By Alli Hill
Have you noticed a growing trend among mothers today of sarcasm and mommy memes making light of cliché parenting moments? We can all relate to the monotony and at times hilarity of motherhood. I’ll admit that I often laugh pretty hard at some of these, but other times find myself cringing at the negativity behind the messages. I believe motherhood is seen as a noble lifework by many, but practically, its portrayal is one of drudgery and at times insanity. The question believing mothers need to ask is this: How does the gospel redeem motherhood?
The longer you study the Bible, the more you see God’s deep love and commitment to His people, as well as man’s desperate need for a Savior. My children, as precious as I believe them to be, are deeply sinful and lost unless God opens their eyes to their great need of Him for salvation. I gave birth to them, but only God can make them reborn. How I pray for the day when they become new creations in Christ Jesus! Until that day comes, I recognize the mission the Lord has given me as their mother is to display the beauty of the Gospel to them in every day living. Yet, as much as I desire to redeem each ordinary opportunity that comes with raising children, the task seems at times more than I can bear.
A deep truth I continue coming back to regarding my children or anyone else with whom I come into contact is this: Every person is made in the image of God and will spend eternity in either heaven or hell. There is an urgency to redeem the time we have, whether it be with the sticky two-year-old pitching a fit over breakfast, the grocery clerk who has had a long day, or the reclusive neighbor with whom you rarely interact. Each soul matters to our Holy God. How will we be obedient as ambassadors of Christ?
In the past few weeks I have read Rosaria Butterfield’s The Gospel Comes with a House Key, as well as Gloria Furman’s Missional Motherhood. Both books have been tremendous resources for me in thinking through loving our neighbors, church members, and children the way God has graciously loved us. I appreciate Rosaria’s words here on this subject:
We make gospel bridges into our home because we notice the people around us and their needs. We see people whom God has put into our lives – especially the difficult ones – as image bearers of a Holy God and therefore deserving of our best. Hospitality is image-bearer driven, because Christ’s blood pumps me whole. It is not time, convenience, and calendar driven. If it were, none of it would happen. None of this grace would be mine to hold and to share.
This obviously has tremendous implications for how we do neighborly hospitality within our homes, but think about what this mindset would mean for our mothering. Our children are image bearers of a Holy God and therefore, deserving our best. We love and serve them sacrificially, not ultimately to be rewarded with good behavior and kindness, but because our heavenly Father has given us this very grace in His Son. The gospel redeems our motherhood, giving us eternal perspective in the midst of the daily grind. When we serve and love our children, we do so as unto the Lord. (Colossians 3:23-24)
Gloria Furman puts it this way: “The gospel is the centerpiece of our relationships with our children, husband, disciples, neighbors, and strangers on the street. None of us is ‘just fine’ apart from Christ.” She goes on to say in her concluding chapter, “In grace-empowered love, we live on mission, imploring our children and our neighbors to repent of their sin and worship the Lamb who was slain for them, so they might taste and see that God is good.”
Until we rightly see our own utter dependence on the Lord for mercy and grace, we will never extend that same love to others the way God intends. As long as I put “self” on the throne, my children will be inconveniences to having my own way or doing whatever it is I want. When I rightly submit to my heavenly Father with my life and my day, I can serve and love from this posture of humility. I can know that Christ will fill me with all the strength and grace I need to accomplish His will for my life. Gloria says it best: “A life lived on biblical mission is characterized by Spirit-empowered dying to self as one overflows in grace to others, compelled by the love of Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:14)
I want to join Paul in saying “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls” (1 Cor. 12:15), as I seek to point my little ones to Christ. The Lord is able to redeem even the mundane moments with our children for our good and for His glory. Living on God’s mission as mothers is indeed a great privilege, and one I pray we do not see as an inconvenience. May we keep an eternal perspective during our every day faithfulness.
Download this Scripture Lock Screen and 5x7 Scripture Card with 2 Corinthians 12:15 to be reminded of God’s truth!
Alli is married to Gentry Hill and they have three children, Hadley, Dempsey, and Emery. They live in Poteau, Oklahoma, where her husband serves as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church Poteau. Alli hopes to minister to other new moms while continuing to learn how to mother her children in a Christ-honoring way, all while being a keeper of her home. Alli enjoys hospitality, painting, home renovations, & all things domestic. She serves as managing editor for Missional Motherhood.