Encouragement for Moms

Joyful Mothering and the “Real” Factor

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4

(Paul wrote this while in prison.  Oh, how small most of our troubles seem in comparison!)

Last week I wrote a short article about complaining and being “real.”  That’s easier said than done, I heard in reply.  And I totally get that.  How are we as Christian ladies supposed to always find joy in our work?  Isn’t that too much to ask?

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But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Finding joy always is too difficult for our small human brains to comprehend.  We cannot do it on our own.  We need Christ, and His grace.  When we are weak, He is strong.  His power will rest on us and give us the strength to be joyful when we cannot do it on our own.  Praise Him for that!

Motherhood is tough sometimes.  It is hard work.  We need to keep focused on the fact that it is kingdom work that we are doing for the glory of God.  When we look at it in this light, joyfulness suddenly comes a bit easier.

What about being “real” about my struggles?  Is there anyone we can be real with?

Absolutely.  We can be upfront and totally real with God.

Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping.

Psalm 39:12

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;  Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.

Psalm 130:1-2

Sometimes it seems easier to complain to our sisters instead of praying to our Father.  We lack joy and look to others to hold us up, instead of turning to God.  If God uses others to help us during times of need, but how will we know if this help is from God or man if we do not seek Him first and continuously?  After all, Jesus is our wonderful counselor!

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

What about complaining or grumbling to those around us?  Biblically, I do not see anything to support this view.  Let’s let God do His work in us, and then we can really let everyone around us know about His goodness, His sufficiency, and His grace when we are on the other side of our struggle.  When the world sees our joy, we become lights for Him!

One thought on “Joyful Mothering and the “Real” Factor

  1. Could I chime in and make a distinction that I have seen between “grumbling and complaining” and being vulnerable? I believe God calls the body of Christ to lift one another up. Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The verse right before says, “if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.” James 5:16 also says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

    For me, complaining insists of wanting to change another person; vulnerability is confessing that I am struggling with something I need God’s help in changing. Yes, complaining is often public, but vulnerability, at least for me, has always been a private thing. I have asked for prayer in submission to my husband, attitudes toward my children, and strength for my daily tasks — all without ever bringing them into a negative light because I understand it’s MY heart that needs cleansing. Not that I necessarily go to them first, but I realize that God has given me this resource of community for a purpose that I might be more effective in my task. And, I find, being vulnerable also allows others to confess their own struggles that they might be strengthened as well. This is how we love one another, by tending the wounds and bearing with the struggles. When the world sees how we tend to our own, in love, His light shines forth and He is glorified. Our weakness can bring honor to Him, but we must be willing to be open about it in tenderness and humility. At least as I understand it.

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