How the Gospel Changed My View of Motherhood
BY KRISTA BARNETT
Being a mother was something I had longed for many years before the Lord blessed us with children. It truly was one of the greatest longings of my heart. But becoming a mother was more difficult than I had expected. With all the joys that motherhood would bring, it also brought moments of great loss, disappointment, exhaustion, and many times it stretched me more than I could have ever imagined. When circumstances came that crushed my spirit, this once longed for blessing sometimes left me feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, anxious, and many times fearing things that were totally out of my control. In these times, my sinful heart was revealed. No matter how hard I tried to be the “perfect mom” or the “perfect wife,” I could never fully measure up.
But growing in my understanding of the gospel has changed the way I understand and view motherhood, and really life itself. I realized that I was putting more faith in trying to “do it all right” without fully relying on Christ to be my strength. You see, Christ is not only sufficient in salvation, but for each and every day. Christ is SUFFICIENT for my every need, but I must submit my will to His will. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Psalm 56: 3-4 says, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” God has chosen me, with all my inadequacies, to be the mother of our children. He has given me the opportunity to be used as an instrument of his grace and demonstrate Christ and His sufficiency, not my own. Truly understanding this was freeing.
God has chosen me, with all my inadequacies, to be the mother of our children. He has given me the opportunity to be used as an instrument of his grace and demonstrate Christ and His sufficiency, not my own.
At the age of 9, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I realized I was a sinner and incapable of perfection. I needed a SAVIOR that could do for me what I could not do for myself. I praise God for this! But, I also need HIM and His Word each and every day. Through developing a closer relationship with my Savior, I am renewed in my faith daily. Without His transforming work in my life, I have nothing to give. Only as I yield myself to Christ am I able to pour His love, His grace, and His mercy into the hearts of those I love. As I am reminded of what He did for me on the cross, I am humbled and strengthened to offer this same grace, love, and forgiveness to my children, my husband, and those around me. The gospel reminds me of MY constant daily need for His forgiveness of sin. Even though I was nine years old when I accepted him as my Savior (well over 30 years ago!), I need His daily sanctification until I’m 109! When life’s storms come and I’m tempted to be anxious of the unknown, when my sin is ever before me, when I’m impatient or unkind in my words or actions, He graciously offers His forgiveness again and again as I humbly repent of sin. As my daily need of Christ is displayed to my family, he uses this to show them how He offers this grace to them as well.
As my daily need of Christ is displayed to my family, he uses this to show them how He offers this grace to them as well.
Through growth in my understanding of the gospel, I have become aware of my need to daily submit my will to His will. It has caused me to realize that my “perfect-made” plans may be different from what His best is for my life, or for my family. Because of sin, there will always be challenges and circumstances that I would rather avoid, but in dying to self daily, I find peace and new life in Christ. Each and every day He offers me His new mercies. God’s Word tells us in Lamentations 3:22-23, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness”. God is merciful, He is kind, and He is forgiving. He can take our mistakes and make something beautiful out of them. I can find rest and joy in motherhood because of the hope I have in Jesus Christ. God does not ask for my perfection, or the perfection of the ones I love; that is why He sent His Son, Jesus, to do what I could not do! These imperfections point me to my great need of the Perfect One, Jesus Christ! Understanding these truths, allows me to die to my own will and be submitted to His.
This understanding helped me to realize my mission in motherhood is focused on the eternal – to point those that I love to Jesus Christ. As I seek Him, trust His Word, ponder His faithfulness, and repent of my sin, only then can I minister to the spiritual and physical needs of my children, my husband, and those around me. Only then can I look at even the everyday, mundane tasks and allow God to use them for His glory. Only then, can I experience true peace and true joy as I place my faith and my hope in my Savior. Fully realizing this was life-changing for me! Even though I still struggle to remind myself daily of the gospel, I find freedom from the burden of navigating motherhood in my own strength.
As we anticipate Mother’s Day, if you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, trust HIM as your Savior today. It is the greatest decision you will ever make that is eternal. It is the greatest gift you can give to your family. If you are a believer, praise Him for what HE has done for you and find joy in all the seasons of motherhood by loving your Savior and fixing your eyes upon Him. And when the tough seasons come, when your hopes and dreams are not in line with what is happening, when the everyday, mundane tasks seem too hard and exhaustion is more than you can bear, realize Christ is sufficient for your every need! As moms, or other ladies who have the privilege to invest in others’ lives, realize you can only find strength, hope, and “rest” at the feet of Jesus. The Lord has specifically given you the privilege, not to be “perfect,” but to point those you love to the PERFECT SAVIOR!
And when the tough seasons come, when your hopes and dreams are not in line with what is happening, when the everyday, mundane tasks seem too hard and exhaustion is more than you can bear, realize Christ is sufficient for your every need!