Reflections on Biblical Motherhood
My husband Stephen went through the Fellows program in 2015-2016, and I saw how his participation in the program radiated into our family life. As his wife, I saw firsthand how he was applying what he was reading and learning as a father and husband. Encouraged by his growth, I decided to also take part in the program. During the last eight months, we have reflected on our principium – our starting point, or foundation for what we believe. Are we using our feelings, culture’s ideas, or God’s Word as the lens by which we view the world and everything in it? As we have explored the importance of applying a Biblical worldview to every aspect of our lives, I have been encouraged to particularly consider how Scripture comes to bear on my present vocation as a mother.
After working in the dance field for ten years as a teacher, administrator, and performer, I resigned to take care of my children, Christian (4) and John (2). This transition has been both fulfilling and challenging. Through the lectures, readings, discussions, and specifically our seminar on parenting, I have been reminded this year to recall what Scripture says about Christian child-rearing:
- Children are a blessing from the Lord
- They are included in God’s covenant with His people
- God Himself has graciously given parents the high calling and responsibility to nurture children
When we fail to begin with what God says about children, they can so easily become a burden to be managed rather than a gift, rather God’s gift, to be stewarded. Further, parenting brings about the manifestations of sinful tendencies we so often neglect to uproot -- self-centeredness and idolatry, to name a few.
For me personally, motherhood has exposed many sin struggles, particularly impatience and self-centeredness. My patience is tested often, as I feel like most of my day is spent being a mediator between my boys, or running in circles cleaning up their mess. Our first reading assignment this year, The Religious Life of Theological Students by Benjamin Warfield deeply resonated with me as I think about my calling as a mother,
“Every man who aspires to be a religious man must begin by doing his duty, his obvious duty, his daily task, the particular work which lies before him to do at this particular time and place…you cannot build up a religious life except you begin by performing faithfully your simple, daily duties.”
No religious character can be built up on the foundation of neglected duty. We must put our hearts into our vocations. Despite my feeling like my duties are oftentimes monotonous and emotionally exhausting, I am reminded to look to God who created me and gave me these precious children. As Creator, He alone defines the meaning of these days. Another one of our assigned readings God at Work by Gene Edward Veith discussed how the family is the most basic of all vocations, the “one in which God’s creative power and His providential care are most dramatically conveyed through human beings.” The Fall has affected our relationships, but “though we sin in and against our vocations, as we grow in Christ, the everyday tasks set before us can be motivated and shaped by love.” 1 John 3:18 says, “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." His grace is sufficient, and His love is unconditional. As I look to Christ who laid down His life for me, I am then strengthened to humbly serve my children in love.
As we conclude this sweet time of fellowship and learning in the Fellows program, I am thankful to everyone who made this program possible. As Fellows, we experienced the hands and feet of Jesus, as our church body worked together to put on this program. From the weekly hosts who showed genuine hospitality to us each week with a warm meal, the faithful lecturing and discussion lead by Pastor Casselli, to the insightful seminar speakers, it has been a wonderful experience.