Date: 
Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 10:45am
Service: 
Author: 

A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR MOTHERHOOD

 

        I don’t watch a lot of television.  I sleep through a lot of television, but I don’t really watch much of it.  There really isn’t anything on, 140 channels and nothing to watch.   But when I do turn it on, I am amazed at all the reality shows.  Every night there is a different reality show on several different channels.  I was amazed when the trend started 15 years ago and I am amazed today that it continues so strongly.

        The original reality show was Survivor.  If you are not familiar with the show, the basic idea is the producers put a group of people in a remote, secluded area, team them up and then pit them against each other in an assortment of competitions. 

        To win, they must outwit, outplay and outlast their fellow contestants.  Each week is a test of endurance, a fight to the finish, a battle of wills.  Those who participate in this show must give up their comfortable lives, move to some remote area, sacrifice sleep, good food, hot showers, personal privacy and modern convenience.  The demands of the competition push them to the brink of exhaustion and emotional distress.  They must face hardships, deal with stressful situations, and handle difficult people.  Survivor is not for the faint of heart.

        To me, this sounds a lot like motherhood.  In fact in my book, motherhood is the oldest, reality based survival contest in the world.  And this morning, I want to talk to you about motherhood and give you four survival strategies to help you succeed at the most important job in the world. 

 

1.  ALWAYS REMEMBER GOD LOVES YOU.

        First strategy I want to offer you is always remember God loves you.  Some may think that is a no-brainer.  Some may think that goes with out saying.  But mothers face situations everyday that are so difficult, so stressful, so overwhelming that even the strongest of faiths will begin to wonder, “Does God really love me?”

ISAIAH 54:10 "For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but My loving kindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken," Says the LORD who has compassion on you. 

        For many, Mother’s day is a good day.  You are happily married.  You have children.  You like your children.  They like you.  Your mother is living and you get along with her.  Mother’s day is a good day.

        But for others, Mother’s Day is not the greatest of holidays.  Some have tried to have children and not been able and it is not OK.  Some are in difficult marriages and the holidays remind them of how bad it is.  Some are stepmothers and it is not easy, or a single mom and it gets very lonely on Mother’s Day.  Others are raising grandchildren.  Some have lost their moms and this holiday reminds them of what they are missing. 

        For a lot of people, Mother’s day is a hard day.  Life can be really hard sometimes.  For those of you in the place I have just described, I want you to remember God loves you.  When you feel like no one cares, remember, God does.  When you feel unloved, remember, God loves you more then words can describe.  When you feel like no one understands what you are going through, remember, God knows exactly what you are going through and God doesn’t stop loving you.

 

        The apostle Paul said it so well in Romans 8:

38  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,

39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

2.  ALWAYS VALUE MOTHERHOOD

        I have a second strategy for you.  This strategy actually involves everyone.  So men, children, everyone listen very closely.  One very wise and mature mom said, “You know what really means a lot to me?  When one of my children says to me, “You are a good mom!”

        She goes on to say, “I can coast on that sincere compliment for months”.  Another young mom said, “I just hope when my children are old enough, they can appreciate all that I do for them.”

Proverbs 12:25 Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.  (NLT)

        That is especially true of moms.  Often motherhood is overwhelming, relentless, unyielding.  It is sometimes burdensome, tiresome and unrewarding.  The pressure gets to be heavy and a kind word is needed. 

I heard about a working mom whose husband complained that he wanted a hot meal for breakfast.  She gave him a match and said, “Here, set your cornflakes on fire”.

        Many moms wonder every day, “Does my family appreciate me?”  One of the greatest gifts you can give the women in your life is a gift of sincere, genuine, personal, and continual appreciation.  It is the emotional fuel that is essential for the job. 

        In the last chapter of the book of Proverbs, chapter 31, there is this detailed description of an amazing woman.  She is described in super human terms.  In fact she sounds too good to be true.  I have found the secret to her amazing accomplishments.  It is found in verse 28:

Proverbs 31:28  Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:  29 "Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all."

        You want to know why this woman is so wonderful.  Simple, her husband and her kids regularly voice and demonstrate their appreciation for who she is and all she does.  Maybe, instead of nagging all the time, if we showed a little more appreciation, our wives and mothers would be a little more like this Proverbs 31 superwoman.  Maybe the problem is not her.  Maybe the problem is us. 

3.  STOP TRYING TO BE SUPERMOM

        Let me show you a third strategy.  Stop putting the pressure on yourself to be the super mom.  Super moms are women who have a full time job, attend all their kids activities, cook all the meals, keep the house spotless, always look impeccable and never miss a church service.

        Motherhood is a full time job.  As one mother said, “If motherhood was going to be easy, it would not have started with something called labor.” 

        The key here is to understand God’s call for your life and stop trying to fit into someone else’s expectation.  Listen to what God says you need to be as a mom and stop trying to meet everyone else’s demands. 

        I love the words of Solomon.

Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.  6  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

4.  FOCUS ON THE ULTIMATE REWARD

        One final strategy and we are done.  Moms, you matter.  Potentially, you can make such a difference in the lives of the people in your life. God has uniquely positioned you to be the most influential person in the life of your child.  You will mark them and set them on a trajectory for the rest of their lives.

        When God wants to do something great, He doesn’t send an earthquake.  He doesn’t stir up a tornado.  He doesn’t erupt a volcano.  He sends a child.

        And before He sends a child, He finds a woman to be a mom to that child.  When God wanted someone to lead the children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt, He found a Hebrew slave living by the banks of the Nile by the name of Jochebed to be the mother of Moses.  When God wanted a prophet to speak to Israel, he found a barren woman named Hannah and answered her prayer giving her Samuel.  When God wanted to come to earth as the Savior of the world, He found a young Jewish girl living on the backside of nowhere to be the mother of the Son of God. 

        Ladies, God wants you to know that being a Mother is a great thing.  He wants motherhood to be an absolute thrill for you.  Hopefully these strategies will help you survive the struggles of motherhood and thrive in the greatest job on earth.