A Mother’s Day Reflection

About 2 weeks after our first child was born, David came home from work one day. As I looked up at him, holding our infant son, I said, “I just realized something today.” “What’s that?” he said. “Luke is a person. A living breathing human being with a soul, and a unique personality.”

For the first time, I had really looked at my son. Not as the baby I had been anticipating for months, but as an image bearer. Someone God had specifically given to me to know and love for the rest of my days. I had stopped from the busyness of feeding and changing him and locked eyes with him. I had really seen him for the first time. I felt the gravity of the responsibility. I felt the privilege of being given the task of raising him. I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live. And I thank God for it.

It was the beginning of my journey of being a mom. All of a sudden, I was the one who was supposed to know things. The one he would look to for answers. I thought of my own mom. And for the first time, saw her as a person. One who was insecure and unsure at times. As one who didn’t have all the answers. Because that’s exactly how I felt.

It was the beginning of my Father teaching me how He sees me. It was the beginning of seeing my own selfishness. Do they really eat every 3 hours? It was the beginning of learning self-sacrifice.

Fast forward about 10 years. Luke was somewhere around 10 years old and we had 4 more kids. I was pretty secure in taking care of the little ones. But as our oldest grew more and more into a man, I began to think about some ways I was parenting. And it came in the form of a question that I could not shake. What in your innermost being do you want for your children? Cutting to the absolute chase, the bottom line, what do you want for them?

As I began to search my heart for the answer, I came to grips with the fact that I was projecting more of the typical “American Dream” mentality on them than I thought. What was I saying to them? What did I praise them for? How was I praying for them? What were my priorities? Was I aiming at their hearts or just good behavior?

Now, as I sincerely searched my heart to answer the question, my deepest heart’s desire was for them to know the Lord Jesus as Savior and to love and serve His church all the days of their lives. But I knew that was not the message I had been communicating to them. I felt the weightiness of the task again, but the weightiness gave way to trust. And trust grew my faith.

My priorities changed. I still wanted their best, but I wanted them to see their best as an act of worship to the God who had made them. I wanted them to seek their place in His kingdom and walk in the ways He had prepared for them. I surrendered their lives over to the Lord because I knew all my good efforts could not save or sanctify them.

I started to remember my role as their mom was in service to Him. I gave up the idea of thinking I knew what their future held and began to trust God for their salvation and future. I began saying, “Lord, please save them and use them for your glory. Everything else will take care of itself.”

My expectations of behavior did not change for them, but my expectations for their future did. They were not mine, they were His. I just got to help them in their journey. Lord, help me be faithful was my new way of thinking. I thank God He led me to see this.

I have said to many mothers, and any chance I get will continue to say to any who will listen. The most important thing you can do as a mom is to know your children. Know them. Know them well. Spend time with them. Have conversations with them. Know their strengths, their struggles, their greatest temptations to sin, the thing that melts their heart, their favorite meal, how they like their sandwich, what scares them, what brings them joy, etc., etc., etc….

In turn, you will discover something that you probably didn’t imagine, in you seeking to know them, they now know you. They will see you at your worst and your best. My kids know I love coffee and dark chocolate. They could probably tell you what I’d order at a restaurant. They definitely know my struggles. They have seen my temper. But they have also seen me apologize and ask for forgiveness.

They are walking with me along the way and it is my privilege not to show them a perfect mom, but to show them how to struggle to live as a Christian mom before a perfect God.

Psalm 127:3-5 says,
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”

A heritage. A reward. Arrows. Not made to be kept but to shoot out. From the hand of a warrior. Moms, your job is to prepare your children for life beyond the walls of your home. Image bearer to image bearers to more image bearers until Jesus comes. I’m praying that we see and know them as we faithfully point them to the Savior trusting fully in our Father’s plan for them.

I love these lyrics by Andrew Peterson and the image he gives of planting trees. May the Lord give us grace as we plant our children in the fertile ground of His word and trust Him for the growth for generations to come.

We chose the spot
We dug the hole
We laid the maples in the ground To have and hold
As autumn falls
To winters sleep
We pray that somehow in the spring
The roots grow deep
And many years from now
Long after we are gone
These trees will spread their branches out And bless the dawn,
He took a plane
To Africa
He gathered up into his arms
An orphan son
So many years from now
Long after we are gone
This tree will spread its branches out
And bless the dawn
So sit down and write that letter
Sign up and join the fight
Sink in to all that matters
Step out into the light
Let go of all that’s passing
Lift up the least of these
Lean into something lasting
Planting trees,
She rises up
As morning breaks
She moves among these rooms alone Before we wake
And her heart is so full
It overflows
She waters us with love
And the children grow
So many years from now
Long after we are gone
These trees will spread their branches out And bless the dawn
These trees will spread their branches out And bless someone.


By |May 10th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Featured|

About the Author:

Judi H. Prince is married to pastor David E. Prince, an active member of Ashland Avenue Baptist Church, and is a stay-at-home mom of eight children. Her husband, David, is the author of the book In the Arena: The Promise of Sports for Christian Discipleship.