You’re in for a treat today. My friend Jill Redling is sharing her heart here and it’s so, so good. There are plenty of women who can rock a small grocery budget and balance babies on hips while they do all the things–but very few women have a real connection to Jesus, one with a pulse. Jill’s words today challenge me at the core of my sinner’s heart; she doesn’t gloss over the the truth that motherhood is hard and that sometimes we grow weary, but as she shows us the road we’re called to travel, she bolsters us with the hope of the gospel. Be encouraged.
When you’re a mom, the concept of dying to yourself takes on new heights. I’m not talking about that sweet, Christ-like, willingly laying down your life for another, dying.
I’m talking about that nasty, nitty-gritty, selfish dying where all you want to do is hear no words and go to the store with ease and daydream in your head for a bit but instead you are jolted back to reality by a child who immediately must demand justice from her brother who has farted on their toy and you snap at them with harsh words for stealing you away from yourself only to reveal the wickedness that needs to die. I mean that dying.
That dying, hurts.
That dying rubs raw sin you didn’t even know you had until Jesus in his kindness digs it out, puts it on display and says with a stern but gentle word, “this is not for you anymore.” And it dies.
And you live. In that glorious death you repent of growing weary of doing good and you repent of withdrawing from fighting the good fight, and Jesus’s life– that which is truly living and truly alive– fills in that gap once again.
Moms, this is crazy hard stuff!
We are being saved through raising children (1 Timothy 2:15) because there’s nothing on earth that can do what this does for our sanctification. But it really is so good and a kindness of the Lord because otherwise we’d be thinking we’ve got it all figured out. We’d be walking around managing things well, handling the biz and would have no mercy, and no tenderness, and no love towards others that don’t.
Our tiny sweet babies are made to get the wretched sinner out of us so we don’t deceive ourselves into thinking it’s not there. We are all terrible jerks who think too highly of ourselves, who think we’re actually really great people until one spilt juice on a freshly mopped floor reveals otherwise. And that’s so good! We need our children as much as they need us, but for entirely different reasons.
We lack humility and kindness and patience. They lack the ability to wipe their own butts and the ability to discern if sticking beads in their nose is a good idea.
Jesus is using every late night death, every embarrassing tantrum-in-the-store death, and the sheer relentlessness-of-it-all death to make us more like Him. And guys, it is all so hard, but the more you die, the easier it gets to keep dying because you really see and feel and taste the fruit deep in your soul.
That quiet, easy store daydream you wish you had is replaced with a noisy, at least two meltdowns reality and Jesus gives you the grace to handle it with joy and peace and contentment and you get to be in awe of your Savior who will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8), who is working all things for your good (Romans 8:28) and will surely complete the good work he has started in you (Philippians 1:6).
So moms, even though it is painful, don’t fight the dying, let all the life Jesus won for us be yours.
So so true – first it was marriage which did this dying thing (and continues to, btw) and then children. great writing, Jill and thanks for sharing, Stephanie – reminds me of my word – incognito which I need to be reminded of…
Wow. This was so convicting. Don’t fight the dying! I loved loved this piece.
Loved this! I fight the dying too, but am also thankful for this refining that my sweet babies keep giving. So encouraging! Thank you. ❤️