Woman’s Work

Today is Mother’s Day; it’s the day we celebrate, remember, thank and love our mothers, mother-in-laws, aunts, grandmothers and the other women who helped shape who we are and who we are becoming.

From Biblical times through today God consistently uses women to lead His children home. So today’s post is offered in gratitude for the gifts given to me by the women in my life, and by their Biblical sisters who modeled it first.

Praying on your knees. From as early as I can remember my mother knelt with us by our bedsides each night to recite a prayer she created, a prayer of thankfulness for our families, our country (she’s always been deeply patriotic) and for the blessings of each day.

At the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)

Spiritual discipline. My mother took us to church every single week of our lives. I don’t remember ever missing a Sunday, whether away on vacation or out on Lake Erie, our weekend itineraries were structured around it. Sometimes all of us, including my dad, would resist and cajole her to bend “just this once.” She never did. And today it’s a habit we’re instilling in our own children.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

The Word. I didn’t grow up reading or studying scripture outside of church. So when my sister-in-law brought her Bible on vacation I watched, wondering what she was reading and why. Her daily habit and out-loud thinking about Biblical principles seeded an interest in me that grew over time.

So love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)

Pray without ceasing. My mother-in-law prays all day long. She “has fun with God” as she likes to say, engaging Him in every aspect of her daily life. She seeks Him and finds Him in everything. (Learn more about mothers-in-law here.)

Miriam, Hannah and Mary all have prayers of praise recorded in the Bible.

Commend your children to the Lord. One of my dearest friends walked a long, lonely road with her child through nearly a decade of rebellion and struggle. Her faithfulness and selfless love were an inspiration and are now a well of wisdom for my own times of struggle with my kids.

Hannah prayed fervently for a child and when she conceived Samuel she commended him to the Lord before he was even born, giving him to Eli to become a priest and serve the Lord. (1 Samuel 1-2)

Steadfastness. Another friend of mine was recently called “steadfast” by her son, who as a young adult is beginning to see the many ways she built and sustained a wall of protection around him and his siblings through the tumult in her life.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women I know who live Proverbs 31 with courage, beauty and grace:

She takes good care
of her family
and is never lazy.
Her children praise her,
and with great pride
her husband says,
“There are many good women,
but you are the best!”
Charm can be deceiving,
and beauty fades away,
but a woman
who honors the Lord
deserves to be praised.
Show her respect—
praise her in public
for what she has done.

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