43. Lesley Ramsay - What Does The Bible Say About Motherhood?
April 27, 2022
Mentioned in this episode -
Laura: Hi, Leslie. And welcome to unsung stories. Thanks so much for joining us. Just say that our listeners can get to know you a little bit more. Could you tell us a bit about you and your family and just what everyday life looks like for you?
Lesley: Certainly. So I'm married to the wonderful Jim and we've been married this year for 52 years. So lovely. That's great. I still love spending time with you. We have four children who are now all grown up and married and we have 12 grandchildren. I love being a grandma. I love spending time with them spending time just with our family life.
I spend a fair bit of time at my church, which is Eby church doing some evangelism I'm on the mission team there. I spend a fair bit of time mentoring women across Australia. I have. Half a dozen or so that we zoom and I spend some time together just helping them think through their Christian growth and maturity. And then, yeah, just all the other normal things that people.
Laura: Yeah, that's great. So I've asked you to come on this show and so often we'll talk about how God's refined people, but I thought while I've got you with us, I gave you the floor and said, what would you like to talk about with a younger mums or Christian women today?
And you've come back and said, let's look at the Bible. I'm so thankful that you've come on and agreed to talk with us today. Because not only are you an experienced mom, but you're also an experienced grandma as well. And so I'm wondering what's your interest in motherhood
Lesley: today? I think you never stopped being a mum. There are deep Wells of love and bonding that are still there, even when your eldest is approaching 50, but more than that, I'm quite passionate about helping young moms see the importance of motherhood and not just the, the apple pie mother's day kind of motherhood, but how does God see motherhood?
Sometimes I fear. We think that motherhood is something we survive like an ordeal, it's this, that oldest hard work and sacrifice being a doormat. And then they're gone at 18 and they hardly want to know us again. But really what I want to do is raise era. Out of the bucket in the laundry, out of the mess on the dining room table, out of those tense discussions with your teenagers and raise them so that you can see how God sees you.
Rice. And so that you said the enormous privilege, it is to be a mother. And I want to do that by digging into the Bible because in the end, the idea of motherhood comes from the creator and he's got some compelling things to say about it. Then we're going to be doing some heavy lifting here today, Laura. So stress.
Laura: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. And I love what you said about not viewing motherhood as something that we survive, because I think I've consulted myself with thinking it's going to be hard for everyone, but at least I can trust that God promises to refine me through. So I'm really keen to hear what the Bible is saying.
Because I read it and often I can't really see, motherhood being valued or even dare I say acknowledged much, or at least explicitly. So please teach me what are these compelling things that God is saying? Oh,
Lesley: Laura, it's got some great things to say. So the first thing is we won't appreciate motherhood until we understand God's purposes for marriage because motherhood and marriage are foundationally linked.
Now that's not the case for society at large. But the Bible has a very different picture and the disciples straight up are not saying that unless you're married, you're not a real mother. That's not what I'm saying. This is a fallen world where humans have said no to God and things go wrong.
We as women make foolish decisions and men can treat women terribly so that we can find ourselves a single man. But you're still a mother with an important God given responsibility, but we need to recognize that parenthood and motherhood grew out of marriage. Now God gave us marriage for our relational.
Good firstly, so that man and woman would have an intimate connection and enjoy love and companionship. But secondly for procreation but progression is often seen as secondary and some couples will say we don't want children because that will interfere with our relationship or our plans for our careers or traveling, or we're still having motherhood is unconnected to marriage law.
People who say, I want a child, but I don't want any men involved. I want to do this on my own, or I'm a lesbian and I don't want a bloke. So I'll just have IVF, that's not what God emphasizes. Can we just go briefly to the first two chapters of Genesis? And in Genesis 1 27 and 28. God says this.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him, male and female. He created them and God blessed them. And God said to them, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the heaven and every living thing.
So what are we see here? So God makes humans, male and female. And tells them be fruitful, multiply, fill subdue. You've got a job. You've got a task. If that's take care of my creation responsibly, but it's going to take more than two of you. So therefore have kids procreate. That's all right. Yeah. But in Genesis two, we get some more details and God makes the man first and puts him to work in the guard.
Then makes the comment that it's not good, that the man's alone and he makes a helper for him, which is a lovely word, in the Bible, that word is most often used of God. Someone who provides you with what you can't do for yourself. It's a great word. And this helper for the men will be just right for him.
The two will fit together like a hand on a glove. So the man can't fulfill the task that God has given him. So work and care for the creation on his own. He needs the woman. Now, if the work just involves manual labor, I know the blood would have been good. Instead. God makes a woman and six is born, which raises the question.
What is marriage for what kind of man and a woman do together? The two men and two women card. And the answer is. Bearing children. So when you put Genesis one and two together, humans, bear children, that is, they are fruitful and multiply so that the task God gave to them can wide and then continue with more workers.
So just summing up this part of the Bible is two things. Firstly, marriage is not principally about being inwardly focused on each other. It's outward. Two people focused on serving God by working and looking after his creation and children are central to that task. And then secondly, we don't have children for our sakes or even for our children's sake.
We have children for God's sake to serve him by contributing to the task that he's entrusted to us.
Laura: I can see how it's saying that were to be working and looking after God's creation, but I'm not quite understanding how we can conclude that having kids is for God's sake and how it serves him. And just knowing that it's really common for people to not, to be having kids for environment or reasons these days.
So could you argue that they're fulfilling, God's command to look after this earth? Is there anything else in the Bible that's more explicit about this being for
Lesley: God's sake? That's a great question, Laura. And so we must've jumped from Genesis one and two to the 21st century. There's that smoothie tile with sin came into the world in Genesis three to take into account.
You say our rebellion against God changed everything. Now the work that God calls his followers to is a work of rescue people who will proclaim the gospel to a lost humanity. There's a fascinating little verse in Malakai, two 15 that says, did God not make them men and women one with a portion of the spirit in their union.
And what was the one God. See. Godly offspring. So what does God want? Godly offspring. So that will bring him honor and glory. Christians ought to be fruitful and multiply so that together moms, dads, and their kids can participate in God's task of rescue by proclaiming Jesus. Our highest calling or purpose as parents is not just to raise well-mannered consumers or even contributors to society, but to res rescuers.
And what all that means is having children and being a parent, being a mother lies at the very heart of God's plan for this. Being a doctor or a teacher or a butcher or a biker or a candlestick Micah in God's eyes being a mother and a father whose desire and I am in life is to rise. Godly. Offspring is fundamentally critical.
What you do as a mother, not as more than any other job that you will ever have. And I think that's the most important thing I want you to get from today. Not as more than any other job that you will ever have, it's all
Laura: a little bit daunting when you just, I think motherhood just highlights your failures so acutely daunting. But what you're saying is that motherhood matters more than any other role that we have in this line. Because we're tasked with making Christians. Yes.
Lesley: But not making Christians raising Christians because in the end, there's no guarantee that we will have kids who turned out to be Christian, but we do all in our power.
To raise them, but there's more that the bottle has to say. And I, just we need to just we need to understand God's purposes for marriage and children to really appreciate being a mom. We also need to understand the character of Jesus. Now, let me introduce this by reading out a letter.
I read in the local newspaper a couple of years ago. It was written in response to a letter the previous week by a woman named Margaret who was asking where had all the kids and parents who used to populate the streets during the day gone. She said, they're not there anymore. So here's the letter that someone wrote back to her in response, Barbara.
Have all the parents gone, they're still around, but Margaret must know that things have changed a hell of a lot since she was a girl. And that it now takes two incomes to maintain the standard of living in which she was brought up. Children are being cared for by all the bodies she mentioned, which are all part of the community network.
The parents then take over and do the best they can after working hours and at the weekend, in this day and age. Both parents, especially on the affluent north shore, have their own goals and ambitions in order to fulfill their own potential. And the children just have to adjust to court. Most children seem to cope quite well.
That's locked today on the north shore, Frank wills Willoughby. Now there's a little fascinating sentence in there, Laura. I don't know if you picked it up or not. This is what it was in this day and age. Both parents have their own goals and ambitions in order to fulfill their own potential. And the children just have to adjust accordingly.
Yeah, I dunno what you think about that last statement of self-centeredness that's really part and parcel of our me culture. Parents have got to have their own goals and ambitions and kids just falling behind we'll fit you in somehow. The common view is that women who choose to be full-time mothers will have to give up their autonomy, their independence, their freedom, their ambition.
I'll bet. You've been told that. Yeah, but at this point, my question is how does being a disciple of Jesus help us with that obstacle? Doesn't being a committed follower of Jesus who ever we are mean that we had to give up our small ambitions, our autonomy, our independence, our freedom to be like him.
The mark 10 45 says for even the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve. And to give his life as a ransom for many. Now that statement sums up Jesus' life. He came to serve. He came to give not so that he could have autonomy and independence and ambition. And then there's another verse in Philippians two, which says each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of crosscheck. You being in very nature. God did not consider equality with God, something to be grasped, but made himself nothing. Taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness. God says to us, be like, Jesus, don't grasp it equality. But your servant, Jesus says to us, be like me, I've said to an example, serve one another.
And that sort of attitude. Of emptying ourselves and serving others is to characterize every relationship into invade every nook and cranny of our lives. So really being a Mazda means being like Jesus, being willing to give up your life and take up the cross daily for the sake of your children. And you're not alone in this.
Every husband and father has to do exactly the same. Being, being willing to sacrifice his life and take up his cross daily for the sake of his wife and for the sake of his children.
Laura: I found that reframe of thinking really helpful, cause motherhood does feel hard. But when I think of it as how I'm called to lay my life down or to turn the other cheek or give my coat, it's somehow easier.
And I know Jesus was talking in the context of enemies there, but I guess it shows how hard I find it when I can't even pull myself out holy to my beautiful children who I love okay, I'll give you. My loss,
Lesley: There are times when we will feel as if we have no life of our own, that we are continually giving and giving until there's nothing left to give that our goals and desires are sometimes being subsumed under the needs of everybody else that we've lost our identity that we're just known as Nicholas' mom.
Then it's good to reflect on you. He, wasn't known as the water of the universe who created that stunning sunset or formed that beautiful rose, but he was known as the friend of sinners. He literally had no life of his own on this earth.
He lived from lack of he's on, on this earth from the moment he was born. He was on the road to Jerusalem and the cross, his life was poured out for the need of sinful humanity to be rescued. So really we want appreciate motherhood until we understand what Jesus.
Laura: And I'm just thinking, as you're talking that if we're called to be sevens, like Jesus motherhood really does give us the best opportunity to have that humble seven heart.
This is the first time in my life that I've really been hit with having to take the back seat and yeah. Does the Bible say anything else about being a mother?
Lesley: Yes, it certainly does.
Laura: Here's my at the beginning. Oh, I can't see anything explicit here. Y'all going like here we go.
Lesley: Laws. So the Bible makes several unconditional demands on us as well.
First is this is, love your children. So Titus two, four says then the older women can train the younger women to love their husbands and. That's a strange verse, isn't it? Why did mother, I'm
Laura: going to be told to love your kids? Before kids I'm maybe not understand that. Now I'm a little bit like, okay.
Lesley: It was interesting that God thought it important that we be told that yeah.
Laura: Keep loving them. I don't know if my kids ever do listen to this. I love
Lesley: them with my whole heart. I think the natural thing to do not, when you realize that loving the Bible is not an emotional reaction, but an action doing the best for the other person.
That's why I love. And it's very cool. It's a very unselfish thing. It's putting my needs and rights to one side to do the best. It's a lot. It's totally at odds with our natural sinful self-centered tendencies, in my natural state, I want to do the best for me. Not the best for you or the best for my kids.
And that's why we need to be, that's what we need to be reminded and trying to love our husbands and kids. Cause you know, most of the time we'll do that with even without even thinking, we do that. You do that. But as I've said, there's a little secular elf that purchase on our shoulders and whispers in areas.
Giving everything for your kids is not good for you. You have rights, you have needs, you need to run income. You need adult socially direction. You need intellectual stimulation. You are a modern, sophisticated woman with a university degree. What a Weiss to concentrate on raising and nurturing kids.
Go on, put yourself first. Now that's what the elf says, but loving your kids means doing the best for them and being willing to sacrifice our innate desires to love and advance ourselves.
Laura: Yeah. Yeah. I hear what you're saying about the little voice in your ear. Whispering those things to put yourself first, but surely there's a difference between what we want and what we need, because it doesn't a mom need to take care of herself to care for her family best.
Lesley: Oh, absolutely. Moms do need to take care of themselves, but the big thing is, wow.
Now the Bible says so that you can serve God well so that you can love and serve your family well and care for God's world. Not just to advance me and my place in the world. And again, we can't be legalistic here. This will look different for different moms, but we have to be honest with God and with ourselves and ask what are our motives?
What's in our heart. That's the really important.
Laura: I really liked what you said then like to ask why, because I think that helps combat the mum guilt too. And it's a helpful assessment tool on why you're feeling guilty. Is this true guilt? Because I am serving my own desires or could this be let go because I'm actually doing out of love for God or for my family or the world.
And I think something that every mother would agree on is how much they love their kids and how they work so hard to show them that. And that could actually be, what's fueling all of it, the decision to work or why we teach them about Jesus or the decisions where to spend our time and money, all of it.
Because we do love them so incredibly much. So what are your thoughts on how we can love our children?
Lesley: Yeah, again, the Bible has got some great things to say about how to really love our kids. Probably the clearest and most crucial way that mothers demonstrate their love for their kids is to knit.
That to nurture them alternate to something is to grow or rear it to maturity. So with that kids because of ask special intimate privilege of caring and giving birth, which father's card and the usual method of nutrition through breastfeed. Which father's card where mothers are the ones best place to physically nurture these dependent little beings to physical maturity.
And because we spent so much time with them, psychological nurture and spiritual nurturing. And it's spiritual nurture that the Bible speaks mostly about. You remember that Visy Malakai told us that God desires godly offspring. So sometimes when the Bible speaks about the spiritual , nurture children, it speaks of the father.
But in other places, the mother and father are spoken of in partnership. So the task of nurture belongs to. Mother and father, but we, first of all, get a lovely picture of a mother's influence on her child from Psalm 22 versus non-intensive. Yet you brought me out of the. You made me trust in you, even at my mother's breast from birth, I was cast upon you from my mother's womb.
You have been my God. See, the Psalmist remembers that from his mother's womb and his mother's breast, he was utterly dependent on the Lord and that the Lord had been his God. And he must've liked that from. That intense emotional bond that develops means you can have an enormous impact on your child. God says about Abraham for, I have chosen Abraham so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right in John.
And this is the important bit so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham. What he has promised him God's will for Abraham was that he could teach his children and his household to keep God's way to be godly. So it's not enough to parent a child by conceiving and giving birth mothers and fathers must nurture them in godliness.
So there's another verse that says here I was Rouses from. The Lord, our God, the Lord is one, love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all the solves, all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts, impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you get up, it's a great little bit.
Laura: It is great. Could you unpack this spiritual nurturing? Because I think it's something that is very easy to become something that we outsourced to Sunday school, or, tick that Christian activity of saying grace or listening to Columbia, Canon or reading the Jesus storybook Bible. But there's.
Lesley: Yeah, true.
Laura: Yeah. But that's just the stuff we feel like
Lesley: we need to do. Okay. And actually spiritual nurture is so much more than just kids church or Sunday school or bottles. It's a whole of life exercise. So I like that verse in Deuteronomy says it's giving your child a worldview where God is clearly at the center where we're meaning in life, in all its facets are drawn from.
You know what happens when you're sitting at home and you're eating a bowl of strawberries and your little one says, oh, this is so beautiful mummy. And you say, isn't God good to make these strawberries so delicious. It happens when you walk along the road and you find a lost wallet. So you explained that we have to return it to the owner because it doesn't belong to us.
And the God will be pleased with. It happens when you lie down and there's lightning and thunder outside and you kneel beside their bed and you pray Lord, please help Nathan to trust in you to not be afraid. And to know that you watching. And when you get up, what a great new day let's pray that God will help us to live for Jesus tonight.
That's how you could stop the guy. What a great way to frame the whole of life as being centered on God, and that sort of nurture is built on the premise that mother and child who spend lots of time. 'cause those opportunities. You can't timetable them into a certain part of the day. They happen when you're cooking Play-Doh together or walking home from school or sitting at the kitchen table over acted in T some parents say I spend quality time with my kids.
I sit down for half an hour with them when I get home from work times board. But quality time is when those opportunities will come.
Here's another verse from Proverbs. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Listen, my son to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. So spiritual nurture will also involve intentional instruction and teaching. Children's stock from the base point of self-centeredness.
I do not know one mother who's had to teach her child to be selfish, but we asked ourselves trying to get our kids to be kind and shit. See children begin life. By assuming that the world revolves around them, it just comes with being human. We started out like that and we had to make it clear to them that it doesn't.
We need to teach a biblical wisdom that says to them, God is creator. And Lord love him. Submit to him, treat people as Jesus treated them. We need to teach our children to be a bit into us too, to honor and respect us as parents. And we don't do that because we're more important than them, but because learning it from us first and I was them to abide by and honor and respect.
You say everything. We teach them every interaction we have with our kids or to have this and. Individuals who love and honor God and trust his son and a committed to the rescue plan. See reading the Bob with them, praying for them. And with them, we'll take intentional planning and committed time. They usually slip off the agenda don't they?
Because we're so busy, but do we ever let soccer, crane training support the agenda. We find time for whatever.
Laura: Yeah, that's great. I'm just wondering if the Bible has anything to say about the interaction between mothering motherhood and other kinds
Lesley: of work. Oh, yes. Let's think about something else that God tells us about mothering. It's the thorny issue of mothers and home life. Now I suspect I may tread on some toes here, but really, I can't apologize for what the bottle teachers. So that person, times two, that. Then they, the older women can train the younger women to love their husbands and children to be, it goes on to say, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and goes on further.
Feminism has fed us the line, that to be fulfilled, we need an independent career outside of the. The Bible says, that's a lie. We don't need work and Korea to give us significance, value and value that comes from being a child of God. Now, the word here in Titus is literally homeworkers. Now Paul is clearly placing before the women in particular mothers, that the home ought to be the place of primary concern and.
Work hard at caring or working in your home in a partnership of two equal persons, husband, and wife. One person needs to take responsibility for ensuring the family and the home. And by that, the space where the family exists. It's functioning. Now let me emphasize clearly what I am not saying.
I don't want to give the wrong impression here. One. I'm not saying that a mother will never work outside the home. I'm not saying that a woman will never pursue interests and activities outside the home. The Bible doesn't say that. It actually says the opposite on what I think it is saying is that a mother's first responsibility will be her home and family.
And that everything else will be a distant second or third. And secondly, I'm not saying that a husband and father or not to be involved in the running of the home, doing his fair share of the work and nurture of the kids. He should be what we're talking here about a partnership where both are committed to home and family, and both will contribute to the wellbeing of the whole.
But one of the partners types on the prime responsibility for creating a Haven where the individuals can grow and relax and find stability and be loved and hear about Jesus in a consistent, ongoing way. Yeah, it
Laura: is. And I think it's really helpful. You clarify those things because it is a bit of a tricky one to navigate these days where more often than not women need to work outside the home to be able to afford their lifestyle.
Lesley: That's an interesting word. You used. Lifestyle, you know what it's helpful. There are women in third world countries that are thinking, how do I improve my lifestyle? Yes mum may need to put money to work, to put food on the table. But sometimes I think our choices and priorities are driven by wanting the big Instagram where the home or giving our kids every material possession and opportunity possible.
Know, I have some friends who have four kids and when they bought their first home, it was in the Western suburbs. It was tiny, it was one bathroom. It was run down. It had garish lotto on the floors and it stayed that way for years, they chose to do that because that mother was committed to staying at home with her kids.
Then when they went to school, she was able to get a part-time job and they started doing some renovating. You say, the Bible also says that the work we should be wholeheartedly giving ourselves to is the work of the gospel because that's the work that lasts for eternity. Every other work while being good and helpful for now is actually ultimately future because it might last and motherhood and fatherhood is in the first category.
It's about raising kids who love Jesus, Laura. Motherhood is the most important work you will ever do. Now here's some questions that we might find uncomfortable. I've had to ask myself these questions and I find myself squirming at times. So one our homes, everything that. Do our homes have our greatest energy and time or just the leftovers.
Number two, do we have time to read to our kids to help them with their homework, to sit and listen to what's happened in their day to pray with them about their problems? Or are we so busy and stressed with cooking dinner and getting the washing on the line? And tomorrow's lunches made that things of the heart and the spirit gets squeezed.
We feel guilty and we try like crazy to do it all, but we can't. Number three, do we consider the work we do outside the home, out real life and what we do inside the home out secondary. That's a great question.
Laura: Oh goodness.
Lesley: Now there's another part of the Bible that I think may actually help us a little bit here, so there's a wife and a mother in Proverbs 31. Have you heard of,
Laura: yes. That'll that beautiful lady that everyone loves to refer to?
Lesley: Yeah, I think it's the Cod that everyone pulls out. Isn't it? That she worked outside and it's also, we can do that too. So let's have a look. So she is portrayed as the audio. Why, what she likes. She's not a daddy housewife. She's not barefoot and pregnant and change the kitchen sink. She's a woman of position and competence. She's got servants. She's got money to invest.
She's got dealings in the marketplace. She buys and sells stuff. She's practical and energetic and skilled. She's wise. But when you look at the passage, I think her prime and foremost concern is for family and husband and household. So she and her husband are a partnership. She's not autonomous. She spends a lot of time and effort in providing food and clothing for her.
So she's really a Genesis two partner. She's a great EIT and help to her husband. He's respected in the position of leadership that he's got and she's a cherished mother, her husband and children rise up and call her blessed. Isn't that lovely when husbands and kids do that, because they recognize that there will be. As a result of her committed and godly sacrifice for them.
Laura: That ideal Christian woman, right? Look, I've done initially like her only because I do that whole comparison thing and seeing my shortcomings which really has nothing to do with her, but me. But I do think that when we look at her, our culture, so highly values, the status that she has and look, she can invest in work and.
But I think that if we're really looking at her heart we should be emulating that like her love for her family and her respect for her husband and her care for those entrusted to her. And the focus isn't showing the world, the gifts she has, but how she uses the gifts. God's given her to love and serve those around her.
But there's a tension here that we haven't really spoken about. Because do you think we're in danger of idolizing our family too much? So whether it's the idol of the family that we wished we had, so the number of kids or the age gaps or even whether we can have. But I think that we're in danger of putting them before God, because too often I hear, oh, I can't come to Bible study because it's nap time.
Or as the kids get older and there's bigger, hurts and fees and things to wrestle with, you know, I've seen friends, parents have a faith crosses and walk away when their kids, come out as a lesbian or, Do you have any thoughts on how we idolize our kids or have our hopes for them pegged on the wrong things
Lesley: Yes. Laura, as always in life, there is a danger of taking something good to such an extreme that we end up in unsafe territory. And that's what it is with loving our children, because there's a little verse in Luke 14, 26 that says if anyone comes to me, And does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters, his even his own life.
He cannot be my disciple. Now that verse, but the context of the verse is the cost of being a disciple of Jesus. So what Jesus is saying, make sure you know what it means to follow me that I must be first. But that's the height. Not really. The companion to this in Matthew 10 37 says anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
So the emphasis cannot be on active. Because we're told to love our children, mother and father, it says write a copy that went to ignore them.
Laura: Yeah. It's the greatest commandment. Love. God love
Lesley: others. That's right. Rather it's the language of comparison. It's that our first love will be for Christ and then all other human relationships falling after him.
So Jason takes precedence of any other relationship that you will have cooked it in these terms for shock value, to get us to stop and think about the rigorous demands of discipleship that he's making. Christian parents ought to live lives that are so transformed in their direction and values that they will inevitably clash with the society around them.
And our world will think and make the accusation. Yeah, love your children. But really what we've got to be looking at here is the opposite of idolizing actually. So the world says your children must be at the center of your world. God says, I must be. Ah, the world says, indulge your children with everything.
They want to give them every experience available, registered them in every sport, by the best educational apps full of them, cultivate the best environment for them, organize your life around their activities. God says no, that will spoil them and reinforce for them. That life is all about being so. the world says, buy a house in the best suburbs so that they don't miss out on the best of schooling and the best of experiences.
No, God says, take into consideration your children's welfare, but also on what is good for ministry and the gospel. The world also says, make sure you develop your kids' Gibson talents so that you expect them to take up the Korea with the most status. And financial rewards and God says, no, I want your kids to serve me.
And that may mean ministry with low status and a Skippy salary. Had things, but they are important things. Here's some questions or that we could ask ourselves. Why is it that so many families are so sporadic at Shu? Or why is it that we work ourselves into the ground earning lots of money so that we can indulge our kids with the latest plugs and gadgets and toys and smart phones in primary school and put a TV and computer in their own room and expensive holidays and pay their mobile phone bills.
And then there's precious little list I left over. To support the spread of the gospel and to alleviate poverty, to add kids would be much better served by teaching them to wait to say, to go without, they may say you don't love me if you don't give me that iPhone, but your, I will be, I do love you. I just love Jesus.
Laura: Yeah, we've unpacked a lot here. And look, a lot of it could actually be quite tricky to swallow because it is so counter-cultural. So what truth would you encourage us to cling to as well as we're wrestling with everything we've just done past.
Lesley: Tips nine quick tips to to finish up with Laura.
Number one, this is really important. Recognize that the Bible's view of motherhood is categorized. The rest of the world will think you are crazy. Be prepared for the hostile questions. The pitying looks and the rude comments about the number of children you've got, or your stay at home status, then stand firm in your convictions that you were doing the right thing and encourage each other daily as you do that.
And I think listening to this podcast is a great way to encourage each other in that. No to realize how short the time of intensive hands-on motherhood is. You've got your child at home for only five short years. If you have a couple of kids, that'll extend further 7, 9, 10 years, whatever can I could play, if at all possible that you stay at home.
Full time. If you can, for those preschool years, those years are the most crucial for forming the character of your child. Do you really want to hand that responsibility over to someone else who may not be a Christian? I heard Don Carson, who's a very well-respected theologian once talked about his mother.
She was an intelligent, competent woman who had achieved top marks in Greek and Hebrew at her theological seminar. And she married Dawn's father and had several kids and someone who knew her asked her don't you find it mindless and boring to now spend your days changing nappies and wiping dirty noses.
And Don Carson said she raised herself to her full height and replied. I'm not just changing nappies and walking dirty noses. I'm shaping character
Laura: than a woman.
Number three, recognize the seasons of her mother's life. I do different things as your children grow and change. When your kids go to school, their need for your time and energy, doesn't decrease. But if you need to work and for part-time keep the best part of you for them, not your boss. Number four, pray like crazy.
Pray for yourself to love your kids to be selfless like G. To not being materialistic to help you cope. And pray for your kids. So that will grow to love and honor Jesus and never stopped praying for them ever. Number five, involve your kids early in the rescue ministry, share with them the ministry you're doing the excitement of teaching the kids at scriptural.
The way that women in your Bible study group are growing in their love for God. How you shared the gospel with a friend or a neighbor have them pray about their friends and the other kids at school who don't know Jesus either. Number six, remember that you are a mother and not God, there will come a time when things will go terribly wrong for one of your kids, whether it's a child or an adult, maybe it's a serious disease or a broken engagement or a miscarriage.
And your overwhelming love and sense of protection of them means you want to type them in your arms and tell them that you will make it all better, but you can't. And it hurts because you're not God. But then there is God. The one who loves your kids more than you do when all else fails, leave your kids in the hands of a kind generous, trustworthy father.
Really there's no better place for them to be number seven, give them a realistic view of themselves, make sure your kids know that the gifts and talents that they have are not for their own benefit and self-interest, but their gifts from God to be used for him. Keep saying, I'm glad that you are good at tennis, that you can play the piano or the guitar or the drums.
That you're good at maths insulin. But remember Dodd God, didn't give you those gifts so that you could make lots of money and become important. He wants to know how are you going to use them to serve me now, but I model the importance of mothering to your sons and daughters so that when they get married and have their own families, they will say, oh, I want to be a mum.
Or I want my wife to be a mom, just like my mum. Because I saw how important she was in pointing me to Jesus or forming my character. Tell them often and model that you think that what you did for them as a mother is the most important thing you will ever do in life. And lastly, my last hit brings me to, I think the last thing I want to say, never, ever let anyone denigrate the privilege of motherhood, never, ever say I'm just.
Someone once asked a full-time mother, what do you do for a living? She smiled and she answered um, socializing two homo sapiens in the dominant values of the Judeo-Christian tradition that they may be the instruments for the transformation of the world. What do you do for a living? That is brilliant.
What a great privilege it is to be in.
Laura: Yeah, that's also beautiful. Yeah. You've given me a lot to think about and wrestle with, and I'm sure other listeners are gonna be the same. Would you mind praying for the mums that are listening, praying that we will. All be shaped by this and just go hard at raising little Christians.
Want to partner with us to do
Lesley: God's work. Yes, absolutely. I would love to do that. Gracious and loving father. We are so grateful. That we can call you father, that you've called us into our relationship with you. And that you've given us the privilege of motherhood. What a great privilege and responsibility it is to raise these little ones that you have entrusted to us father.
We pray that we would not listen to what the world says about being a mother about what it means to be a real woman. Father. We pray that we would listen to your word. We long to be shaped by what you say to us and not by what the world says to us. We pray that we would love our husbands and kids.
But that we would also want to put you first in our lives and that they would say that as well, help them to be shaped, to put you at the center of their lives father and that they would want to grow to be part of the risky ministry that you've called every Christian to we pray that they will want to serve you more than anything else.
Father we've traversed lots of. Difficult territory today. And sometimes it does feel as if we are just, nobody's just serving and serving. But father, we know that's what Jesus was like, and we pray that we'll want to serve you. Like he served. Thank you for this privilege in Jesus name.