Welcome to my daughter’s weekly book discussion of The Mission of Motherhood: Touching Your Child’s Heart for Eternity! I am so excited that so manly of you signed up to study the book along with me! We’ve had a number of new ladies join us this week, so be sure to go back and read their introductions.
What do you think of the book so far? Has it been an encouragement to you? I don’t know about you, but I came away from this week’s reading feeling so encouraged and praising God for His wisdom and wonderful design for families!
Today we are discussing Chapter 2 – Beautiful By Design. So, let’s get started!
On Saturday evening, I came down with an illness that I caught from my children. I was so excited to haul my weary body, sore throat and stuffy nose into bed that night! However, my much-needed rest was short-lived when I heard footsteps pattering down the hall toward my bedroom only an hour after I had fallen asleep. A scared, crying and congested little girl proceeded to regale me with stories of her bad dream about “bad bananas” (?!) After I thought I had calmed her down, I returned her to her bed. I snuffled my way back into my own bed and snuggled in, only to hear whimpering over the baby monitor. I realized that this wouldn’t be a “quick-fix” kind of night!
As I sat beside her bed 45 minutes later, still trying to calm her fears and her coughs, I had plenty of time to ponder Chapter 2, and so that’s what I did.
I thought about the grand sounding “mission” and design of motherhood that we’ve been reading about. It all sounds so very important, doesn’t it? I wondered if sitting up with a child in the middle of the night was part of this grand design or just one of those everyday things that all moms just have to do. Sometimes, there seems to be a disconnect between the idealistic vision of motherhood and the day-to-day mundane sacrifices.
Does the way in which we handle the little, seemingly insignificant moments of motherhood really matter? Or do we as Christian mothers just tell ourselves that is means something to make ourselves feel better?
This is the question that I think was clearly answered in Chapter 2.
Here are Sally’s thoughts from her study of God’s design for mothers and families in general:
1. Family is at the center of God’s design for all people and is a center of life from which God’s work and redemption will begin.
Men and women were created in God’s image and were called together to a lifetime commitment. They were meant to live as partners and to rule over God’s earth together. And each person would come into this world through a mother and father who would work together to give the family stability and purpose! (p. 21)
2. Children were an integral part of God’s plan from the beginning.
God equipped a woman from the very beginning to bring life into the world from her own body and to nurture growing families. (p. 27). From her body’s physical design, to her focus on emotions, to her hormones – she is just right for bearing children! Children were not simply an afterthought or *bonus* of man and woman’s physical union!
“But did He not make them one,
Having a remnant of the Spirit?
And why one?
He seeks godly offspring.”
~ Malachi 2:15
3. Men and women were created with biological difference and corresponding roles within their overall calling.
Central to a woman’s design – though not the whole of it – is the privilege of bearing children, caring for them, and overseeing her home and household. (p. 30) In Titus chapter 2, older women were instructed to encourage younger women to be productive in providing emotional stability and encouragement, physical sustenance, and spiritual encouragement for their families, as well as managing and directing the necessary work of running the household (p. 28).
With such an exciting design for families, it is quite amazing how our culture has tossed it aside to a great extent.
“Many in our culture today look at the biblical view of family, children, and gender roles with much disdain and difficulty. But we must nonetheless consider that God Himself directed through His Word that it was a “very good” design, the best plan for bringing about His purposes on earth and for blessing all people.”
So, why did society’s view on motherhood change?
When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they severed the close relationship they once shared with God. From that point on, humans no longer reasoned as God reasoned, and they began to make up their own theories about their purpose in life.
When the God-ordained purpose for the marriage relationship is lost, it sets off an inevitable chain of changing priorities:
1. Marriage outside of God’s design becomes primarily an institution where men and women try to meet their personal needs.
She points out that yes, men and women still hunger for real love and want to find a soul mate. But a selfish purpose often remains under the romantic ideal. The relationship often suffers because the glue that was intended to hold the marriage together is not there. (p. 32,33)
2. When passing on God’s ways to the next generation and building a Godly heritage is no longer an integral reason for getting married, children tend to lose their proper place and value in the scheme of life.
Instead of being welcomed as blessings from God and part of God’s divine calling for parents, they come to be valued by how well they fill the parents’ own needs. Some parents turn to their children for emotional fulfillment – to make themselves feel good. Other parents, not understanding the mission and reason for having children, come to see children as a time drain, a monetary expense, a career impediment, and a curtailer of personal freedom. (p. 33)
3. Once children lose their value in a culture, so does the work of bringing them into this world and tending them once they are here.
Instead of being revered, respected, and supported by society, mothering is devalued. Even when lip service is paid to the value of family, there is still the underlying assumption that only “real” work – financial performance, career achievement, or some other contribution outside the home – counts in terms of value and success. (p. 34)
What About Us?
With whose opinion do we align our belief about marriage and motherhood?
Our own personal feelings?
Sally shares how understanding God’s design gives her purpose:
“Establishing my household as a place in which the greatness of God and a devotion to Him is lived out each day has given me focus. Loving my children and nurturing their hearts and minds while training their characters and leading them to know the Lord and His purposes has satisfied my soul’s need for purpose.”
Similarly, because I have a sense of and appreciation for God’s design for motherhood, I can patiently move through the long waking hours of the night with a sick child. I know that I am fulfilling one of the purposes God created me for – that of demonstrating love and service to our of His children.
Therefore, it does not faze me one iota when someone says, “Oh, you’re just a mom?” or “Oh, that’s a shame that you’re not using your degree!”
I can tune that noise out because I am excited about God’s design! He knows what works best. I have to simply trust His design and keep walking along the path He has laid before me.
Now, it’s your turn!
How does knowing God’s design for families affect your day-to-day life as a mother? Does God’s design conflict with any of the messages that you are hearing, either from yourself or others?
Join the discussion by sharing your answer to one of the study questions from Chapter 2, a favorite quote, or your thoughts on the chapter in the comment section below.
Your contributions to this book discussion group are what makes it so beneficial for everyone, so don’t be shy! We look forward to hearing your thoughts!
I’ll see you next Monday, October 21st, to discuss Chapter 3: The Undivided Heart.
To read previous posts in this series, click HERE.
*Taken from my daughter Book Club blog on Mission of Motherhood. You can read her other interesting articles on Christian womanhood and mothering, please visit her site Where My Treasure Is. Thanks for joining us on “Mothering Mondays.”