“Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice” (Proverbs 23:25 ESV).
If ever there was a time to celebrate motherhood, it is now! Who would have ever thought that the act of mothering would need to be emphasized as a good and right aspiration? That raising a little boy to be a strong godly man, or that raising a little girl to be a strong godly woman might be scorned by some? But not here!
I am addicted to joy. As I have said before, I am not naïve enough to think that 24/7 joy comes easily. In fact, I often find myself pleading with God for the sun to shine through the burdens and concerns that wear on my heart. That is exactly why I am addicted to joy. I know that joy is a gift of the Spirit—something we cannot manufacture in ourselves. However, God has graciously allowed us many human experiences that bring a healthy dose of joy into the mix. One of those experiences is motherhood.
Ahhhhh, young moms of babies and toddlers…it is true! Even if we have to rub our sleep-deprived eyes to see it some days. Even if we have to sit down and stare into their little faces and remember it. We can cuddle them and soak up their innocence. We cherish those drooling baby kisses and those ‘sticky arm’ toddler hugs. Then we know that motherhood is joy-filled experience.
Ahhhhh, not-as-young any more moms of teens…it is true. Even if we have to shake our heads in wonder at the things that they do and the things that come out of their mouths. Even if we shudder at the thought of the looming independence they will soon claim, and with the terror it strikes in our hearts. Sometimes we must take God at his word; child-raising is a gift and a privilege. So we take into account their growing, hormone charged bodies. We listen to truly hear them and not let our own fears drown out what they are trying to tell us. We observe the acts that reveal the character we have instilled in them. We encourage them. Then we remember—motherhood is a joy-filled experience.
Ahhhhh, young-at-heart moms of grown-up children who have children of their own…it is true. Even if we now realize that we thought carrying babies with aching backs, and trying to corral them while they were running around committing mayhem was hard, we had no clue about what was hard. Even when we thought that putting up with their mouthiness, their smelly shoes, and their teen-aged mood swings was hard, we had no clue. Even as we kissed them good-bye when they flew out of our nest, into the arms of their husband or wife. We had no idea of what was hard.
Now we know that letting them raise our grandchildren is really hard. Don’t they realize that the world is a dangerous place and those little ones of theirs will soon be…well…leaving the nest? I have to laugh, cry, and cheer. Of course motherhood is hard—joyfully, joyously, (yes, I am using both of those joy words), ridiculously hard.
But it is oh so full of joy when we trust that God has commissioned us to be mothers. Then we know we have taken on what I believe to be THE MOST IMPORTANT TASK IN THIS LIFE: TO RAISE GODLY CHILDREN and we have our Lord and Savior at our side as we take on this task. Mothers, God has called us to joy. Celebrate your day.