As moms I think we tend to forget that we are called to serve our children. Oh, I think we have maybe heard and embraced it in grander terms: serving another generation
. But boiled down to everyday language and action, it means we must serve our children.
True enough, we do teach our children to serve our home, each other, the local church, and the community at large. But we are the ones training them: that is part of our service to them.
Bottom line is this: it is not about us, but them. The choices you and I make hinge upon their needs.
Do I sit and continue enjoying the catalog I just picked up three minutes ago, or do I put it down and respond to the need of my crying toddler who just scraped his knee? Should I stop the food prep for a few minutes and lend my full attention to the story told by a seven year old who stammers and repeats phrases numerous times, or give only half an ear to him because the apples need peeling? And that young one who always wants a drink at the most inconvenient time - must I always get the cup and fill it? Where is that nanny when I need her most?!!
My daughter recently linked to an article
about nursing infants and toddlers. It reminded me of lessons learned so long ago. Motherhood presents abrupt opportunities for serving. Being on call 24/7, 7 days a week, for months on end, is an astounding and exhaustive introduction to absolute servanthood. If you give yourself whole-heartedly to this exercise, there is no doubt that you will learn much about serving and it begins with serving the weakest amongst us. This is the source of the purest of nurturing.
As a young mother I determined to provide comfort as well as nourishment for my nursing babes. The concept of consolation found at mother's breast is referred to by the Lord as assumed knowledge (see Isaiah 66:10-13
.) We serve these new babes in many ways, but supplying comfort and meeting emotional needs is most primary. In meeting those needs we are exercised in cheerful giving, prepared for greater acts of service and ministry.Servanthood
: the word, the concept, the notion - once full of glamorous nobility - suddenly gains a more thorough definition and reality. This is work, this is demanding, this is death.
It is not surprising that women long to throw off the shackles of motherhood. It is no wonder that our culture does not esteem such a demeaning existence. Imagine the modern day woman - searching for greatness in serving the least.
Wait! There is something vaguely familiar in such a notion. But the truth cloaked within such a concept will always elude the wisdom of this age. Don't look for it here, in this world. It is wisdom that belongs to Him alone. It will mean veering from the beaten path, striking out a bit on your own, daring to traverse where the multitude will not. You won't look like all the rest. But that is okay.
Give freely to your babes. Discover an eternal truth. Nurturing our children in every way possible provides the care they need, fulfills His plan for them, and allows us to grow in greatness - the greatness of becoming a true servant. Only He could come up with such an amazing plan.