How God Uses our 'Mess-Ups' as Mothers
- Pam Kanaly Co-founder, Arise Ministries
- 2017 18 May
Motherhood is a unique profession, and one fraught with more blessings and trials than any other job I could imagine. In all my years of experience, I’ve never met a perfect mom. Even the ones I’ve greatly admired were far from perfect. So if you’re like me and have made a few mistakes along your mothering journey, then lean back as we learn from a few moms of the Bible.
As modern-day mothers, we often feel like no one has messed up quite like us. Yet, I find it interesting that long before we came onto the scene, mothers raising children were honored in the Bible—not because of their perfection, but because of God’s greater plan for their motherly efforts. Remember these moms’ mistakes and take heart.
Many of us know Eve as the woman who flubbed up BIG TIME. She had an adoring husband (a marriage made in paradise!) and a God who walked with her in the garden. But she made a wrong turn, fell into to temptation, and contaminated the human race with the problem called sin. Yet, here’s what the Bible says about Eve in Genesis 3:20: “Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” What made Eve memorable in God’s eyes? Her motherhood.
What’s the lesson for us? Whether we’ve made big mistakes or little mistakes, God sees the value of our motherhood roles.
This woman was gorgeous. In fact, the Pharaoh of Egypt pursued her to be in his harem. She had it all, except for one thing. Isn’t that the way it is with us? We may have a million blessings, but yet there’s something we want desperately. Sarah’s “something” was children. When she was long past childbearing age, God promised her a miracle: she would bear a son. Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a woman living in a nursing home become pregnant. Yet when Abraham was almost 100 years old and Sarah 90 years old, she gave birth to the promised baby.
So, what’s the lesson for us? Nothing is too difficult for God.
I adore this story. It lets all of us moms know that it’s not the model mom that God honors, but the less-than-ordinary woman. Such was the case of the community harlot Rahab. She wasn’t a Jew, but she chose to believe in Jehovah God and He honored her commitment. Friend, we never know how God will use our obedience, nor can we see how our influence will affect others after we’re gone. We think now; God thinks later. So what “later” did God have in mind for Rahab, the prostitute? Her great, great grandson was King David, whose most famous descendant was Jesus of Nazareth.
What’s the lesson? God uses “underdog moms” to raise up powerful generations.
You might think that your household is insane, but it likely doesn’t hold a candle to the drama under this roof. Jacob loved Rachel and thought he was marrying her. But he was tricked and married Rachel’s older sister Leah instead. Later he married Rachel too. Can you imagine the competitive electricity in that situation? To make it worse, the sisters insisted that their maids have children by Jacob. It was an infestation of jealousy—the greatest disorder imaginable. Yet, these four women bore 12 sons and a daughter. Their lineage became one of the greatest nations and one of the few ancient peoples to survive to modern times.
What’s the lesson learned for us? God uses our messes to establish legacies.
Remember her? The one story about her recorded in the Bible leaves her with a bad reputation. She approached the Messiah and said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” (Matthew 20:21) In other words, “Would you have favor on my children over everyone else’s?” Sounds kind of selfish, doesn’t it? But actually, I’m not so sure that if I saw Jesus that I wouldn’t ask the same thing for my children. “Lord, these are my kids, I want them as CLOSE TO YOU as possible.”
What’s the lesson for mothers? God understands a mother’s love and sees the motive of her heart.
Motherhood—with its joys and frustrations—was God’s idea and creation. He never promised we’d have a perfect family or be a perfect mom, but He did promise His never-ending presence. That’s what gives us stamina and hope for the journey.
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