The Gift of Self- Control
Oh the weight of motherhood. The weight of protecting our children from harm and providing them with health. The weight of representing positive exposure to educational insights and the removal of negative exposure to mental and physical toxins. The weight of training up our children in the way they should go and overseeing their spiritual formation and discipline. The weight of motherhood is heavy and worn and can feel entirely overwhelming.
God so graciously knows the pressure of motherhood. He knows that we feel the weight of our children’s health, happiness, and developing holiness. But God so graciously reminds us that none of that is within our control or our power. He ushers in the gift of self-control to mothers to relieve the stress and strain we experience when we try to do it all ourselves. This gift of self-Control is not having total control at all. The gift of a self-controlled life is the freedom found in living a Spirit-controlled life.
In motherhood, we often feel like everything is spinning out of our control. A child may get sick and we cannot fix it. Dinner is burnt and there is no time to make a replacement. You forgot to buy poster board for that school project… again. When stressors arise and press in on our hearts and minds, so also temptation arises to react as out of control as the events of our days. Proverbs 25:28 reminds us, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” God provides mothers with the gift of self-control to keep our external circumstances from controlling our internal peace. God does not desire for us to be left defenseless and in ruins, like a city with no walls. God desires us to be strong in Him and be a stronghold for our families. Mothers have the gift of self-control to provide the calm amidst the chaos.
Sometimes mothers feel pulled in every direction and self-control in attitude and action seem impossible. With God all things are possible and He provides His good gifts to His children. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” (Titus 2:11-12). For every out of control action, mothers may begin to walk in shame and denial of the truth of the power of the Spirit. Through salvation the Spirit begins to train the body of Christ to fulfill its purpose. This training seeks to grow godliness within the believer and every moment can be seen as an opportunity to develop Christlikeness. When a mother is faced with the choice to act out of control, the Spirit of God is present and provides the power needed to respond in a self-controlled manner. Our God is a God of order and not chaos. When we embrace His strength within us then we are able to also embrace that order and banish the chaos around us. God gives mothers the gift of self-control to live out a piece of heaven on earth as we walk in the presence and power of God.
Those MOMents will still creep up when we just want to vent or scream or give up. Some MOMents seem to overpowering for our frail human bodies to control. But 1 Corinthians 6:19 asks, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.” Do we believe that our feelings of anger are greater than our God? Do we believe that our weak human nature surprises our Savior? Do we believe that our disappointment and fear frighten our Father in heaven? Mothers might know their personal weaknesses, insecurities, and triggers; but mothers must also remember that the Spirit of the Living God is within them and nothing is outside His control or power. When we say, “We can’t,” then the Spirit of God says, “I can.” When we say, “No way,” then the Spirit of God says, “Always.” God gives mothers the gift of self-control in order to walk in faith. Mothers can like Spirit-controlled lives so that all their actions are self-controlled in the power of the God.
Nothing has been so humbling in my life as motherhood. I quickly realized how very little I can control and how lacking I am to fulfill the needs of another person. Where I am weak, there Christ is strong. Where I am insufficient, there Christ is all sufficient. Where I am crazy and cold, there Christ is calm and content. God has gifted me His Spirit which can and will produce self-control in my life. May I keep my focus on Christ and allow His Spirit to control my every thought and movement so that ever MOMent can be used for His glory.