A few years ago while visiting my brother, I found myself in a room with fifteen strangers who were part of a Bible study group my brother taught. Most of them were regulars, but there were a few visitors, so my brother had planned an ice breaker of sorts that went along with the lesson. He asked each person in the room to share one thing they admired about the person sitting to their left. Fortunately, I was sandwiched in between two people I knew—my stepdad was to my right and my husband was to my left.
My brother gave everyone a few minutes to think and/or get to know the person to their left a little more so they could speak to their accomplishments. Then the sharing began. People told about career successes, educational accomplishments, and awards received. I was sitting toward the end of the circle, but I secretly couldn’t wait for my stepdad to share about me. I had recently published a devotional book for junior-age kids that I was sure he would mention. I was super proud of my book, and I wanted to tell the world that I was an author!
Well, it finally came time for my stepdad to share, and this is what he said, “I’ve known Kalie for six years now, and she is an amazing mom. She is dedicated to her kids, and they are some of the smartest and well-behaved kids I know who love Jesus and others.”
I sat there thinking, Why didn’t he share about my book? There are plenty of other moms in this room who are probably also wonderful mothers, but there is only one author . . . me!
In retrospect, this is one of the nicest compliments I have ever received. I always wanted to be a mom, so to have someone acknowledge that I’m doing my job well is saying something. However, in the moment, I allowed the world’s thinking to cloud my judgment.
[clickToTweet tweet=”You see, the world measures success by what we do, not by who we impact.” quote=”You see, the world measures success by what we do, not by who we impact.”]
It’s much easier to measure the number of books published, awards received, degrees earned, or businesses started versus the noses wiped, books read, meals prepared, and prayers said.
[clickToTweet tweet=”We have such a high calling as mothers to raise our children to know and love God. ” quote=”We have such a high calling as mothers to raise our children to know and love God. “]
Yet, the enemy tries to blind us to this truth through busyness and the curse to accomplish more.
Whether it is our career or ministry or our desire to be the best “soccer” mom there is, which involves signing our kids up for every activity we can think of, we can’t lose sight of what really matters—training our children in the ways of the Lord.
This can seem like a daunting undertaking sometimes, being responsible for the spiritual upbringing of our children, but that’s what God calls us to do, and that’s what He called Mary, the mother of Jesus, to do more than two thousand years ago.
If I think raising my cherubs in the Lord is a bit overwhelming at times, what must she have felt like raising the Son of God—as a teenager? And yet, her response to the angel’s message is one of joy and submission:
Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.
Instead of focusing on how “impossible” the task would be to raise Jesus, she dwelt on God’s sovereignty and power to fulfill all that He promised.
The Bible doesn’t record much of anything about Jesus’ childhood before the age of twelve when His parents took Him to Jerusalem for the Passover. The only texts we have that give us a glimpse are found in Luke 2:39, 40, 52: “When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him…. Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.”
Jesus didn’t grow up in a vacuum, shielded from evil.
He grew up in Nazareth where wickedness abounded (John 1:46).
So how did He remain pure and holy?
This brings me back to Mary and the verses in Luke. Mary was the one who taught Jesus scripture and told Him about His special birth. She instructed and brought Him up to know and love God.
It was at her knee that Jesus learned, not at a rabbinical school like other young Jewish boys. Mary received the honor of introducing her Son to God the Father.
We have the same honor that Mary did to raise our children to know and love God.
And beyond our kids, the Bible calls us to disciple those around us, which opens up our sphere of influence to include women of all ages. Of course, this means we must nurture our own relationship with God so that we can pour out what we are taking in.
May we, like Mary, keep our eyes fixed on God and His sovereignty, and may we dedicate ourselves to the noble task of teaching our children and the women God brings into our lives the truths of Scripture.
How are you nurturing your relationship with God?
How are you introducing your kids to your heavenly Father?
In what ways are you pouring Scripture into their lives?
Looking outside of your home, what mentoring relationships is God calling you to form with the women around you?