Monday, August 3, 2015

She Lost Herself in the Process of Raising Children

Here's something I found interesting from a Christian site: A woman I greatly admire was out to eat with her grown kids. I complimented my friend about how great her kids have turned out. Suddenly, her face dropped, her expression changed, and I could see emptiness behind her eyes. "Yes my kids turned out great and I loved raising them. But, I lost myself in the process." The question then asked by the Christian author, "I paused and thought how do we fully embrace motherhood but not lose the other parts of us?"

Compare this to what Elizabeth Elliot wrote, "The routines of housework and of mothering may be seen as a kind of death, and it is appropriate that they should be, for they offer the chance, day after day, to lay down one’s life for others. Then they are no longer routines. By being done with love and offered up to God with praise, they are thereby hallowed as the vessels of the tabernacle were hallowed–not because they were different from other vessels in quality or function, but because they were offered to God. A mother’s part in sustaining the life of her children and making it pleasant and comfortable is no triviality. It calls for self-sacrifice and humility, but it is the route, as was the humiliation of Jesus, to glory."

Do you see the how completely opposite these two perspectives of motherhood are and one is focused upon herself and the other one is focused on giving her life away for a greater cause than herself? What's inside of us so many think they need to find? Does God ever command for us to find anything in ourselves? NO! He commands that we seek Him and His will for our lives which is to give ourselves away, deny ourselves, and the greatest of all is the servant of all.

Yes, being a mother is monotonous, exhausting, lonely and difficult at times. There were many times that I was sick and each moment of the day was hard for me but when I look back, God ALWAYS gave me the strength I needed for each moment of every day. Now, I have been blessed with four children who love Jesus and walk with Him. I gave my life to raising my children, caring for their every little need and teaching them about the Lord. I didn't have much time "for me" in all those years of raising children and being sick. I knew that raising obedient children who knew the Lord was an assignment given by the Lord for me so I cherished it.

Then there are all the good things about raising children: when they laugh out loud, running to me to hug and kiss me, rocking them through their sick nights as they slept on me, watching them grow up to become good adults and choose good instead of evil. What can the world offer that is better than these things? Nothing. 

Therefore, instead of worrying about losing yourself in the process of raising children, decide to lose yourself in the process of raising children since this is what the Lord asks of you! As we are denying ourselves and giving ourselves away for our families, we are storing treasures in heaven; the only safe place to store things!

Donald Wildman wrote, "How great has been the influence of the cross on our world. The cross is a symbol, an eternal symbol, of something good in the heart of God. It is a symbol of sacrifice. In an age of terrible gluttony and greed, it does us good to look back at the cross. There was no greed there... No, the cross is a symbol of something noble; a sacrifice which literally knew no limits." May we become women whose sacrifice of our lives for others, especially our family, knows NO limits!

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, 
let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Matthew 16:24