Mothers Day in Australia has come and gone. For a day, we broke from normal routine in order to celebrate the endless, selfless investment that our mothers have sacrificially poured into our well-being on a daily basis since the day we were born. We made breakfasts, gave gifts, and showed our appreciation in creative and caring ways. Life has returned to routine again, and the mothers in our lives continue their faithful service to their families.
Yes, Mothers Day is over for another year, and our mothers march on through what is undoubtedly both the best job and also the hardest job ever. Motherhood brings with it indescribable joy; but it also pushes to breaking point physically, mentally, and emotionally. The truth is that the days can be long while the sleep is little. Some days it can feel like there were more failures than wins. For my wife (so I suspect for others, too) sometimes the voices of these truths shout the loudest. But the truth to undergird all other truths is this: God’s grace is enough. Its enough for all her needs. Its enough for her feelings. In this grace, she can find all the courage, strength, wisdom, strategy, and love that she needs. This grace won’t simply help her to get through the days, but it will lovingly lift her up in every moment as she deals with everything that motherhood demands.
In the daily grind of running a household, these are the things that I’ve come to regularly pray for my wife, the mother of my children:
Courage: That she would react to every event of her day—big or small—with the knowledge that she is held securely in God’s hand, protected and provided for by his grace, and that no harm can come to her when she submits to his sovereign rule.
Strength: That the knowledge of God’s presence (through the indwelling Holy Spirit) would fix her resolve and she would enter trials with confidence that this grace is sufficient to sustain her.
Wisdom: That she would be reminded to ‘lean not on [her] own understanding, but in all [her] ways acknowledge him’. Knowing God also means knowing better how God would have her respond and move forward; wisdom is given us from God so that we would walk ‘in step with the Spirit’ in all things. And so, I also pray (with thanks) that God answers her prayer for wisdom when she asks for it.
Strategy: I pray that she would be surrounded with the people, the resources, the ideas, and the conversations that would encourage her and give her clear, Godly direction. I pray specifically that these strategies would be for her own spiritual journey, her role as a wife and mother, all the things that she needs to raise our children and to be the person that God intends for her to be.
Love: Finally, above all I continually pray that the Holy Spirit would assure her of how much she is loved. Love can come in various forms and from multiple sources, but this prayer incorporates my own request for help; that I might learn to listen and love her better, in the ways that she needs (something I need to be better at), and that we would love each other with the same love with which God loves us. Love defined like this is the foundation of everything we do.
The truth is, motherhood is hard. But the accompanying truth is that God in his grace hasn’t designed motherhood to be done in isolation, or in one’s own strength. Just as we can’t live without water, we can’t do anything apart from Christ, including motherhood. “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Jesus is the source of our courage, strength, wisdom, strategy, and love. I pray that mothers would drink deeply from the living water that only Christ provides. There they will find that the truths of the gospel are always within reach; able to provide for motherhood’s every need.