We are our children’s first experience with the world. I hope my children learn that the world is soft and warm and safe through their early interactions with me. I hope my children remember life giving words and hands-on playtime as their foundational beginnings. But am I displaying the goodness of the Lord to my children? When describing me to the world, would they say that their mama is good?
Google defines “good” as: “(adjective)to be desired or approved of, having the qualities required for a particular role. (Noun) That which is morally right, righteousness; benefit or advantage to someone or something.” As Christians, we know that only God is truly good, but as we grow in sanctification we should develop and display His goodness to those around us. Specifically in motherhood, we are the image of “woman”, “wife”, and “mother” that our children see. We are the example for their little minds. Are we living as “good women”, “good wives”, and “good mothers”?
We are able to model for our children what it means to be good women. In Genesis 1 we see the creation of woman, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them… And God saw everything He had made, and behold, it was very good.” (v. 27, 31) God has created us in His image and He has called us good. We are able to claim and live this truth boldly. We have been made righteous through the blood of Jesus and He promises us, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free… So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:31-32, 36). We are “desired” and “approved of” because God says it is so. We model to our children what it means to be good women by trusting God’s Word and abiding in it.
We are able to model for our children what it means to be good wives. We are given the example of Sarah in how a godly wife should act, “For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening” (1 Peter 3:5-6). God has designed humanity and marriage to image Him and His relationship to His Church. He has provided women with the high calling of helper and throughout the New Testament reminds us that obedience to God creates imperishable beauty (1 Peter 3:4). So we honor our husbands because God has placed them as the head of the household. God has created good order and when we follow His direction for marriage we model to our children not only what it means to be good wives, but also the marriage of the Lamb and His bride, the Church.
We are able to model for our children what it means to be good mothers. This has been an area of great conviction for me. What do my boys see as “normal” motherhood? What will their expectations be when looking for the mother of their children? Do I exemplify goodness as “having the qualities required for a particular role”, specifically the role of mother? Paul encourages women, “Train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:4-5). As a mother do my boys see me as loving, self-controlled, pure, hardworking, kind, and respectful? Am I modeling the kind of motherhood I want my boys to seek for their children? How would I respond to my style of mothering over my grandchildren? I hope to model for my boys what it means to be a good mother, but it is an area of progressive sanctification.
We are image-bearers of the Most High King. He created us and called us good. Through the sacrifice of Jesus we are made righteous and redeemed to goodness. Let us abide in Christ to grow in goodness and model it as women, wives, and mothers to our children. Let our children know what goodness is by the example we set and let us continually point them back to God, who is Himself goodness.