5 Reasons for Motherhood

Wrong Assumptions About Motherhood
If I step out of the mental vortex of motherhood for a minute, I can remember what it felt like to be a young woman looking ahead to the stage of babies and young children.  Honestly, besides acknowledging that I wanted to be a mother "someday", I thought it looked pretty bleak.  From an outsiders perspective, moms don't get very much glory.  It seems like after they have babies, they get tunnel vision and can't talk about anything but their kids.  They post lots and lots of pictures of their children doing seemingly ordinary things on social media, with too many smiley faces in the captions.  Every fitness magazine speaks to the herds of mothers who have body image issues because it's near impossible to get your pre-baby body back.  Practical options, like driving a minivan, seem to outweigh decisions based on pleasure and recreation.  Women who used to seem driven and accomplished can appear frazzled and lonely.  Why would you want to become a mom when this is the picture our world gives?  Luckily, I was around some pretty wonderful moms too who gave me a better image of the purpose of motherhood, and through God's leading, Brad and I decided to pursue having children earlier than we originally planned.

Once I had a baby, I started to understand moms.  They made sense...the pictures, the minivans, the baby weight.  I was living the reality day in and day out, and I felt guilty for judging something I knew little about.  But I still didn't have a good understanding of why women should desire to become moms.  You sacrifice a ton, you don't hear thank you (at least until they can do sign language and you can direct them to thank you), and although you are overwhelmed with love for a little person, there are still a multitude of challenges.

Biblical Reasons for Motherhood
Almost two years and three kids later, I'm starting to understand the "why" behind motherhood and the more I embrace it, the more I feel a deep contentment and joy with even the greatest challenges before me.  I want to share this list with you, because I think women (married and un-married) would have better expectations and heart attitudes about motherhood if they understood what it has to do with God's plans for his kingdom.  So here is a completely non-extensive list of things I've learned about God's purpose and reason for motherhood.

Why would you want to become a mother?
1.  Because God calls it a blessing:
This is something you have to believe by faith if you can't believe it by watching other moms.  You have to acknowledge this as true, because the bible says it is.  Just like you can't understand what it's like to be married when you are engaged, you can't understand the love and joy of motherhood (completely) until you are a mom.  Yes, it's weighty and difficult, but isn't that true of most of our real blessings in life?
2.  Because we are called to spread the gospel to the next generation:  
If you want to disciple and train up the next generation in the ways of the Lord, spend nearly 24/7 with a little person, laying down your life and pouring truth into them every day.  Think about how much influence your parents had on you growing up (for good or for evil), and be in awe at the amount of influence you can have on your own children. Becoming a mom is an incredible way to leave a deep impact for Jesus as you minster and teach a few really well.  
3.  Because it's part of God's purpose for marriage*:  
God meant for Adam and Eve to multiply.  Sexual intimacy in marriage is for pleasure, but it's also for creating children.  There is something wonderfully weighty and intimate about sex when you realize that your "pleasure" (that is mostly self-serving) is capable of producing something self-sacraficing.  When lived out biblically, a family is an extremely beautiful picture of God's headship, Christ's submission, and grace for sinners.
4.  Because it will sanctify you:  
You might think you are pretty selfless, until a baby comes along and steals your sleep, a toddler follows you everywhere (even to the bathroom), and you literally give up your body so that someone else can have growth and nourishment.  Suddenly, your self-worship bares it's ugly head, and you see how much you love being served instead of serving.  Not to mention, every time you tell your child, "You need to obey mommy" you hear God whispering, "You need to obey too, dear daughter."
5.  Because it will bring you joy:  
There is no describable love that I can compare to the feeling of love you have for your children.  It's different than how you love your husband or your mom or your best friend.  It's an unconditional, "you could pretty much do anything, and even if I was mad, I would still love you and want the best for you" kind of love.  It's an all-consuming love that never grows cold or tired, even when it's annoyed or frustrated.  It's a weighty love that realizes great responsibility and impact.  It's a gracious love that helps you better understand how God loves us.  Each milestone, moment, and piece of them brings you joy.

For those of you who still aren't convinced, hopefully you will seek what the bible says so you can better understand the weight and purpose of motherhood.  It's not something to be taken for granted (nor are the children God does give us).  Every bit of mothering that we get is a treasure and a blessing, even though the children don't ultimately belong to us, but to the Lord.

*I wanted to caveat this because there are probably some reading this thinking, "I DO WANT TO BECOME A MOTHER BUT I CAN'T!"  There are many reasons for this...miscarriage, infant loss, infertility, singleness, divorce, a husband who doesn't want children or isn't ready...and probably more reasons that I don't even know about.  This is deeply sad, and little grieves my heart more than knowing someone who desperately wants to become a mother, and yet, she is not given this privilege for sometimes unknown reasons.  This is sad and unfair and it isn't the way God originally created things to be.  Sin has ruined, destroyed, and touched every part of humanity and unfortunately it has complicated the issue of motherhood just like everything else.  I can't pretend that there isn't deep suffering experienced by those who long to become a mother (or have more children), but I do know that there is a God who loves you and there is hope in Jesus.  Maybe not answers or an easy road, but there is hope of a joy-filled and content life in the waiting.  So if you don't need convincing that motherhood is a joy and a blessing but you are still denied it, please pray and pour your heart out to the Lord where you can seek refuge.

*Secondly, I want to caveat this because sometimes in marriage there are reasons to wait to have children.  I can't go through the good reasons (and the not so good reasons) in this post, but I want to acknowledge that it's still important to have right thinking about motherhood even if you aren't called to it yet.  I wasn't serving mothers around me very well when I was thinking of motherhood as a bleak and frustrating calling, only to be accepted because it's the next thing on life's to-do list.  Please, if you don't have children yet or aren't married, be thinking biblically about this calling and encourage mothers around you to have this mindset as well!

photo by Amanda Lorraine Photography - taken when Lewis was 10 months old
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