A passage that has been a great comfort to me as a mother is Romans 5:3-5. I heard it preached a while ago, and it gave me such courage that I wanted to develop my own thoughts as it pertains to my own circumstances. Teething, fatigue and ear aches have created a very unpredictable sleep schedule on a regular basis as of late, which has at times managed to extract every nerve from my soul that they might be cast into a proverbial sizzling pan of hot oil. There are times when I know the grace of God is strengthening me to take a deep breath and to be patient, and there are times when I want to take out some frustration on a nearby unsuspecting teddy bear. One thing is sure, however. My lessons in parenting have constructed an overall increase in patience in a way that I never knew could be.
Yes, I’m exhausted and wake up every morning with the sensation of having my eyelids super-glued shut, and my legs feel as if I’m walking on two blobs of boneless tissue, but I have been learning that this kind of servanthood is taking me down to the workshop of the human soul where the Holy Spirit is utilizing every moment of cooperation I give Him to make me more like Jesus.
Each passing week that yields sporadic naps and several night wakings forms more and more peace in me. I can’t explain it except to say the grace of God is abundant for this job; motherhood, that is. Thankfully, the more I give way to it, the more I enjoy my daughter in her struggle to rest. Enjoying her rather than reacting emotionally to her immaturity has done more than reduce stress. I actually believe that God doesn’t react emotionally to my immaturity.
If you have ever said you don’t want to have kids, let me just say that I used to say the same thing. What I found out after having one is that it was my selfish pride and fear of royally screwing a kid up that held me back, but so far there has been no greater doorway into the heart of God for me. If there was no God who bestowed no grace to parents, then all the fears of having children would have been legitimate, but all those traces of unbelief in my heart about the goodness of my God are crumbling. Parenting alters everything about your heart, your mind, and yes, your body. I would not have it any other way.
Paul says it this way in Romans 5:3-5:
“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, know that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. “