The Gift of Love
To wrap up the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, let’s discuss the gift of God’s love towards moms. God shows His love for us in so many ways, but have you ever considered the great gift of motherhood? Not the gift of our children themselves, not the gift of family, and surely not the gift of changing body types or sleep deprivation. But the gift from God that is motherhood and how He created this position out of His love to draw our hearts to Himself and to deepen our understanding of who He is?
The family unit is not part of the fall. When God first created Eve, the Bible says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) So God’s good plan for marriage, husband and wife, and fathers and mothers was already established before sin entered the world. Why would God create the family unit and what could its purpose be? Specifically, what is the purpose and role of motherhood?
First, mothers are to be helpers for fathers (Genesis 2:20). To be a helper one must be humble. One must look to the needs of others. One must serve. Second, mothers are to bear (birth) children (Genesis 3:16). We see that after the fall, the Lord told Eve that childbearing would become painful. Childbearing itself was not a result of the fall, but bearing children was part of God’s purpose and plan for mothers. This is not to belittle the roles of foster or adoptive mothers. Bearing children is to bring forth or bring up and all mothers provide in this way for the needs of their children. Third, mothers are to teach their children the ways of the Lord. Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “You shall teach [the commandments of the Lord] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” So this is the purpose and role of motherhood: to help fathers, to bear children, and to teach children the ways of the Lord. How is this a loving gift from God?
God desires for us to become more like Him. We see His character and His attributes woven into the fabric of motherhood. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) God is our helper. He is our safe place and our shelter. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27) God created man and through Him our existence was born. “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.” (Psalm 25:8-9) The Lord is so gracious to guide and instruct us in His will and His ways. The purpose and role of motherhood directly reflects the character of God. How might our mothering be different if we looked at our helping, bearing, and teaching as ways to model Him to our families?
Motherhood is a true gift from God. Through motherhood, He pours His perfect love on us. God provides us with the privilege of raising little image-bearers for His glory. In our relationship with our children, we experience the tiniest glimpse of God’s relationship with us. “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15) Through motherhood, God gives us opportunity to become more like Christ in our thoughts, attitude, behaviors, and purpose. Because He loves us, God gifted us these aspects of Himself so that we can know Him more and better display Him to those around us.
How will you thank God for His gift of love to you today? How will you respond to this gift and apply it to your mothering?