Read Proverbs 16:2-4 in the Message
2 Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.
3 Put God in charge of your work,
then what you've planned will take place.
4 God made everything with a place and purpose;
even the wicked are included—but for judgment.
This seasons of Motherhood can involve fatigue and weariness.
Overwork can lead to resentment if we feel of appreciation.
If we feel inadequate we can become weary.
When we become anxious and captivated with the tasks at hand we can also forget to take care of ourselves.
Faithfulness Brings More Peace than Successfulness
What we need to make spiritual, emotional and psychological peace with motherhood is not to compare out “To Do” lists with those of our husbands or of other moms, but to adjust our inner selves – our spiritual perspectives. The first thing that needs adjustment is our understanding of success. The glorification of success has caused more than one good mother can be failure to another. Mother Teresa said “We are called upon not to be a successful but to be faithful.” Her words remind us that when we receive a calling from God, like motherhood, we must approach it from a spiritual perspective not a success perspective. If we wish to move toward our goal of achieving and maintaining peace with God's call to motherhood, we must resist the temptation to evaluate ourselves by the measure of success that the world dangles before us. Success will never truly satisfy, but obedience to God's biblical will and His special call to motherhood will enable, empower, energize and satisfy us.
Look at the Diagram of a young girl seeking to balance herself by finding her center of gravity.
When Jesus Is Our Center of Gravity
This is a word picture of what it is like to find our spiritual balance when we are family-centered, home-based moms. It is most important that Jesus be at the center in order for us to enjoy peaceful, balanced mothering. He is the ballast around which we continuously poise and counterpoise our spiritual virtues or “shift our spiritual weight” in order to press forward fulfillment of God's will. How would you explain what we see in this diagram?
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Read Psalms 37:7 in the Message and 1 Timothy 6:6
Quiet down before God,
be prayerful before him.
Don't bother with those who climb the ladder,
who elbow their way to the top. - Psalms 37:7
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” - 1 Timothy 6:6
Are you faithful by this definition?
Read what the Bible says about God's faithfulness
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
“Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The figure in our Diagram has a goal – it is not to stand still on the log, but to move forward. It is the same with this season of motherhood. Our goal is to move forward in helping our children and ourselves grow in healthy, balanced directions. Philippians 1;6 says, “I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”
God has a plan and you are a part of it. Whether you are being called to initiate new activities, to drop old ones, or to be content with the current activities and circumstances as part of that plan; be confident, the Scriptures tell you that God will complete the plan. With Jesus as your center of gravity, faithfulness as your guide, and initiative and contentment held in balance, you will move forward in peace.
Which of these three virtues is the most difficult for you? Why?
Read Romans 12:1-2 in the Message
“So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Read Romans 12:1 & 2 in the Message
Romans 12:1-2 (The Message) Romans 12 Place Your Life Before God 1-2 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
II Corinthians 9:12 - “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also over flowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”
One of the purposes of life – To contribute and add something worthwhile – We all want to feel our life has significance and value. During this season of Motherhood that is still crucial to being able to hang in there through the challenges of each day.
The Apostle Paul told the believers in the church in Galatia “through love serve one another”. We need to learn to love ourselves as well as love others. Need to grasp how much we are loved and valued by God so we can be an extension of His will within our families.
To Serve is “to attend to, minister to, care for, help, be of use, assist, benefit, promote, support, make easy for, nourish, encourage. BIG JOB.
The Book of Ecclesiastes asked us to consider:
Learning without God ultimately leads to Cynicism (1:7-8)
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
Greatness without God ultimately leads Sorrow (1:16-18)
16 I thought to myself, "Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge." 17 Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.
18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.
Pleasure without God ultimately leads Disappointment (2:1-2)
1 I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. 2 "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?"
Labor without God ultimately leads Hatred of Life (2:17)
17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Philosophy without God ultimately leads Emptiness (3:1-9)
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What does the worker gain from his toil?
Life without God ultimately leads to Depression (4:2-3)
2 And I declared that the dead,
who had already died,
are happier than the living,
who are still alive.
3 But better than both
is he who has not yet been,
who has not seen the evil
that is done under the sun.
Religion without God ultimately leads to Meaninglessness (5:7)
7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.
Wealth without God ultimately leads to Trouble (5:12)
12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether he eats little or much,
but the abundance of a rich man
permits him no sleep.
Existence without God ultimately leads to Frustration (6:12)
12 For who knows what is good for a man in life, during the few and meaningless days he passes through like a shadow? Who can tell him what will happen under the sun after he is gone?
Within hours of birth, a mother and child are able to begin a rudimentary system of communications and response. This system of communication and response starts with the baby's first cry. A mother's natural sensitivity to her child enables her to interpret those cries and her motherly love prompts her to respond to her child's needs. Emotional reactions act on cue to the stimulus. They are void of thoughtful planning or long-ranged discernment.
As time goes by a mother needs to learn and teach a love that is based on the knowledge of what is best for a child from God's perspective. This kind of love is mental, not emotional. It requires thinking about what is beneficial for the child's future, and is based on what a child needs in order to grow into a mature, stable adult.
What is it going to take for us to raise our children to understand what is needed for life if we don't understand God's plan and purpose for what are you doing?
What kind of adults do you want your children to become?
How does a woman minister to the whole of society when she trains her children well?
What are some of the results if a woman's ministry and interests outside the home become more important than her ministry at home?
Read Proverbs 3: 1-8
“1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you prosperity.
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. [a]
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.”
Proverbs 3:1 – What does the mother admonish here? What is her teaching based on?
Are her instructions based on the child's current comfort or future well-being?
In Proverbs 3:2 – What does it say God promises if her teaching is followed?
What does she further instruct her son in verse 3?
What is her long-ranged purpose for her teaching in verse 4?
Further instructions are given in verses 5-8. What is she mindful of by giving these instructions to her son?
Everyone lives under some influence. That influence determines the way we will think and react to life. Important question: Where do you get your way of thinking and choosing?
Important questions: Where do you get your way of thinking and choosing?
Words determine the way we think and feel, the way we think and feel determine our attitudes. Attitudes determine our actions, decisions and habits. Habits create character = who we are.
Again . . . we have a big job as mothers . . . to love ourselves properly and see ourselves as God sees us . . . well loved and worth dying for and to love our children not just with emotion but also with a mental ability to see what will be best for them and their future.
“1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Tell us that our everyday job can be offered to God as worship when we do it according to His will. In verse 2 it says “We must be conformed to the world but transformed from it”. Two very difficult words are used here. Conform – the root word applies to the outward form and varies like how you change with the years or from day to day or when you change your cloths. It is continuously altering.
The word transform – means the essential unchanging shape or element of something. We are not the same at 17 as we are at 70 on the outside but we can be changed on the inside. Left to ourselves we can dominated by our sin nature but in Christ our essential person can be changed. We can teach our children that if they allow Christ into their lives they can be less self-centered and more God-centered.
Romans 12 teaches that this happens by the renewing of our minds. Our future and the future of our children depends on them learning to discover in God's Word all they will need to direct them into good choices and stable living – despite whatever this world will throw their way.