This past weekend I listened to a message for young moms by CJ Mahaney called, "What a Mother Can't Do Without." I ended up sitting down and taking notes, so that I could absorb and begin to apply all the rich truths laid out.
I would strongly encourage any mother of young children to listen to this sermon in its entirety - the scriptural truths laid out will transform the way you approach mothering.
Here are my notes:
Hebrews 11:6, "Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him."
*Faith will make all the difference; difference in effect, fruit and pleasing of God.
The Nature of Faith:
1. Faith Trusts in God - must believe that He exists
- faith in the God of Scripture as revealed through His Son Jesus Christ
2. Faith Comes to God - whoever would draw near
- through the sacrifice of Jesus; through our mediator Jesus
* DO NOT disqualify yourself from drawing near either through sins of omission or sin of commission OR your awareness of sin
* Draw near not only through the practice of the disciplines but throughout the day, no matter the challenges.
3. Faith expects from God - must believe that He rewards those who seek HimCharles Bridges, "All our failures may ultimately be traced back to a defect of faith. The main difficulty therefore is not in our work but in ourselves; in the conflict with our own unbelief. The remedy to the difficulty is faith in the God of promises and faith in the promises of God. Difficulties heaped upon difficulties can never rise to the level of the promises of God. Unbelief looks at the difficulties. Faith regards the promise. It is faith that enlivens our work with perpetual cheerfulness."
- He bestows favour; nothing pleases Him more then when mothers put His promises into circulation; He LOVES to fulfill His promises.
*"God is wildly generous." That is the God we serve
* Where there is an absence of joy in mothering, there is an absence of faith.Charles Bridges, "The shortest way to these will be casting ourselves upon God for daily pardon of our deficiencies and for supplies of Grace without looking too eagerly for fruit." (The Christian Ministry)
* Faith commits every part of mothering to God in hope that even mistakes shall be over-ruled for the glory of God and thus relieves us from an oppressive anxiety often attended by a deep sense of our responsibility.
How Do I Develop Faith:
* Where your faith is deficient, THE GOSPEL IS SUFFICIENT! (Romans 8:32)A STRICT and LIMITED diet of the Gospel, the ccharacter of God and the promises of God; be careful about what you read - particularly during the season of small children.
* Faith is a fruit of the Gospel, so if you will cultivate the Gospel you will experience faith; you will know a more perpetual cheerfulness and you will ultimately please God.
* Hebrews 12:2, LOOKING TO JESUS is how you develop faith that pleases God and makes all the difference in your mothering. WHERE are you looking? Are you looking to Jesus?
Books: Bible Doctrine (Chapters on the Character of God) by Wayne Grudem, The Cross Centered Life by CJ Mahaney, Spurgeon (all his writing focuses on God's promises)
* God called you to be a mother and God gave you specific children that He chose for you. He chose them for your sanctification and He chose them that they might experience the influence and effect of the Gospel as a result of your care and your training and your affection and ultimately your trust in God will reveal Himself to your children. "He who began a good work in you,will bring it to completion."__________________________________________________________________
* Turn away from the difficulties and look to the promises of God, look to the character of God, look to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For as we look to the promises, the character and the Gospel we realize that the difficulties never rise to the level of the promises of God. Then when we face difficulties is our perspective and attitude has been transformed and our children are affected by this transformation.
It was interesting that Mahaney opened up his sermon with his wife's example. She had expressed in an interview regret over not having more faith in her mothering - her regrets were not based on her practices.
All too often I focus too much time and energy evaluating what I am doing and then despairing because it's not enough, not good enough or, or, or... that I forget that what pleases God is not the "what" of what I'm doing but the "how". Is it in faith? That is, do I approach my day trusting that Christ's sacrifice on the cross will cover all my sin and that his perfect life has been imprinted on mine so that I don't have to be perfect? Do I approach my day assured of His pleasure or fearful that another day will end in shame?
I know all too well the difference right thinking makes because I've spent too many days despairing because of unbelief. Thankfully, even that is covered by the blood of Christ!