Every year for Mother's Day, I like to ask a lady to share from her perspective a word of encouragement for Mother's. This year, I preached on Finding Your Place in God's Story and encouraged Moms to see life according to the idea of being created in God's image (Creation), being aware that we are all sinners, including their kids (the Fall), understanding that Jesus came for us to forgive us and redeem us (Redemption), and that we are to live in Hope by believing and passing on God's perspective to our kids (New Creation). I just wanted to encourage them in God's love, tell them that their worth and identity came from God and not their performance, remind them that things are going to go wrong in their lives and the lives of their family, and that Jesus is the one they are to look to and encourage their families to look to. Our Moms already do that so well, but I was hoping that they would see God's Story and find their place in it.
I asked Cheryl Brake, a lady in our church who has raised three boys along with her husband, Mike, to share about living God's Story instead of the world's from her own perspective. This is what she said (it was powerful):
Are You Mom Enough
When Alan called and asked if I would speak this morning he said,”I really want to encourage these mothers.” And in his tone was the sound of a heart burdened for the mothers of his flock. I got off the phone and I asked God to show me what was happening to the moms around me because I wanted to help my pastor carry that burden. Later that day, when I opened my Yahoo page, I got my answer. There was the Time magazine cover and the question
“Are You Mom Enough?
God reminded me of a conversation I had recently with an amazing mother. A mother is so amazing that she is adding to her family by adopting.
In our conversation she was asking me to review some paper work and she was telling me everything she was doing to mother her new charge. Then she looked at me and said, “Am I doing enough?” Ladies, today I am here to encourage you by telling you, you will never be enough.
Now before you throw your bibles at me just bare with me for a second, because my prayer is that the truth will actually set you free.
On an average day a mom’s job description is cook, nurse, referee, housekeeper, chauffer, coach, confidant, teacher, recreational coordinator, fashion consultant, purchasing agent, toy repairman, and bedtime storyteller.
If you are a Christian mother add to that bible study leader, worship leader, prayer warrior, protector from a fallen world, and you have just an average mother’s day.
No wonder we are tired all the time? And we end the day wondering if we did enough. “Are we mom enough?’
And if you have blown it in any way, well the answer is clear. You have failed! Every other mom is doing a better job than you and you know it. Does it sound familiar?
Well, I am here to tell you that being everything your kids need was never God’s plan.
In Gen 1:26-28 it says:
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
Mothers, this is where our story begins: Be fruitful and increase in number: Motherhood was part of God’s plan. But His plan was for us to be stewards, not saviors. It was part of a blessing, not a curse.
And when that child is born you do not have to tell a new mother that her child is part of a blessing. When she holds that beautiful bundle of joy she feels the goodness of God. She sees the beauty of His creation. She feels blessed.
But unfortunately, reality follows.
Gen. Chapter 3 says: “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
We see our perfectly blessed woman, created in His image, analyzing that fruit and deciding what is best for her and her family.
I have often wondered how many times Eve thought about that choice. Being removed from the garden, no longer communing with God in a state of perfection, would have been punishment enough. But can you image how that choice haunted her when Cain hit the terrible twos? There was sin staring her in the face! The blessing that was received in perfection was now walking and talking and screaming “NO” at the top of his lungs!
I was pondering this one day when my oldest was exerting his two year old status, and then I thought about Hannah. Now that woman was smart; she had a plan. She loved that little bundle of joy, cuddled him, and nursed him, but the moment that kid turned two she said, “Here God, he’s all yours!”
Moms I am sure you can see what I am saying here. Because of the fall, those little blessings are tough to handle. And let me tell you this, when sinful child meets with burnt out mom, it can get ugly.
BUT… There is hope. God did not leave us trapped in the web of sin and despair. He sacrificed His own to save us.
Every hope we have as a person, as a woman, and as a mother, hinges on the cross of Christ.
God provided a savior. God saved us from ourselves. His redemption took away the consequences of our sinful choices. It provided for us a Holy Spirit; The counselor, teacher and power source to choose a different way.
Ladies, what I am about to tell you is a very different way from the burden the world is putting on us.
We are not the glue that holds our family together Christ is. We will never be tough enough, smart enough, or loving enough to hold our kids lives together. It was never God’s plan.
The redemptive beauty of the cross is that it sets us free. Not only does it set us free from death, but it sets us free from the lies of this world.
We are free to see our children as heirs of Christ. Free to see that God has a plan for their lives, and free to allow Him full authority over it.
We are also free from the guilt that we are not doing enough. We are free from all the ‘experts’ telling us how to be the perfect parent. And we are free from yoke of slavery that says we determine who our children become.
We are also free to approach His throne boldly, to cry out for our son and daughters, and to admit to the God of the universe that we do not have a clue how to ‘fix’ them or the situation they are walking through.
We are free from the fear that this world will win, because Christ has overcome this world
We are free to show our children that we are merely stewards. Free to tell them that they were created for a bigger story, a bigger purpose, and a bigger plan.
We are free to make a mistake and ask their forgiveness, and show them that we too need redemption. We can tell them we don’t know which college they should attend, or what job they should take, or even where they should live.
All of those things are part of their story, and they need to listen for the voice of the author.
We are also free to tell them there is hope when they fail, there is one who holds their heart, and he collects their every tear in a bottle.
We are free to point them to a hurt and dying world around them, instead of fearing it’s influences over them. We can show them that the story of others in intertwined with their own.
We are free to tell them that this world is not their home and they were not made to feel comfortable in it.
We are free to believe that if our children are prodigals, that our God loves them with an everlasting love, and He is actively wooing them back to Himself and when they return He will robe them with the garments of His household.
Instead of spending our time and energy trying to be everything our children need, we are free to direct them to the Great I am.
And ladies, listen carefully to this part, we are free to release ourselves. We can trust that every mistake we made will be used for God’s glory. That the sins we have shown them will be the nails that hold them to the cross, and that the God who commands the morning also brings with it, new mercies.
Ladies, God’s plan was for us to Never be Mom enough. It was to provide a savior for our sins, strength for our weakness, and hope beyond this world for our children.
Remember our story started out with a blessing. Well God’s word says that your children are blessed because they were born into the home of a believer. Believe that. Believe that one day your children will say, “My mom was NOT mom enough but the Savior she showed me was EVERYTHING!
If you would like to hear this message, you can at the bottom of our church's website.