Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of four young childen, doula, and blogger. Below is an excerpt from her second book, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms, which helps moms pursue the giver of grace: Jesus.
To say, “Being a mom isn’t easy,” is like saying, “Chocolate is yummy.” This much is obvious. There is real trouble, real discouragement, and real back- breaking work that comes with motherhood. Just watch a mom who is nine months pregnant try to get out of a car and not pull any muscles in the attempt. Just listen to a mom share the aches in her heart for the child she is waiting to adopt. Or ask a mother to tell you her prayer requests. Being a mom isn’t easy.
But sometimes mothers feel that their hands are full of inconvenience, thankless work, and futility.
Maintaining the perspective that God has abundantly blessed you is a very real struggle.
The fight for faith cannot be waged with the whimsical idea that you just need to see that “the glass is half full.”
The fight for faith should be addressed with sensitivity and grace and always subjected to the inerrant and authoritative Word of God.
I know that struggles, disappointments, and pain in motherhood are significant issues, so it is with all seriousness and sincerity that I remind myself what the apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 1:3–5:
I have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Christ, and I have an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for me.
Even as my life is full of heartaches and triumphant victories, unknowns and hopes, I am being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation to be revealed in the future. Preaching the gospel to myself each day is the best way to remind myself that my life in Christ is the prevailing, permanent reality in my life. The indwelling Holy Spirit comforts my soul with the truths of God’s Word.
When Jesus rescued me from hell, he also rescued me to himself. I have been spared an eternity of the just punishment that I deserve and have been handed life forever with my Savior. He took that cup—filled to the brim with the wrath of God against sin—and he drank it to the dregs. Then he didn’t hand me back an empty cup (which itself would have been a mercy of unspeakable worth). The Bible says that my glass isn’t merely half full. Because of Jesus, our cup is filled to overflowing with God’s blessings (Ps. 23:5).
I know that I may not be rescued from the next blow-out diaper that leaks onto the floorboard of my car while I’m stuck in traffic with whining children who just want to get out and play.
But because of the gospel I am rescued from having to respond to those troubles in the way my sinful flesh would prefer—I am strengthened by grace because I’ve been given the righteousness of Jesus Christ when I do respond sinfully. Because of the gospel I can also see God’s good intentions to fulfill his promises to me in making me like Christ and drawing me nearer to himself. These are just a few of the ways the rubber meets the road when considering the gospel in daily life as a mom.
How does the gospel of Jesus Christ impact your life in a significant way when your seasonal reality seems to be absorbed by mundane things like bodily fluid accidents and temper tantrums at the grocery store?
Anyone can advise you on how to deal with these practical, tangible things. For example, someone could suggest that you buy a poncho and wear it until your children are in junior high. To stifle your public temper tantrums, perhaps you could go into a closet and tantrum your temper in private.
Oh? You thought I meant your kid’s temper tantrum in the grocery store? Well, that’s a different thing altogether!
Even if your first child has only just been conceived in your womb, or if you’ve recently been approved for an adoption, you can already taste the goodness of God to you in motherhood.
When I view motherhood not as a gift from God to make me holy but rather as a role with tasks that get in my way, I am missing out on one of God’s ordained means of spiritual growth in my life. Not only that, but I am missing out on enjoying God.
No amount of mommy angst can compare to the misery that comes from a life devoid of the comforting, encouraging, guarding, providing, satisfying presence of our holy God.
I want for myself what Paul wanted for his beloved Philippians (4:9):
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I want God’s peace to rule my motherhood.
I want for myself what the writer of Hebrews wanted for his readers (Heb. 12:14)
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
I want to live each day in the way that I learned Christ—that is, by grace through faith. I need to put off the old self, being renewed in the spirit of my mind, and put on the new self that is created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:20–24).
John Owen commented on the role of the gospel in this pursuit: “What then is holiness? Holiness is nothing but the implanting, writing, and living out of the gospel in our souls (Eph. 4:24).”
This life of grace-infused faith would do wonders for the way I parent my children, of course, but what’s more, it keeps my gaze fixed on God. It could be said that the most loving command in the Bible is this one:
Go on up to a high mountain,
lift up your voice with strength,
say to the cities of Judah,
“Behold your God!” (Isa. 40:9)
I want to be counted among those who “will see the Lord.”
I want to behold my God!
Gloria Furman lives in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, where her husband is pastor of Redeemer Church of Dubai. Her first book, Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home, helped moms see the reality of grace in all of life.