And please understand, just because a woman is past the diapering, dirty dishes, constant laundry stage in her own life (though frankly, I don’t know if that ever ends unless you isolate yourself from people), doesn’t mean that any of those tasks are demeaning or beneath her. Those very things are humble service; a way to demonstrate to our families what Jesus taught when He poured water into the basin, began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. He took off his own towel to wash their feet.
Women have far too long wanted the place of honor rather than humble service. Yet, it is in the home where we learn to be like Jesus. Any woman can be super-spiritual with her Christian girlfriends at a women’s retreat or at church. But the rubber meets the road in the home. I could teach on this the rest of my life and still not even scratch the surface.
~ Audrey Broggi (and I plan to continue teaching these principles as long as God gives me breath)
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.