Christian motherhood should have marks of joyfulness! It is a responsibility of the souls God has placed in your possession the pursuit to help build and nurture the hearts of babes, children, teenagers, and adult children. Each stage of childhood encapsulates a new set of needs and adjustments that we must be in tune to and minister to according to what the Lord desires.
We know it’s a tough job, because there are unknown outcomes and personalities that may not respond to the last solution we used to help them. Parenting can be a hair-pulling experience when you desire desperately to raise your children for the Lord and you cannot figure out answers and worry they will not respond correctly to each situation that comes in their lives. With all the work involved the Bible explains in Psalm 113:9 God desires that we be joyful mothers. When God blesses the womb (or arms!) of a woman, He gives her a task to take care of that child, keep her home, and be joyful!
“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” Psalm 113:9
Throughout my life in experiences with other mothers and being a mother for eleven years now, I came up with this list of marks of Christian motherhood. I know that I am not an angelic mother with squeaky clean goody two-shoes. I am a P-Rex (Parenting Rex) that at times follows my children barking orders, lecturing about their poor manners in the social situations of the day, and being a big party pooper. Of course a little of that comes with the territory, but my desire is that our children have those precious memories of Mama when they think of me. That their thoughts will not be “Man, Mom yelled at us a lot,” but rather, “Mama was a tough cookie but she showed us she loved us every day and it was great to be a part of our family.” I’m just going to share with you some thoughts and ideas I have gleaned about being a joyful mother.
Greeting your children in the morning. Not barking at them or correcting them first thing out of your mouth, but welcoming them and speaking kindly. (Even to those who are lazy bones and like to sleep in). Gentleness should be a part of your morning to help the spirit of your home peaceful as long as you can. Gentle joy can have an effect on the whole day!
Getting up and being ready to serve your children. How many times do we determine the tip of a waiter on their performance in service? Would you make any extra “tip money” if your children gave you a tip for your excellent servant-spirit for them? Don’t be a doormat, but realize that you as Mama, do have responsibilities that should not all be shoved over on your children. God convicts me at times when I am asking my children to do things that I should be doing for them. They are not supposed to be my little gophers getting every little thing that I want. If we truly believe our motherhood is a ministry and a service to our children then we should be ready to serve our family as an example of Christ’s love. When we’re old will our children serve us like we served them? Joyful motherhood comes in serving our children.
Listening with focus and attention. When you hire a babysitter you expect they would have their phone put away, not staring at a screen answering texts, watching videos, or playing games. You would expect they would have their attention on your children so that they are alert to their safety and taking care of their needs. Listen Mamas, don’t expect more out of the babysitter than you expect out of yourself in the area of giving attention to your children. They have precious things to say, things to inform you about in terms of who they are and what they are thinking of, and even prayer requests. Do whatever is necessary to stop what you are doing and listen to them when they are interrupting you during the mundane tasks or while you scroll away. Your children cannot be enjoyed when you are distracted.
Planning ways to spark their interest and keep your heart strings connected. Whatever family rut you are in, get out of it and find some fun things to do. Peruse Pinterest, check out the local deals for cheap activities, or invest some time buying new grocery items and make a new recipe. You can delve into their desires and interests if they are properly managed and learn about the things they are talking to you about. If it requires you do some research or introducing them to a person who knows more on their interest do it! Your hobbies, home business, and ministry should not get all of your creativity! Joy comes when we are able to connect with our children in enjoyable activities.
Celebrating and acknowledging little achievements of progress. In child training it can be easy to focus on the negatives, trying to train them to get them to do things “right” and correcting our children endlessly. The old saying goes, “If Mama ain’t happy then ain’t nobody happy…” but we can tweak it a little, “If Mama ain’t thankful, then ain’t nobody happy.” Take time to learn to train yourself to praise and acknowledge that you are seeing improvement in their struggles and personal goals. You don’t have to go overboard with prizes or rewards; to give a special hug or compliment alone can encourage them. A word of thanks can go a long way! For those of you with older children who “expect” them to get everything right because they already know what to do and how to do it, give them a pat on the back for all those jobs completed. Encouraging our children should bring joy to our hearts.
We have such an impact on our family, let’s be plugged in to our actions and rely upon God’s guidance to help us continue to have those heart-to-heart joyful connections with our children. There are more suggestions on how to be a joyful mother in Part 2 of this article, be sure to look for it here on the blog very soon!