My name is 'Mother' not 'Slave'


These small children show up our lack of a serving heart. 

We are called to serve

Mothers are Godís idea. That is mothers who serve their families and train their children in Godís ways, and as with all Godís good ideas Satan is out to mess it up as best he can if he cannot separate families one from another altogether.

There are two main ways Godís good ideas get messed up. The first is to over do it and the second is to under do it (and there is plenty of scope to mix the two).

We are anointed to be mothers. Think about what anointing means. God has given you a call on your life but he has not left you floundering about struggling to fulfil that call. No he has anointed you, filled you with his Spirit to be fully equipped for the task. His grace is sufficient for you. So what does being a servant to your children mean?

When a new baby comes along he or she can do nothing for themselves. As mothers we are forced into a position of putting our own needs aside and serving the needs of that new gift in our midst. It is ironic that something so small can show up just how big our selfishness is. As well as our tiredness, how much hard work we find it to constantly minister to the needs of another without thinking of ourselves first. Yet as Christians we are called to follow the example of Christ who ďcame to serveĒ. These small children show up our lack of a serving heart. And we are called to serve.



In the short term it is quicker to be slaveódoing everything for themósaving time is so appealing.


Over doing it

Does that mean I am saying you should drop everything and lose yourself entirely to the children? Let me be clear: no. You are mother not slave. Being called to serve our children is not a call to slavery.

The Bible tells us to ďtrain a child in the way he [she] should go.Ē (Proverbs ch22 v6) If you constantly do everything for your children, if you are at their total beck and call you are training them to be selfish and thoughtless. I donít think you want your children to be like this any more than I do mineóand I do not. The trouble is sometimes it is easier to just do things for them than to help them do it for themselves thus teaching them the skills they need to become rounded human beings and Christians.

The latest example of this in my family is in the kitchen. My eldest daughter has been having cooking lessons at school and now the next two eldest want to improve their cooking skills. ďCan I help you make dinner MummyĒ is not my idea of a fun way to spend an hour. To do it myself it takes half an hour and I may not be a particularly fantastic cook (no false modesty here) but I cook well enough and it is good to put dinner on the table for my family without too much bother and spend some time together. It is a nice way to serve. But to truly serve my children is to teach and equip them. With them helping we can still eat that meal together and enjoy each other. The true nature of the serving mother has been lost. In the short term it is quicker to be slaveódoing everything for themósaving time is so appealing.

Whether we chose to be slave as I have just illustrated, or we feel circumstances are dragging us under, this is not Godís way. We are doing too much or choosing to put other priorities first and our call to motherhood has been squashed out in the name of slavery.

Under doing it

Sometimes our call to motherhood suffers from the same outcome (we donít train our children) because we donít think it matters if no one bothers. How stressful our children will find life if they constantly feel ill-equipped to face tasks. Starting a home of their own will be far less harrowing if they already know how to clean things, how to keep to a budget, how to cook, how to pray over their godly calling, work and day. They canít know if you have always made a martyr of yourself and done everything for them.

Think back over your own life. Is there something you know was in your motherís power to teach you but she never did and you now wish she had? What about your Bible knowledge? Could you teach your children better so that they will be better equipped to face temptation? I know I could.

Let me remind you [motherhood] is a godly calling and God has anointed you to the task. 

Be encouraged

Satan wants to spoil our serving our children whether it be by becoming an overworked slave or through lack of application of ourselves to the calling. We all make choices about how we serve our children. Let me remind you it is a godly calling and God has anointed you to the task. Be encouraged from this thought. I know when I feel it is all too much (I am too busy, overwhelmed or just too tired) I remind myself that God has equipped me for the role and he has given me the resources to succeed in itóI just have to reach out to Him and face the task with Him. I donít become less busy or tired in that moment but I do find the strength to work through it in a more godly manner. How about you?

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This article © Linda Faber 2006-2009.