So Much More Than Childbirth

A week has gone by since Mother’s Day and so much in the last few days has made me reflect on mothering. Monday morning, I went to the washing machine to move jeans into the dryer and found very clean rocks, Lego hands, and plastic Playmobil swords. What did I expect? Well, not Lego hands – I was surprised they survived the washing machine and didn’t get lost in the drainage. But the rocks? Yeah, I have boys and boys play outside and hoard things in their pockets, and I don’t always catch everything that gets thrown into the hamper along with the dirty clothes.

 

Somehow, finding Legos in the sugar dish seems completely reasonable.
Somehow, finding Legos in the sugar dish seems completely reasonable.

Wash, dry, fold, put away, and then sort and wash again. Of the cleaning of little children’s clothes there is no end. And so, the story goes like this on repeat and many mothers groan under the loads of laundry.

Bearing these loads sometimes seems like an additional task in the job of mothering, but really it’s all part of the bearing that we do. When we bear children, we don’t just push them out into the world and dust off our hands like our job is done. Childbearing is so much more than that.

 

Bearing children means we bear in mind their frame and we bear with them in love.

Bearing children means we bear in mind their frame and we bear with them in love.

In a simplistic sense, bearing with them means I meet basic needs like food or clean clothing with love and not grudgingly. Because of course, when they are small and new, they are helpless.

The temptation as they grow taller and older and more capable is to heap up our expectations. Bearing with them as they grow means I can’t expect perfection an instantaneous maturity. I am still being matured and I didn’t reach adulthood or parenthood because I passed a magical age where everything suddenly clicked and I met all the right standards. God is maturing my children, just as he is maturing me in my walk with Christ.

I can’t be surprised when sin or immaturity pops up in my children. I can trust that God is doing a good work in them and he promises he will complete it. I can trust that the Lord remembers my frame and is patient with me, and that he has the same compassion on my children. I don’t have to look at a particular weakness or struggle that my child is working through as though they are failing in that moment. I can trust God to complete the process he has started in their lives.

Believe me when I say, I know this is easier said than done. I wish I could say that I’ve never failed to remember my children’s frames. I have struggled with overly-high expectations, I have gotten angry in sinful ways, and I have lacked mercy. Part of my growth as a mother is to look back and see God’s mercy in allowing me to see my mistakes and sins, helping me to repent of them, and now I am seeing how God is moving and working in my life to grow me closer to him and grow in a more gracious and merciful view of my children.

 

Drawings like this are such an encouragement. I want my kids to know that I am for them.
Drawings like this are such an encouragement. I want my kids to know that I am for them.

 

Bearing children means we bear their burdens for them and with them.

Bearing children means we bear their burdens for them and with them. I get to come along side my children and work with them to help them learn life skills and learn how to deal with different issues. I get to make life enjoyable for them by teaching them how to solve problems and ease them through the trials they face. I get to pray for them and with them. Bearing their burdens mean I get to be aware of their particular sins and sorrows, the character struggles they face, and the ways they need strengthening in their faith. I get to help them carry their struggles and sins to Jesus and I get to reassure them of their forgiveness and acceptance in Christ.

 

Seeing sermon notes like this are such a joy!
Seeing sermon notes like this are such a joy!

 If we are faithful in our childbearing, we bear witness to Christ’s work.

If we are faithful in our childbearing, we bear witness to Christ’s work. I get the joy of knowing that just as he bore my griefs and carried my sorrows all the way to the cross, Christ carries my children’s particular sorrows and sins. And when my children see me sin and I repent in front of them, it is a testimony to the power of Christ at work in me and an encouragement to them. My children need to know that we are in this together. We both need Jesus every day for every situation. The point of this Christian walk we are on isn’t to just not sin – that’s never going to happen! The point is to repent when we sin and accept God’s free grace and forgiveness that he offers us. And when we are quick to repent in front of our children, we bear witness to the joy that comes from being in fellowship with God and with each other (1 John 1:6-9).

 

I’m so thankful that as we mothers go through this childbearing, no matter the ages our children are or the stages of life we find ourselves in, our Father remembers our frames. We can cast our cares on him because he cares for us and he has compassion on all of us, young and old, new mothers and seasoned mothers. What a joy to get the opportunity to bear witness to the Lord’s goodness and grace at every age and stage!

 

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