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Having a baby is about being fitted and molded into a mother. Like a snake shedding its skin, the old life is being peeled away to manifest the new one. You are changing into a mother! This change begins at conception of course. Then it continues through pregnancy, when you realize you are being used for another’s growth and life and development. You are yielding yourself for the life of another! Then, through labor and delivery, you take on pain and discomfort for this child’s sake. This experience is molding you. Then breast feeding and infant care mold you. You continue to yield – give up – your body, time, life, goals, etc. as they shift to the body, life, and goals for this child. This is learning Christ-likeness, an opportunity to embrace Christ-likeness: being like Christ, Who laid down His life for His sheep. Motherhood is an opportunity to know Christ in this greater way, the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings: He laid down His life for us; and we have this opportunity to lay down our life for another.
Phil 3:10 “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” Like labor, it calls us beyond ourselves. Like labor, we find His grace is our sufficiency as we turn to Him. This is appropriate mothering, because we are stewards for Him, and He supplies all the strength we need to carry out His will. Phil 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Embrace this change. Don’t resist it. Don’t “kick against the pricks!” The goads lead and guide you along the way of usefulness and change that God has for you! Be thankful and yield to them. These are the words of Christ to Paul in Acts 26:14 ‘… It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ It is senseless to kick against the goads. This is a Greek proverb for useless resistance: the ox only succeeds in hurting himself! His goads are His guidance! All you succeed in doing when you kick against them is hurting your foot! Submit and comply with this wonderful process of change God is bringing into your life and you and your family will greatly benefit. Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Our crosses, that which ministers self-death to us, are glorious – be like Jesus: see past the pain and shame – they are glorious
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This dying to self brings about spiritual maturity in us. And see what glorious things God works in us through the process:
Rom 18:17 we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Phil 3:8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
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So there is a comparison … the troubles, the losses, the discomforts, compared to their outcomes: eternal glory! Knowing Christ better in a way I never would have known Him otherwise! The losses are insignificant compared to the gains: spiritual maturity, knowing Christ better, glorifying God, and accomplishing the task of nurturing this baby for God! See the infant’s needs and demands as a glorious calling from God, as Jochebed did from Pharaoh’s daughter, when she rescued Moses from the river and handed him to her to nurse and nurture him: Exodus 2:9 “Take this child and nurse him for me and I will give you wages.” God is saying this to you, mothers! He has enlisted you as His steward to nurse and nurture this His child for Him! See the high calling of God in caring for and nursing this infant. Hear this call from God with every diaper change, feeding, when he is fussy and needing comfort: “Nurture My child for Me.” Do it as an act of worship unto God, and see the mundane become glorious! See also His promised “wages” to you: He is refining your character through this and making you holy and fitting you for heaven. He is rooting out sin, selfishness, sensuality, and self-indulgence as you take these wonderful opportunities to lay down your life and deny self for the life of this child. This, and the opportunity to know Christ better by practicing His self-sacrificing love as He did for you, indeed are most glorious and rich “wages!” That will be the end of the article. This is the charge from God to you as a mother, nurturing this child as a steward for Him!
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