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A Mother’s Day Devotional

The following is a baby shower devotional given by a member at Zion URC, who would like to stay anonymous.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” – 1 John 3:1

God has carried you through the many seismic shifts of your life—to college, to career, and to marriage. Each stage was a means of sanctification for His glory—to make you more and more into his image. And now He has brought you to a new phase in life—motherhood.

I think everyone here can attest to how motherhood can be a very effective and intensive avenue for sanctification. All the challenges that will come and go are double-edged means. On one side they are calls on you to serve God by loving and discipling your children, and on the other, they will be tools God uses to love and disciple you.
Motherhood is a calling, a way of serving God by serving the people He’s placed in our families, and He does with our work what He pleases – for our good, for our children’s good, and for His glory.

If we look back at our passage, we can begin to realize how often God uses the metaphor of fatherhood and family relationships for Himself and His relationship with us. Especially with our firstborns, we feel this sudden change in our position in the world. It’s a sobering thought to know that this tiny helpless person will need you for everything.

Motherhood is an intense path of sanctification because of how potent it is, how much it directly brings home God’s Word to us. God is our father. What does that really mean? It means you are as helpless to take care of yourself as your baby will be. It means just as you will always return to feed her, to comfort her, to change her diaper, so God tirelessly and faithfully attends to us for our needs.

And, when we’re vomited on, when we have to clean poop out of the car seat (again), when we make meals every day and aren’t thanked for our efforts, that’s where we realize that the flip side of learning how God is a father is learning how we are like children. We are that thankless child. We are the obstinate two-year-old who screams “NO! ME DO IT!” . We are the helpless infants who can’t control our own bodily functions. And God cleans us up again and again and again. Ceaselessly, lovingly, patiently, even when we don’t realize what a mess we just made. Sometimes he shows us and makes us help clean it up. Sometimes he covers it entirely himself and we don’t even notice because we’ve already moved on to thinking about our next need. We’re just like infants.

Mothering is just one path of sanctification. Our children are really like little mirrors. When we see ourselves in them we are able to handle them and life with more love and grace. When we deal with our own sin first before rushing in to squash their sin, we are not only better mothers, we are growing in sanctification, which is God’s will for us.
Your seismic life changes might soon be over for now, at least for a few years. But the little, mundane changes and decisions and situations, day after day, matter just as much. They are the moments that build a life. Sins will make up a large part of that life. Your sins. Her sins. Your husband’s sins. Other people’s sins. But these are unending opportunities to forgive, to clean up, to repent.

May we all be given the grace we need to do that day in and day out, for the praise of His glory.

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