For thousands of years the view of motherhood described in the Bible was generally respected in Western culture. Motherhood was seen as a noble and important calling. Women considered themselves blessed to bear many children, and it was considered normal and good for home and family to be the central focus of a woman’s life.
American culture has dramatically redefined the role of motherhood. Somehow, over the course of the last century, traditional motherhood has become a lifestyle option.- and to many, a lesser option – rather than a divine calling.
There are so many opinions coming at women today who consider raising children. Some say, “The most important thing you can do with your life is invest it in your children. Their lives are more important than building a career!” Some say, “Don’t let your children control your life! It would be a waste of your time and experience to focus too much on your children.” Or “Don’t have more children. It will take up to much of your time.” There are so many conflicting views of motherhood and womanhood itself.
CALLED TO MOTHERHOOD?
God designed motherhood to be a deeply meaningful role. We mothers have the opportunity to influence our children in so many ways but we have a special opportunity to influence them for eternity by building a spiritual legacy in their lives.
The real ability of a mother to secure such a spiritual legacy is based on the strength of the relationship she builds with her child. As we tenderly care for our children we are also anchoring their hearts to our home, our values, and our beliefs. These ties are built over a period of many years, through the small ways we spend the minutes of each day and the large ways in which we celebrate the momentous events of our lives. The heart of each child is a treasure chest.
A mother’s relationship with her child is one that will encompass a lifetime, We can still hear the voices of our own mothers as we raise our children.
Because we are privileged to be able to bear children God expects us to tenderly care for them and longs for us to partner with Him in leading our children to know and love His Word and to follow learn to follow His will in this world.
This design doesn’t mean I have to lose myself in my children’s lives. On the contrary, following God’s design for living is the true key to finding myself – to becoming the person He had in mind for me to become as I lead them on their journey thru life. To embrace the mission of motherhood requires that I understand God and His design for life.
God’s design provides a completeness to the circle of life. It is a design that was intended to give all children the opportunity to be lovingly nurtured so they could live their own lives well. It is not simply – a lifestyle choice.
II Timothy 1:5 - “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
II Timothy 3:14-15 - “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Acts 16:1-3 - “He came to Derbe (Paul did) and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. The brothers (other believers in Christ) at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”
After reading these passages, fill in your conclusions about Lois and Eunice and their hearts for Timothy:
* Lois and Eunice were more interested in ________________________ than external appearances.
* Lois and Eunice thought more about eternal life than _________________________
* Timothy’s mother and grandmother must have talked often about a relationship with ______________________
* Lois and Eunice used the _______________________ to teach Timothy
* Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him that living a __________________________
* (II Timothy 1:9) was more important than any sort of personal comfort or gain.
Review the five statements. Circle those that already describe your mothering. Underline those you need to work on as a mother. Now write three statements that you long for your own children to be able to say about you when they are grown:
A Mom’s intuition combined with Common Sense = MomSense
Intuition is something a woman brings to mothering. Something that is often not really learned – just known. A 6th sense, or just a gut feeling.
Common Sense is using good sense and sound judgment in practical matters. Sometimes common sense incorporates a mom’s intuition, but it is also something she can learn and improve upon to establish her mothering skills.
“Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius” by George Bernard Shaw
1. Do you think you have a high level of commonsense? Why or why not?
2. How do you use your common sense in your mothering?
3. At this stage in your mothering journey, describe how comfortable you feel relying on a combination of your intuition and common sense - or – MomSense
4. What do you think makes mothering a learning process?
5. What have you discovered so far – and what are you still hoping to learn?
Proverbs 16:22 “Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it….”
We spend so much time talking about the “how to” of parenting that we neglect the equally important “why” of parenting. This is unfortunate because the “why” eventually drives and even shapes the “how to”. With the wrong “why” our motivation will can get skewed and while the “how to” may be effective, it’ll be effectively wrong!
Read a condensed version of the story in MomSense on pages 24-26. God had a design in mind when He created the family. When we follow His game plan and His directions we can emerge more productive and flourishing.
Read Psalm 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” In the OT the word “house” is often used to express the same concept as the English words family or home.
6. According to this verse, what is the secret to the success of a godly family?
Our Theme verse is II Timothy – “For God does not give the spirit of fear, but the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.” The Apostle Paul wrote these words to a young man named Timothy because he was young but he wanted him to take his place because he knew he was going to be martyred for Christ’s sake.
In II Timothy 1:1-15 Paul speaks of the “sincere faith” of Timothy’s mother – Eunice and his grandmother – Lois as also being in him. Timothy’s mother and grandmother instilled in him a love and respect for the Scriptures and planted in his heart a desire to minister to others.
Read Acts 16:1-5. What do these verses tell you about Timothy’s family” _________________
Who doesn’t participate in Timothy’s spiritual life? ___________________________________
How might this be an encouragement to some of you? _________________________________
What kind of faith did Timothy witness in his mother and grandmother? See II Timothy 1:5 ___ _____________________________________________________________________________
What kind of traits are involved in “sincere faith” when given by God? Look at our theme verse in II Timothy 1:7 _______________________________________________________________
Read II Timothy 3:14-15. What played an important role in Timothy’s mother’s and grandmother’s life? How can this also play a significant role in your life as a mother?
Timothy’s life of faith did not begin in a vacuum. God pointedly reveals the powerful influence of Timothy’s mother and grandmother. If you read the passages about Timothy with an open heart, you’ll see what changed his life - and can change yours and can change the people you love. The encouragement to be found in the story of Timothy is that Timothy’s mother and grandmother powerfully influenced his life by their real faith – not by their perfect homes, beautiful wardrobes, or many accomplishments, but by their real faith.
Next time you’re feeling guilty about all the things you aren’t or don’t do as a mother, remember Lois and Eunice. Concentrate on what’s most important – living a life of faith in front of your children.
Where can you find the power to begin? Read II Thessalonians 2:16-17 “May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word”. And Psalm 42:11 speaks of “hoping in God”. When we say “I hope” we often mean we would like but are uncertain. The “hope” the bible speaks of is a term of expectancy. Hope in God is a call to an active faith which expects God to act. Our theme verse tells of things God promises to give us in this role He designed us for so we can expect that help.