I love this photo from the State Library of NSW – I have no idea whether Florence Austral was a mother as well as being a famous singer, but this photo depicts a thoroughly domestic scene – she is making marmalade and behind her is her teapot and cups and saucers. I have not made marmalade that often, but when I do, I look flustered and dishevelled and my entire kitchen would look like a bomb had hit it.
Before I became a Mum, I imagined that I would be a calm and serene mother. I thought that I would be a perfect mother in every way – have wonderful relationships with my children, that I would have perfect children, that I would have a perfect marriage. I didn’t think I would be working in paid employment. I imagined that each day I would cook choc-chip cookies or blueberry muffins and my children would come home from school to the aroma of these freshly baked goodies and we would sit around the table and chat peacefully about our day.
This picture couldn’t be further from the reality of my life if I tried. I discovered that I am a far from perfect mother, I have far from perfect children and my marriage is certainly not perfect. Most days, I could tell myself that I am a complete failure.
On reaching this dismal realisation, I started to ask the question – what does God expect of me as a Mum, as a Christian Mum? Each of you could ask the same question. What does God expect or demand of you as mothers – as Christian mothers?
After much thought, I came up with a few ideas of what could characterise or lives as Christian mothers.
A wise Mum trusts in God
It is so easy to be anxious about our children. We can fill our minds with much fret – will they succeed academically? Will they be liked by others and make friends? Will they hold onto the Christian faith? Will they develop qualities of gentleness, kindness and goodness? Will they go to sleep tonight and stay asleep and not awaken with a bad dream? Will they ever stop driving me crazy? Can we trust God with all these anxious thoughts?
A wise Mum is able to silence these silence these anxious thoughts. and have a deep firm trust in her God. She reminds herself constantly that God is sovereign and totally trustworthy.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
The wise woman trusts God. We have a wonderful picture of a wise woman in the book of Proverbs in chapter 31. This woman is a wife and a mother. She is the epitome of a wise woman. The quality she is most praised for is that she is a woman who “fears the Lord”. Why does she fear Him? Because she knows that He is the sovereign God and completely in control of all that happens in life. She lives her life as if this is a reality.
“Loving heavenly Father, thank you for the privilege of being a mother. Thank you for my children. I want to thank you that you are my sovereign God and that you are totally trustworthy – I can entrust my children to your tender and loving care. There are so many things that I want to fix and control, but I can’t. I commit my heart to you and ask that you will help me be a Mum who simply trusts you. Thank you that you are always with me, and that you are always with my children. Even when I feel like I have nothing to give my children, I know that you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever – I cast myself into your hands, knowing that you are holding me by my right hand and that you guide me with your counsel and that afterwards you will take me into glory. Amen.” (from Psalm 73:23-26.)