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First, take a look at Eve:

Genesis 3:6, 15-16 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

From life taker to life bearer: through her, death would come to all mankind. Through her, childbearing would begin; she would become the bearer of mankind.

From food-taker to food bearer: she took and ate the apple because of her selfish sensual desires. She would become the food-bearer through nursing: the maker and provider of the sustenance for her child. Milk is one of only 2 substances in nature whose sole purpose is food (milk and honey).

She used food for self; her very self would be used for food. Look at your baby. Where did his sustenance come from? Yourself – your body nourished him through pregnancy and breastfeeding – the food is from you! Your food, your blood, your breasts, your body.

See the Divine paradox:there are several of these:

When we are weak, we are strong: 2 Cor 12:10

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

The rich will be sent away empty: Luke 1:53

He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.

And the hungry are filled, in the same verse.

If you save your life you’ll lose it; if you lose your life you’ll find it:Matt 16:25

Eve is not our model, though God in His mercy resurrected women from the degradation into which she lowered us, into His grand purposes outlined above. Birth, breastfeeding, motherhood.

Mary

Our model rather is in Luke 10:38-42: As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

1.   The model of mothering is found in verses 39 and 42. Mary. Not Martha.

a.      Look to Jesus as Mary,

b.      Approach every day sitting at the feet of Jesus, orelse you end up a Martha – strung out.10:41: “you are worried and upset about many things.”

Look to God to order your life, give YOU HIS priorities. Keep a quiet heart in the midst of “busyness” or else you get caught up in the tyranny of the urgent. Let worry be your call to prayer:

Phil 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

c.      Look to Jesus as Mary,

d.      Jesus was foremost in Mary’s mind. Martha’s self was foremost in her mind.

e.      Me and my agenda, or Christ and His agenda.

Mother as Mary, not Martha.

Mary: 1. at Jesus’ feet.

2. Still, quieted soul. (as in Psalm 131) 3. Concerned with HIS agenda for HER 4. Obedient to HIM

Martha:

1.      Would not sit down

2.      Strung out “worried and upset about many things”. That is the definition of the word for worry: pulled apart in many distracting directions, like a spider’s            legs all going in their own direction – doesn’t go anywhere, just pulls him apart.

3.      Concerned with HER agenda.

4.      Put Jesus at HER feet,

5.      Wanted JESUS to obey HER, (see 10:40. “It’s all about me.”) rather than submit her agenda to Jesus. She submitted Jesus to her agenda.

6.      Wanted She was BUSY but not obedient. When we get strung out, consider that you may be busy, but not obedient.

2. Part of looking to Jesus is the involvement of His Body in your life.

God does not have us as sole agents but members of a body, that is, I am not sufficient in and of myself but God meets my needs directly, and indirectly through others.

3. Going to the feet of Jesus is also going to the feet of your husband.

You may want to go visit a friend but your husband wants you to wash the windows.

Also, as the day presents itself, you get God’s agenda.

You may want to go shopping but the kid throws up.

Receive these things with joy. That’s from Jesus. His agenda. You are not your own.

How To Be A Godly Mother, Part 2: Mary and Martha

Be a Mary, not a Martha.

Sit at the feet of Jesus. Not a slave to your own agenda. Sitting at the feet of Jesus means:

1. Have a prayer life. Habit of early prayer. Going to God first. Or our own thoughts and agendas crowd Him out. Our worries and cares keep us from Him. Rather, if we go to God, our worries and cares are taken CARE of and we have the sobermindedness and clear vision to see HIS will.

Phil 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

You exchange anxiety for peace through the vehicle of prayer.

1 Pet 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

“Casting is a conscious deliberate activity of the will. The word “cares” literally means something different than we thought. We think it is saying that He cares for us. That of course is true. But the literally meaning is: He is caring for that care for you so you don’t have to care for it; He is caring for it in your place; He is CARRYING it on behalf of you. It’s not your concern any longer, it is His.

So, go to God first.

2.Secondly, go to your husband.

This is second, because he needs you to go to God first to pray for him! He has a HARD job: Eph 5:25-27 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Making YOU holy and blameless! We make his job easier by

1) praying for him, for God to give him grace for this job and for God to give him the wisdom he needs. But then you have to listen to him as he gives you or else we are like the Israelites when they came to Jeremiah:

Jer 42: 3-16, 19-43:2 3 Pray that the LORD your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” 4 “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray to the LORD your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the LORD says and will keep nothing back from you.” 5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the LORD your God sends you to tell us. 6 Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the LORD our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the LORD our God.” 7 Ten days later the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah. 9 He said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: 10 ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you…. 19 “O remnant of Judah, the LORD has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake [b] when you sent me to the LORD your God and said, ‘Pray to the LORD our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’ 21 I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the LORD your God in all he sent me to tell you. 22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.” Jer 43: 1When Jeremiah finished telling the people all the words of the LORD their God—everything the LORD had sent him to tell them- 2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’

Going to our husband is a very redemptive aspect from the fall established by God for our restoration; in

1 Tim 2:12-14,

we see why:

I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. So acknowledge that what may be foggy to you, God will make clear to your husband FOR you. The 2 become 1 body; sometimes that means he is our eyes!

2) Going to God first helps your husband do his job of leading you because you are in a place of grace, a place of listening, a humble and receptive state. When we just get up and go with our day we go in self. We need grace to let go of our self, our agenda, our goals and desires. But we find in so doing a greater strength in the Lord and we place ourselves in the Kingdom of God, which is what we want to raise our children in. Not the kingdom of self. You want to pass on to them the heritage that God is our ruler.

Mt 11:28-30

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

We are weary and burdened in self, Martha again, but easy and light with Christ. HIS YOKE means I am His slave. TAKE my yoke – willing slavery. His yoke is easy and His burden is light means NOT that the work is easy or without challenge, but that it is all done under Christ, His will, with His accompanying presence and grace. EASY because you have His strength. LIGHT because we have His presence. “Marthas” get things done but they are ruled by getting things done, not by relationship with Christ. These people are not ruled by peace.

Phil 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

We all have days like this. Are we wrought up? Sometimes we need to weed things out of our life, our day. Submit your agenda to your husband. Be willing to hear “NO”. Or maybe, “GO.” Going to God continuously, like you did in labor: “Help me.” Give me wisdom. When you are tired, impatient. Pray without ceasing:

1 Thess 5:17

Pray continually.

You may not get much of a quiet time because of the needs of the infant. We all went through it – seems like it takes all day to read just a chapter of Scripture – the Bible open to the same page all day. Remember it’s a season. Try to pray and read while nursing – it gets you to sit down any way! Remember life has changed – you are a mother; more than a title; it’s what we are.

How To Be A Godly Mother, Part 3: Priorities

How to be a godly mother?

Priorities:

First be a godly Christian (read the word, pray, have an obedient walk with God, have repentance and faith daily), Hos 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.

We put ourselves into the kid physically – your genes, your body gestated him, your body nourished him through nursing, but the child also draws from us spiritually – positively or negatively. So really sow into your relationship with Christ to give an inheritance of character – an inheritance of a walk with God – that far outlasts this physical temporal body.

Add to your faith…an active involvement in sanctification:

2 Pet 1:4-8

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The opposite happens when we don’t – we pass on our natural inheritance which is the empty way of life handed down to us: 1 Pet 1:18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your

Then be a godly wife,

1 Pet 3:1-6

1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

Attention to the heart, using obedience not words to effect change; being gentle and quiet allows God to effect change; being forceful and naggy is the woman’s ineffective way.

Then you’ll be a godly mother.

First godly Christian, then godly wife, then godly mother.

We are given the formula to successful godly mothering, which sanctifies US:

1 Tim 2:15 Tells us to “Continue in faith, love, and holiness, with propriety.”

In 1 Tim 2:13-14, we are given the prelude to woman’s spiritual condition: “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”

Then the beautiful promise comes in verse 15: “But women[she] will be saved[restored] through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love (agape) and holiness (sanctification) with propriety (self-control).” A woman of faith, by yielding to the demands of motherhood in faith – that is, in obedience to the word of God, demonstrating sacrificial love – that is, laying down her life for the sake and care of her children, taking pain and inconvenience for their benefit, and living a holy life – putting off sinful responses and desires and demonstrating a holy character in the home, with propriety – soundness of mind, self-control, sobriety, will experience much sanctification through theses mothering tasks. What an opportunity to grow in the character of Christ, who laid down His life so that we might live! Embrace this opportunity, mothers!

We see that these characteristics are also very similar to the list we see for every Christian to grow by in 2 Pet 1:5-7.

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”

Grow as a Christian through these daily demands of motherhood. Sow godly character in your own heart, and you may reap it in the lives of your family.

We see that a godly mother sanctifies herself, her husband, her children. This truly is the highest calling a female can have: to effect people indelibly for eternity.

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