For some (like myself) when you’ve been married for seven years, the strangest phenomenon occurs. It’s a growth the spreads sometimes by leaps and bounds, sometimes so slowly you don’t even notice. But eventually, you look around and notice that you are suddenly in a very small minority of people in your demographic who have yet to produce any progeny.
Suddenly, the conversation changes. As it should. And as someone who isn’t yet responsible for the welfare of another human, for the clothing and feeding and sheltering and spiritual training that entails, let me tell you ladies something: you’re doing a pretty good job.
I know most of you won’t believe it. I hear you. I hear the self-doubt and the worry and the second guessing. I hear your exhaustion and the exasperation. So I want to take a few minutes to say thank you.
Thank you to the mom a few weeks ago on a Wednesday night. Your sweet, energetic son was singing his heart out to the closing song. It was one he knew all the words to and he was happy and praising God with all his little self could muster. When I told you afterwards how much I appreciated him, you mumbled an embarrassed “that boy”, and changed the subject. You foster such a deep and pure enthusiasm for worship in such a young boy. You are training him on how much God wants our whole hearts in worship. When there are so many concerns and questions about the future of the church, your child is providing so much encouragement for the next generation.
Thank you to the mom who is so concerned about her daughter’s clothes. She’s not even in kindergarten and already you’re thinking about how to dress her and how to teach her to dress herself in a way that’s a Christian example. You’re not pushing her to meet some checklist, but to consider how what she wears on the outside reflects who she is on the inside – a child of God.
Thank you to the mom who texted me with questions and thoughts about what’s appropriate to wear herself. You don’t just teach your daughter right from wrong, you model it every day of your life in more than just your clothes, but in the truest sense of modesty: self-control and good works. Your love of others is evident and overflowing and I see those same traits growing in your daughter.
Thank you to the mom who makes sure Bible study isn’t something that’s left to Sunday school teachers, but is a responsibility of the parents. You are teaching your children to value the most valuable resource we have available to us. They will be equipped to enter the world confidently because of the effort you have put in to teach them.
Thank you to the moms who take in children they didn’t give birth to and love them like they did. You are exercising the purest form of religion. While I know you have doubts about whether you’re doing things “right”, you brought a child into a home full of love – for God and each other. There’s nothing wrong about that.
Thank you to the mom who makes sure that, no matter what else is going on, you’re in the building every time the doors are open for worship. You support your child in all their extracurriculars, but make sure they know where your priority is. You take Joshua’s proclamation of “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” to heart and make sure that no idols come before coming before Him.
Thank you to the mom who loves her children and unapologetically prioritizes her marriage above them. We all know you love your kids, and you’re giving them one of the greatest possible gifts by providing them with a loving example of what a husband and wife should be.
Thank you to the mom who not only visits the hospitals and the nursing homes, but brings her children. They are growing up without a fear of awkwardness and a thousand excuses to not visit the sick. You are training them on how to show love to those in need and it is beautiful.
Thank you to the heartbroken mom who doesn’t give up on your child. They’ve lost their way and you can’t tell them what to do. But a mother’s love and continually open arms are an irreplaceable gift. I assure you that your steadfast love is always known by them, even when it’s hard to believe.
Thank you to the moms who pray for your children. You petition the Father daily on their behalf. You pray for them in so many ways. For their health. For their comfort. For their peace. For them to find their way. Mostly, your pray for your children to belong to God. There is no greater request.
Thank you to the moms who are exhausted, who feel broken, who are at their wits’ end and feel they have nothing else to give. Thank you to the moms who are under-appreciated, which is all of you. Thank you to the moms who are tired because you give so much of yourselves to provide for and love your family.
Thank you. You are a treasure.
You are teaching and training. You are loving. You are modeling the example of how to live. You are correcting.
You are doing a good job. You’re not doing a perfect job, because no one has yet. But your children are probably not going to remember the little mistakes. They’re going to know they grew up in a home where God was first, and where they were loved. So keep it up.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”