Marriage, Momming and Managing the Home.

The Bible has a lot to say about motherhood.

When we become mothers we all of a sudden have a new priority. These tiny humans cannot survive without us. That holds huge weight and responsibility.

Part of us just naturally gives up so much of ourselves. Its just how we were designed, but there is still a part that struggles with all the sacrifice of motherhood and it effects some women more than others.

In the Bible motherhood is spoken of with importance and as a high calling. Children are viewed as a blessing and an heritage from the Lord. Psalm 127:3

I like to start every day thanking God for my children. I know the day is bound to be filled with breaking up sibling arguments, mundane house cleaning tasks, and feelings of no time for myself. When I give thanks for the beautiful gift of motherhood it helps me to go into my day with a different posture. It helps me to remember the countless women struggling with infertility who would do anything to be in my position. It helps me to remember the days are long but the years are short. If you missed episode 3 where we talk about having a grateful heart then go back and listen to it because I truly believe gratitude changes everything.

I am going to be basing today’s episode off of Titus 2:4-5

Titus 2:4-5 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

We are to love our husbands and children. I think love is really 2 fold. It is an emotion and any mom who has fallen in love and started a family knows that exact emotion. The I would do anything for you, I can’t bear to be away from you kind of feeling.

But that emotion needs to be exercised as time goes on. Therefore love is also an action, a choice. When things aren’t fresh, new, easy or going your way you need to choose love. When we make the active decision to choose love and not only feel love we can be world changers. We can have so much more happiness and fulfillment.

It also says we are to be self controlled. When this comes to motherhood I believe it means we need to be showing good examples to our children. We need to not pursue whatever WE want but do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. Be self controlled in our emotions, our eating and relaxing habits, and in our work ethic.

We are to be pure. Matthew 5:8 tells us Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. This is increasingly difficult in today’s day in age. But this is not a new struggle. Corinth in Biblical days is the Las Vegas of today.

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How to we cultivate a heart that is pure? By protecting our hearts and minds. By immersing ourselves daily in scripture, by being constant in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17: Pray without ceasing. We obtain a pure heart by looking to God, not food, not relationships, not mind numbing TV shows. By being e wise about who you follow on social media and who you let speak into you life. By being obedient to God’s calling on your life. 1 Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,

As mothers we are to be working at home. Proverbs 31 is filled with wisdom about how we are to be working at home. This does not mean we are all called to work only at home and be housewives.

Proverbs 31 also talks about how she makes linen garments and sells them, how she considers a field and purchases it. I believe some women are called to a complete stay at home mom life, some are called to a work at home mom life (besides the work of raising a family) and some women are called to work outside of the home.

However we are all called to take care of our families well. To love and serve them. To make food for them. To rise early and prepare. I love reading Proverbs 31 when I am feeling discouraged or overwhelmed in my motherhood. Some days this woman seems like a mystical unicorn, so hard to obtain but when I really meditate on this scripture I see the exact woman I want to be and with God all things are possible.

In whatever way God calls you to work we are to work hard. Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. So when you are feeling bogged down in the mundane tasks of motherhood remember who we serve and why we work hard.

I just want to read Proverbs 31: starting at verse 10. Meditate on these words.

10 [d] An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.[f]
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

This passage about womanhood and motherhood is so beautiful to me. I want to be her. I strive everyday to be this woman.

We are to be kind. How often is our kindness shown to others but we totally miss the mark at home. The kids aren’t listening, the house is a mess and you are feeling like a maid more than a mother. Can you relate? I can count far too many times where I have been unkind to my children because of my emotions. How quickly I see their little faces fall in disappointment. How quickly I feel like a crappy mom.

I see some other women and the way they speak they just exude kindness and gentleness. And this is one of my greatest prayers. I tend to be a little too raw and honest, a little bit sarcastic and when I am feeling overwhelmed in a messy house my emotions get the best of me. Which is a huge reason I have made the shift towards minimalism, but we will save that for another episode.

We are to be submissive to our husbands. OK all the powerful women out there please know I am with you when I say. This can feel unfair. Being submissive and this word in the Bible has women and feminists riled up all over the place. I did some studying on this because I think at first glance we see it as a negative thing. And when we come to the Bible with our preconceptions we don’t do ourselves any good.

Being submissive is in fact a beautiful thing. It means respect and love towards your husband. It means a mutual decision making process that aligns with what and how God tells us to live like. It means leadership not dictatorship. Women have a desire to be taken care of. Even me. Strong willed, a leader in my own right, I love when my husband takes initiative and takes care of me. To be honest, I feel that my husband makes me feel like I do the leading in my family because he listens to me, thinks I am wise and usually agrees or comes to agree with whatever decision we make TOGETHER. But the last call is always his because he is wise, seeks and serves the Lord.

When men hear leadership and use it to control or dictate, they are completely going against what God says a husband is to do and that is to love his wife like Christ loves the church. And spoiler alert Christ died for us. Even in our sin and rebellion, he sacrificed for us. That is our husbands calling and if you ask me seems a whole lot harder than our calling to be submissive.

God gave us women beautiful minds and intelligent brains. If we were to be doormats wouldn’t he make us more simple? It is scientifically proven that our brains are hardwired so differently than a mans. They think in boxes and can focus on one task easier but our beautiful brains are like spaghetti on steroids. A million thoughts, actions and decisions going on all at once. We can multitask, get things done, be dreamers and adventurers, be amazing leaders, and accomplish incredible things because of it. I am so thankful for the brain God gave me.

Submission does not mean “yes dear husband, as you wish” especially if what he thinks does not align with scripture. We don’t rely on our husbands for our spiritual growth, for the household decisions to be made, for how we are to work and serve. We serve the Lord. He is who we answer to.

To me submission means we honor our husband as leader of the family and being a leader is a great responsibility. But no great leader gets anywhere on their own. A great husband leads by getting help, support and sees the value in his wife.

Being a leader means you need to work on yourself first. Our husbands must be reading their bibles regularly and praying regularly to lead us well.

Leading well means you get others to do great things, so being submissive to my husband means he is leading me well and doing things to make me do great things. To serve well. To love well.

Being a leader means he walks the walk not just talks the talk.

I want to submit to this kind of husband and I will not submit to a husband that is contrary to these character traits. The kind of man I am describing aka (my amazing husband) deserves my respect and submission. And if your husband is not like this than it is your job as his wife under the authority of Christ to help shape him into the leader he is called to be. In 1 Peter 3: 1-6 which is where submission is discussed the husband is not a believer. Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

God is calling her to submit to him with respect and pure conduct so he can see and know and believe in the Lord. Not to be disrespectful and angry and bitter towards him showcasing a negative light as a believer.

So if you have struggled with the word submissive I urge you to really dive into what God says about the husband, wife relationship. And see how beautiful submission really is.

When our children see this beautiful husband wife relationship and how we submit it teaches them the importance of submitting and obedience. It teaches them that their sinful desires are not to be pursued after. It centres your whole family around Christ.

So mama, on the hard days, in the mundane tasks focus on the gift of motherhood. The importance and great calling. I am so thankful to be a mom and it is a big reason why I am a foster parent. The gift of motherhood is not lost on me.

Lord, thank you for today and for the gift of motherhood. Thank you for everyone listening to this right now. For every mama who is having a tough day, remind her in little ways about the gift she is living out. Help her to see her sacrifice is so beneficial. Help her to be renewed and find strength under your wings Lord. I pray blessings over her family. I pray a strong and solid relationship with her husband. I pray you make her purpose in this life clear and keep her focused on eternity. I pray her children love her well. I pray she submits to and respects her husband to be a model to her children. I pray all of these things in Jesus precious and powerful name. Amen.