Motherhood & The Image Of God
What is one of the biggest things I have been learning since becoming a mother?
That I am made in God's Image. I've read that in Scripture and have been told that my entire life but never really understood it fully. I can't believe how much being a mother is in His image. I am finding myself to be more devoted, more sacrificial, more loving, more focused and kind... sins are coming to surface which is hard, but if I realize my vision of being a mother, being sanctified and being more like Jesus and pointing my children to Jesus, it is such a joy to confront and work on those sins, and know that Christ's power is made perfect in my weaknesses.
“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 12v9
God spoke to me one morning very clearly about the calling of motherhood over His people. If my toddler Jovi could think this way, I would consider she would be in wonder as to why I would lower myself to serve her, why I'd choose to change dirty diapers and lose sleep and play children's games, and have to give up finances and resources to serve her. I'm an adult with important things to do. I had planned on being a campus minister working alongside my husband with InterVarsity. I love to paint and go running and be spontaneous and go camping. I love my marriage and the way it was and having a lot of free time to spend with Blake.
Anyways, Jesus clearly pointed out that that was what He did.
"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2v5-8
He left his higher status, His "job", His much more important status, to lower Himself to deal with our childish ways, to have to live in our conditions, to have to care for us and love us on our level. I was amazed at that as I've never seen it that way. I've never seen myself in His image so clearly before.
It was really hard the first six months of being a mom. I didn't choose to be a mom. One, I had planned on working alongside my husband in ministry, in a ministry I loved. Two, I hadn't planned on the loss of myself in being a mother (but aren't we called to loose ourselves in following Jesus?) through body changes, mental changes, schedule changes, etc. But God has abundantly blessed me through realizing who I am. Yes, being a mother is only a part of who I am, but it does define a big part of me.
Just like as I grew up, the friends I made, when I got married… I changed and became someone new. It was all good, while following Jesus. God loves motherhood, and He has blessed it. He admires it; motherhood is part of Who He is, not just fatherhood.
“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female he created them.” Genes 1v27
It's an honor. Change is a hard thing for me; I thought I had who I was down, and I enjoyed that stage in life. But I changed a lot, unintentionally and by having to accept change (even little things, like I loved working out and found identity in being fit and healthy, now I hate getting hot and sweaty, haven't run in two years, and don't feel good about myself). I'm having to move on and find new things and accept that I am changed. For such a great purpose! My pastor talked about motherhood and how the world, even Christian culture, is viewing it. I viewed it terribly, which is partly why I ultimately never wanted to have kids. I am so thankful that God surprised us with pregnancy and has renewed me in that area. I was missing out on so much growth, love, and joy.
I am finding myself to be in the image of God.
There really is nothing more beautiful right now to me than being a sole nourisher to two eternal beings. Knowing Jovi and Joshua, them growing from my body, as we were breathed out by God, watching them and knowing them intimately like God knows and loves me, understanding her and him (even though that can be a challenge at times!), being the one who sees that banana is Jovi’s favorite fruit, that she loves a particular toy, that she communicates she wants a nap in a certain way, when Joshua is hungry, that my body was miraculously making them both… It's all so wonderful. I don't want to make it sound like pure bliss and that nothing is difficult. God's job was full of pain, sacrifice, and humility. But that's why it is so beautiful. Made in His image, taking after Him; and if He is my first true love then that's an honor to go through for me!
“just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,” Matthew 20v28
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9v23
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5v13