One of the hardest things I have ever done.
Oh, I knew how to be a mom…before I was one. I could have held seminars, classes and counciling sessions about how to be a godly mother. Before I was one. I would look down on the mom that had a screaming toddler in the grocery, or the messy faced, dirty child with the mismatched clothes and think to myself “That will never happen to me!”
And then I had a child, and another, and another, and another….and 8 of these precious tiny humans. Oh the joy! Oh the blessing! But guess what? I had
once, ok more than once, when my child was on the floor of a store and fit to be tied. My children sometimes dress themselves in mismatched clothes and yes, they have dirty faces (gasp!) And you know what? I realized mothering was hard. You see, it is far more than keeping them fed, safe and warm. It is dealing with hearts. It is pouring into eternal souls. And yes, it is a spiritual battle. A fight for my children’s souls against a wicked, perverted world. Dealing with hearts requires wisdom, self- denial and a constant dependence upon Christ.
Within a span of 15 years I had 8 children that I would give my life for. And the love that comes pouring forth through the years makes me want to burst sometimes. And as they grow older, I have one already graduated and another coming up, I would still give anything for the fruit of my womb. As they start to spread their wings and fly, a mother’s heart yearns to protect. You would take any hardship away, you would spare them from any and every pain of life.
And you would save them if you could. You would spare them from wrestling with God, from spiritual toil and pain as they grapple with eternal realities.
But, you can’t. I can’t. It is only the mighty God, the Creator of their souls, the Covenant Lord who can soften and turn their hearts. Only He can comfort their turbulent souls, quiet the storm within their hearts. Only He can do the miraculous work of making them new, a New Creature in Christ Jesus. We can direct, train, and pour into the souls of our children, but we are entirely dependent upon our Heavenly Father.
So what is the point then? Why make the effort if it all depends upon God?
He commands us to fill the water pots.
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. John 2:6-11 (KJV)
The Lord Jesus who is the Covenant God, the same yesterday, today and forever gives us the command to fill the souls of our children with His truth. Diligently, faithfully, fervently. And then to wait expectantly for the water to turn into the wine of grace, the sweet fruit of being born again.
If the men that Jesus commanded to fill the waterpots had hesitated, argued or been lazy and delayed in disobedience…the water would not have been turned into wine. Could Jesus have instantaneously just filled the waterpots with wine? Of course! But He used the means of the labor of those faithful men to do His miracle.
So we labor as mothers. We pour the truth into our children. We lead them to Jesus in prayer each day. We instruct them in the Word of God. Yes, we labor. We labor in faith. We labor in love.
And then, we wait. We cry to the God of Heaven to do that great work and bring forth fruit. And oh, what joy when one day if God is pleased we draw out and discover that the water of truth in the souls of our children has indeed become the sweet, fruitful wine that is heaven born.
Press on, dear mothers! Your labor is not in vain!
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Jenny is the happy wife of 21 years to Steve. Together they have 8 children (+4 in heaven). With 5 boys and 3 girls ages almost 19 down to 3, there is never a dull moment in their home! Jenny loves to write over at amothersheritage.com. There you will find encouragement in godly womanhood, parenting, the ups and downs of being in the trenches of motherhood, homeschooling, large family living and the daily joy of pursuing after Christ. After many years of health problems and now being on a journey of healing she also loves to encourage and share with others that might be struggling with similar issues. You can also find Jenny on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.