My heritage--my precious daughters, whose legacy of righteousness will live beyond me!
“What does it profit a mama to gain the whole world and lose the soul of her children?”
Paraphrase by me
From Desperate to Hope!
At 31 years old, I prepared to hold my first baby in my arms. Having been a working-woman for 10 years, I was used to speaking to large groups, traveling all over the world, having my own life validated by my work,
Yet, when I held little Sarah close to my cheek, her infant smiles especially for me, the tiny hand patting my chest those first few months, God began to do a deep work in my heart.
His Spirit moved me to start studying and pondering scripture to see what God's opinion was about children, to understand this mysterious design and connection between mother and child.
My men, the ones who will lead in righteousness--who are changing their worlds because of their sense of heritage.
Now, after 29 years of mothering, I am sure that is was God who was whispering the secrets of His will into my ears and impressing me deeply in my heart of eternal spiritual truths. And His desire and His plan was excellent, I have experienced it profoundly, and know that Biblical motherhood is a most profound and meaningful role when lived by God's design.
The first blessing out of God’s mouth to Adam and Eve in Genesis was, "Be fruitful and multiply."---that before the fall. Children are a blessing from God's heart and from his perfect design. Their souls will last for all of eternity. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Jesus took them into His arms and blessed them and said, "Of such is the kingdom of God." He also said, "Woe to the one who causes the least of these to stumble."
God fashioned the family as the place through which righteousness was to be passed down from generation to generation. Of course the Proverbs 8, and 9 passage, and 14:1—
Proverbs 31, a classic view of the immeasurable value of a woman being the glue to family, to influence in government through her marriage, to the shaping of children who grow up to call her blessed—the one who had noble words on her tongue.
“Mother of all the living” was the first woman’s name that defined a great part of her purpose. Solomon, the wisest man on earth declared that the wise woman builds her house, the foolish one tears is down with her own hands. (The house here being her heritage, family, family name--generations of her home.)
Paul gives ageless wisdom in Titus 2 that the older women, those who had lived through births, illnesses, journeys of children from cradle to adulthood, hormones, training, difficulty, challenges, calls to faithful, loyal love in marriage through dark seasons and light--wiser, more experienced women, were honored by the call to prepare, to help inspire and to to train the younger women to love their children, love their husbands and to be workers at home.
All of these verses supporting the incredible, purposeful, eternally meaningful role for women to fulfill so that the next generation of adults would have the hope of becoming righteous, brave, morally strong, sure in righteousness, passing on truth, purpose and love—to preserve life for future generations to be strong and viable.
I didn't have a vendetta or something to prove. I was not anti-feminism, but pro-God’s ways--just a simple desire to try to follow what scripture said. To please God with all of my heart, to seek first His kingdom, by including a Biblical design of family as central to His heart. In seeking Him and His word, I found these great truths, this value to a mother’s design.
But as a young mom making this choice, I faced so much loneliness and isolation. I made it through so many dark and devastatingly difficult seasons of motherhood because I saw the heart of Christ, and I knew He cared.
My fellow idealist!
When He looked out on the multitudes, he felt compassion—because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
When I look out a young moms today, I feel compassion, and I also feel that they are like sheep without a shepherd. Many long for direction and input and wisdom, help and support, a night of sleep, a couple of hours away—a small break from all the pressures, yet the mamas don't know where to go to find this small bit of help.
Most public ministry messages and leaders don't really touch the subject of mothering very much as it creates so much friction in the Christian arena with so many having made different decisions, and yet with such sad results. The Barna polls show--the constant descending morality, spirituality and faith of teens and 20 somethings plummeting every decade to an all time low. Young adults losing their faith, in some estimates up to 90% in college. Falling literacy amongst young adults, less marriage because of co-habitation, homosexuality growing, addiction to pornography by young women and young men because of the ease with which to find it on the internet, and so many more statistics about the decline of the young adult culture in many areas.
Should we not ask the question, “Could the decline of the moral fiber and faith of young adults have any correlation to the lowering of the vision for motherhood and its significant impact on children in the last 40 years?”
I have rarely met a mom who did not love and cherish their children. Yet, so many felt lost in a sea of contemporary philosophies. And I do see so many moms living in the pain of their own broken memories of their childhood sadness. I see so many moms with pressures, especially in this current economy. Many have to work just to feed their families. Many sweet moms are single and bear so much pressure alone. Many young moms have just never heard of the Biblical call to motherhood. Many come from broken families and don't know how to love their children. Many moms have not been given the permission from their culture to stay home with their children. Many moms have just never considered or been taught the truth about their role in children's lives.
And yet, we know both from statistics and from Biblical wisdom, that no family becomes righteous without the devoted teaching and intentional training of their parents. We also know that when the next generation of adults, the children in our homes, are neglected, then the future adults will have no godly character, no purpose or direction and will cultivate the demise of culture.
I think that scripture teaches us to live by faith. There can be many ways of working out a family life in which righteousness is passed on to children. We must trust the Holy Spirit to direct and accomplish His will in each family according to His direction. I do see God doing miracles in so many families and that in all sorts of situations, righteousness can abound when parents or a mom is focused on this as a central goal for her life. And none of our families will look exactly alike.
Yet, high Biblical standards must be embraced when Satan is at war with the souls, minds and consciences of this generation of youth.
But no matter your educational choice, or if you must work, building a godly legacy will require hard work, giving up of your self, sacrificing your time--as all great tasks require great sacrifice. What we sow we will reap.
So when I see a group of young moms, who don't seem to have anyone building into their lives, or giving them encouragement, wisdom or help, my heart breaks. Cultural voices are available to give moms all sorts of input that will in many cases lead their children astray, and to this, I react deeply in my heart.
I feel a bigger stewardship to do whatever I can to get the messages out, training in more places, the sweet grace of the influence of a godly woman, into as many minds and hearts of moms as I can. And of course, I especially I long for churches, and Christian leaders, to step up to the bat to be brave and forthright in holding forth the truth of scripture in these areas.
Malachi says of the priests who followed after God's heart, "True instruction was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found on his lips; he walked with me in peace and uprightness and he turned many back from iniquity. For the lips of the priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for He is a messenger of the Lord of Hosts." (2: 6-7)
Our leaders, our older women, should be holding up God's standards--their lips should preserve knowledge, including in this area of the Biblical call of family.
The church at large and Christian leaders should be the biggest champions of the Biblical, historical role of mothers and of the design of the family to be responsible for the values of their family.
I just long for more--more help, more support, more input, more inspiring conviction, more wisdom to be valiantly, passionately taught about the role of "mothers" in the lives of their children.
As we would never expect to throw seeds out into the wind and expect it to become a beautiful garden, so we cannot throw our children out into the winds of culture and expect them to become people of great character and faith. Especially when media, values, television, movies, magazines, cultural values at large, take marriage, purity, godly character lightly--and in the opposite direction, promote adulation of actors, athletes, musicians whose lifestyles are immoral and vain.
And yet, when God places a child into our arms, it is one of the most significant treasures we will ever be given--because what we do to invest in our children's lives will influence the course of history and the history of our children's lives and future generations. God will hold us responsible, us as parents--not church, school, society--but us, responsible to pass on God's truth and design, and righteousness into the next generation.
And so, my heart is to help all moms, whatever their puzzle, to encourage them to do the hard thing--to take the time, whatever is costs to be that person in their children's lives, who gives them an appetite for God and the things of God, to do the work of making their home a place of real life and beauty and truth and celebrated relationships, so that when they enter the gates of heaven, they can say to Jesus, "I did all that I could to whisper into the ears of my children the truths and secrets of the kingdom of heaven and to pass on a love for you." (what does it profit a mom to gain the whole world and lose the soul of her child.)
And so I long for the Christian arena, not to be a place of conflict in supporting this calling, but a place where the significance of this calling is being upheld and taught. And of course there are many places where this is happening. But I would love to know what you feel about this and what you have experienced. I want to encourage moms to take up their place in this battle for the souls.
CALLING ALL MENTORS
Calling all mentors to step up and take notice and help a generation of mamas who need our help to raise a godly generation. I am in—how about you?
This ends our book study of Desperate. I hope you have been encouraged. Now, may God equip each of you to fulfill his great call for you as moms--to build a godly generation right in your home. And may He bless you abundantly and fulfill your deep longings in the process. All my heart out to you!