By Guest Speaker, Corina Huether
Mom during the dark times
When I was in late middle school, I went through a really dark and difficult time in my life. I think all teenagers go through this same period during their life, some early in their teens like me, some later in high school. I felt overwhelmed with everything that was going on in my life. I felt like nothing was going like it should and that there was no hope really. I hadn’t talked with my mom about it because I felt like I shouldn’t be struggling with this. I didn’t want her to worry about me. I figured I could handle it on my own. Besides, I was a Christian and Christians aren’t supposed to have these doubts of self worth, identity, and belonging. Right? Well, wrong. We all go through these times and it is during these times that we often need other people to speak into us.
It was during the midst of this struggle that my mom found out about it and spoke into me. She sat me down and we talked about what I was going through. She told me “I know you are going through a hard time. I understand it is very tough because I have been there. I also know it gets better. So I don’t care about where you are right now. I care about where you are going. Don’t focus on the darkness you see around you right now. Focus on the bright future that you have ahead of you.” I then began to try to focus on the good instead of the bad. I focused on what life would be like without the depression. I pictured my life without the anxiety. Eventually my life began to look like how I pictured it. She spoke words of encouragement and guidance to me when I needed it most.
But she is not the only one to have poured into me for my betterment. In 7th grade, Mrs. Sharon in the preschool Awana class taught me how to share Christ in a way that hyper 4, 5, and 6 year olds can understand. In middle school and early high school, Mrs. Jan and Mrs. Nikki listened to me when I needed to talk about everything that I was dealing with as I went through the process of moving from my childhood home to another state on what felt like the other side of the country. Mrs. Tonya, the first youth leader I had in Texas, taught me how to see the little bits of gold inside students who only came to church for the free food. They were all like a mother to me in those moments. They filled that role without the title.
Jesus and the Scripture
Jesus briefly mentions this in the book of Mark. Mark 3:20-21 set the stage for what Jesus is about to say. “Then Jesus entered a house and again a crowd gathers, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said ‘He is out of his mind.’ ” So we see here that Jesus had been teaching and his teachings had become so contrary to the current lifestyle that even his own family had decided that he needed to stop.
Mark 3:31-35 recounts what happened next. “Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him. ‘Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.’ ‘Who are my mother and my bothers?’ he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘’Here are my mother and my bothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Here, Jesus states that those who do the will of God are his brother, his sister, and even his mother. According to this scripture, we can be in that mother role by doing the will of God.
Will of God
So what exactly is the will of God?
Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2:3-4 the first thing that God desires. “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” So this passage tells us that God greatly desires to have a personal relationship with every single person alive. He desires for them to know the truth; that he loved them so much, that he didn’t want to spend eternity separated from them. So he sent his son to be the perfect sacrifice to pay for their wrong doings. Now, it is up to them to accept this free gift and begin a relationship with their Creator.
But, He doesn’t just want them to meet him and have a surface deep relationship. He wants to get to know them deeply and he wants them to reach their full potential. 1 Thessalonians 4:3a says “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified.” The word “sanctified” means to be made holy. He wants each person to be discipled by other Christians so that they can become strong and steadfast in their faith. As scripture says, God wants his children to live a holy life, for he is a holy God.
There is one other things that He desires from his children, and that is thankfulness. 1 Thes. 5:18 says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” God wants his children to be thankful. Sometimes it is really easy to give thanks. You get a pay raise, thank you God! You avoid a potential car accident, thank you God! You get to celebrate a holiday or birthday with family, thank you God!
But sometimes, it is a lot harder to give thanks. You lose your job, thank you God that I went this long with a job. You are in an accident and your car gets totaled, thank you God that I am okay. A loved one passes away from a terminal disease, thank you God for the time I had with them. And sometimes when it seems like there is nothing to be thankful for, thank you God I woke up another day. Thank you for your promise that you will work everything for the good of those who love you. And thank you for the opportunity to praise your name once more.
Application to Mothers
So the three things God wants are that 1) everyone is saved, 2) everyone is made holy, and 3) everyone gives thanks. How do these apply to the mother role?
First off, you need to lead by example. Let others see that you are a Christian. Do not hide your faith. Work on the areas of your life that are not completely sanctified yet. We all have areas in our lives that we still try to control. We need to give them all up the Christ and strive to live a holy life. Also, give thanks in every situation that you find yourself in.
Salvation of Others
Next, we need to help others do the same. We need to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with those around us. Matthew 28:18 – 20 says “Then Jesus came to them and said ‘All authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ ” Statistics say that the average adult needs to hear the Gospel seven times before they commit to Christ. Hopefully you get to be that seventh time and share the joyful experience of introducing them to their Lord. But chances are, you will one of the other six. Those other six times though are just as important because you are preparing them to make that decision.
Sanctification of Others
Not only do we need to help lead them to starting a personal relationship with Christ. We also need to help them develop that relationship. We need to disciple others. All teachers will tell you that the best way to learn something better is to teach it to others. By teaching other Christians and helping them grow closer to God, we will be doing the same for ourselves.
Mother to Others
May of us have been blessed with wonderful mothers who cared for us and tried to raise us the best they could. However, we may not have all had that blessing. But we all have had someone in our lives who saw the best in us, who looked out for us and covered our back, someone who encouraged us, someone who was there to listen when we just needed to get something off our chest. We now all have the opportunity to be that person for someone else, to pour into them and bless them. You do not have to be a biological mother to have the role and impact of a mother in another person’s life.
So the bottom line is this. Be a mother to those inside the church and to those outside the church, to young and to old, to those who obviously need someone and to those whom God sends us. Help lead others to Christ. You can do this be being a good example yourself. Help disciples others. See the best in them, encourage them, and point them to the Scriptures and to God so they can become the best they can be. Give thanks and encourage others to do the same.