Lately, I’ve been thinking about how I speak about my children to others, especially first-time moms and young women. When I come across as the stressed-out mother who’s always irritated with her kids, I realize that I am not exactly the poster child for good moms.
Why would a young woman aspire to motherhood if all she sees and hears from moms is how horrible a burden children are?
Our words and attitude can do a lot of damage to the sacred calling of motherhood if we’re not careful.
“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.”
According to a 2009 survey conducted by the Barna Group, only 12% of teenagers hope to be married by age 25 and only 9% expect to have children by then.
That statistic astounds me. While I didn’t marry until I was 27, I knew from childhood that I wanted to be a wife and mother and yearned for the day that God would answer the desires of my heart.
But with all of the opportunities–from college to graduate school to professional careers to travel abroad–coupled with the prevalence of divorce in so many lives and the negative depictions of motherhood all around, I wonder that any young women want to marry and have children.
I fear that an even greater number of young women will decide to forgo marriage and motherhood until much later in life or maybe even all together.
As a mother of three girls, I am concerned.
But that’s where we as moms can have a great influence. No, we can’t convince all young women of the beauty of marriage and motherhood, but we can present a more positive image of both.
To do so, we must choose joy over bitterness in our walks as mothers.
First and foremost, we need to begin with our own daughters.
My girls don’t always see the best side of their mother. When I’m frustrated, I sometimes yell, and when the house looks like a demilitarized zone, I complain about all the work that needs to be done.
My words and attitude are not always an inducement to my daughters to want to be a wife and mother one day, and yet in my heart, I don’t know of a nobler calling.
How we model motherhood for them will determine whether they are among the 9 or 12%, or if they will choose to embrace a higher calling.
How can we do this?
By first committing to changing our attitudes toward our roles as mothers.
- Instead of complaining about all the housework, let’s show our children our gratitude for the homes we live in.
- Instead of venting our irritations with our kids to others, let’s take the opportunity to brag on our children (just a little).
- Instead of wishing aloud for more time alone, let’s view our children, not as a roadblock to our happiness, but as an opportunity for evangelism.
- Instead of putting Facebook and email above our children, let’s give them the full attention they crave and deserve.
- Instead of dwelling on all the spiritual matters we should be teaching our children, let’s actually sit down and read the Bible together, planting the seed in their tiny hearts.
“She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
The Holy Spirit has laid this burden upon my heart to closely guard my lips and my attitude so that what I speak only edifies the sacred calling of motherhood.
I want my daughters to aspire to marriage and motherhood one day. That means I need to work on myself and view my children not as a hindrance to my happiness, but as lost souls in need of a Savior.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…”Proverbs 31:28
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