Once again, the month has come when we set aside time to honor our mothers. One author wrote, “Some men build bridges, others tall skyscrapers. But a mother builds a leader for tomorrow’s world.” I read that statement many years ago, and it made a powerful impact on my thinking. Sometimes in the midst of the stress—multitasking and trying to meet all of the demands that motherhood presents—we lose sight of the awesome responsibility that God has placed in our hands.
Psalm 127:3 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord.” Our children are a wonderful gift from God. But we have a great responsibility to teach, lead, and train these gifts that God has given us. Much of that responsibility is placed on the mother. I sometimes say to my husband with amusement, “I know why men could never be mothers; it is impossible for them to multitask.”
As mothers, we learn to do more than one thing at a time. We are often cooking, talking on the phone, and comforting a crying child all at the same time. Proverbs 18:22 (NKJV) says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” Sometimes in taking care of all the many things we must handle as wives and mothers, we lose sight of how valuable we are to our family and God.
As women, we sometimes have a problem with our self-image. We try to be perfect, especially when it comes to our physical appearance. I was quite comforted the other day when I came across an article showing the pictures of many of the famous actresses whom society claims as beautiful women. However, these pictures showed those actresses as they appeared without makeup and then with their makeup. I was amazed. Most of them were unrecognizable without makeup.
Then I remembered something my father-in-law used to say: “Any old barn always looks better with a fresh coat of paint.” We laugh about that, but it is amazing how much better we feel about ourselves when we use the means available to make us look our very best.
My profession in previous years was hairstyling. Women came in to have their hair styled and were amazed at the results. It always delighted me to see the big smiles that came across their faces when I let them look in the mirror and see the drastic change in their appearance.
The first thing I do every morning after showering is put on my makeup and style my hair. Even if I am just going to relax that day, I always follow that routine. It makes me feel better about myself when I look in the mirror and see that I have done everything possible to look my best.
It concerns me that society is promoting the idea that we must all be a size 2 to be attractive. This is causing young girls and women alike to harm their bodies by becoming anorexic or bulimic. Of course, carrying excess weight is not good for our well-being, but neither is starving ourselves. It is important to be balanced in this area and know that no woman is ever completely satisfied with every feature she possesses. All of us have something we would like to change.
However, we should take the attitude that David had when he proclaimed in Psalm 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” I like this verse in the New Living Translation: “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.” Sometimes when my husband is trying to figure out my actions or emotions, I teasingly say to him, “God made me this complex, and I am thankful.” And of course, we both get a laugh out of it. Ladies, I encourage you to make the best of what God gave you. Don’t become so dissatisfied with your attributes that you develop a poor self-image.
As a mother, know that the time of raising your children will pass ever so quickly. Enjoy every season of their lives. Don’t be so concerned about making everything perfect that you neglect the very thing that children desire the most: having you spend time with them and listening as they share their thoughts. Strive to be the kind of mother that prompts the same response from her family as that expressed in Proverbs 31:28 (NLT): “Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her.”
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