“One does not surrender a life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime."
- Elisabeth Elliott
Elisabeth Elliott is a favorite author of mine. Her lifetime of radical sacrifice and devotion to God has impacted me greatly. Her reminder that surrender is not a one-time decision is important to remember in relation to motherhood. It is also not a one-time surrender to God. Every morning when our feet hit the floor, we must choose to remain faithful and follow God’s will.
How do we do this? How do we remain faithful for a lifetime to this call of Motherhood? These verses from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 have comforted and encouraged me.
"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I see three characteristics of true motherhood as I reflect on these verses. The first is that to remain faithful in motherhood is to not lose heart or hope. God will renew us each day. We need the daily food of God’s word to feed our souls and quench our thirst. Every day we are filling ourselves with something. Will it be God’s Word, or will we choose broken cisterns? Jeremiah 2:13 says, “for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Are we trying to fill ourselves with the broken cisterns of social media, knowledge, or anything else that takes God’s place in our lives? If so, we will be left empty and dry. May we choose to drink from the living water that is the only thing capable of filling us up, so that we may pour this living water into our children and point them to Jesus.
The second characteristic that encourages my heart as a mother is to remain faithful in understanding that the mundane serves the purpose of refining and sanctifying us for eternity. We see this in verse 17, “for this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” We feel this affliction in the everyday struggles of the mundane. The meal planning, cooking, working, training of children, laundry, and endless cleaning. The tasks are endless. But God. He doesn’t leave us in our struggle. He promises in II Corinthians 12:9, “…my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” And Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” May this be our anthem as moms! We may not feel like we can handle today, but praise God, He gives us strength and grace to live out our days!
The third characteristic we see in these verses is the call to keep our eyes on things eternal. Verse 18 says, “as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Often our circumstances are not anything that we would have created. As we peer at our surroundings, we cannot see anything eternal. Circumstances, like our feelings, change, but we must stand on what we know is true of God’s character. We must daily remind ourselves to meditate on His promises. Philippians 1:6 says, “and I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” We must preach the gospel to ourselves. There is nothing in this world that we will go through that our Lord has not endured. As we look to the Cross, we are given strength to live out our roles as mothers for God’s glory.
May this encourage you to not lose hope today. Our God will renew you every morning. Choose to do the next right thing and be faithful even when you don’t feel like it. Choose to focus on the eternal even when your circumstances cloud your view. Praise the Lord He knows our struggles and helps us through them. May we choose to be joyful moms serving our families well because our greatest service to Jesus may well be the little people in our home.
Blog by Cherry Gfeller of CrossWay International Baptist Church.
Published on 4. May 2021 from Berlin, Germany.
Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash.