In my previous post to commemorate Father’s Day, I wrote about the importance of looking for “Father Material” in your future spouse. One of my greatest blessings is having a husband who is the kind of man I hope and pray my boys grow up to be. Our daily living shapes our children’s views of manhood and womanhood more than any formulas or charts ever will. Our actions truly do speak so much louder than our words. Who we are is crucially important in who our children will become. So if looking for “Father Material” is important, what does that mean for me and becoming “Mother Material”?
First, my overall purpose as a mother is to bring glory to God. Specifically in motherhood, my purpose is to glorify God by sharing His truth, His grace, and His love with my children. As mothers, we know that our children are little sponges. They see and hear every little thing we do and then turn around and repeat those things. What kind of example am I providing to my children? Are my words and actions imitations of Christ or displaying my own wants and desires? Am I choosing to join the world in my reactions to the spilled cereal of life or am I choosing to join Christ and responding to the snack crumbs on the floor as an opportunity to serve my family? I may not have started out as “Mother Material” but motherhood sure provides ample opportunity to grow more like our Heavenly Father, the ultimate example of parenthood.
Second, God has granted me stewardship over His most precious gifts: my children. He has entrusted their little lives to me. I must rear them and teach them to live well and honorably and to contribute to the world. My boys are not shiny gold medals of accomplishment to display to the world. They are little souls made in the image of God and it is my responsibility to ensure they understand what that means and how that affects their lives. My time is not my own, but a gift from God. When He so graciously gifted me children, my time became devoted to service. Serving my family looks like doing the laundry, cooking meals, doing the dishes, and playing the same games for the hundredth time on the floor. Through serving my family, my boys see a physical example of Jesus’ servant heart. They can come to understand what love is and how to show it to others by seeing and feeling my acts of love. I hope my actions (and not just my words) teach them to “Act Justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 5:8 NIV) Motherhood is the work God has graciously provided for me in this season. What an incredible honor to be placed as guardian over these little souls and to point them to Jesus.
Third, I am the image of “wife” and “mother” seen by my children. I am their first impression of these roles. Someday, if my boys brought “me” home, how would I feel? Ouch- that is a sobering thought. Would I deem someone like me “good enough” for my boys? Would I think they could do better? Would I feel like she loved and respected my sons (her husband) adequately? Would I feel like she was gentle and patient enough with my grandchildren? We all want the very best for our children, right? I have high expectations for my future daughters-in-law, which I do not meet currently. What a humbling realization and something to aim for in my interactions with my husband and boys.
Keeping these three things in mind helps me refocus my day and remember my purpose. My daily goals should not include taking the perfect picture to post on social media, having a spotless house, or fitting back into all my pre-baby clothes. But my daily goals should include bringing glory to God, shepherding the hearts of my children, and providing them with a godly example of wife and mother. Everything else is just extra.
I am definitely not my “mother ideal”, but I hope I am adding more positive “mother material” everyday.