Discovering grace in everyday motherhood

April 30, 2018

I remember the first time my then 4-year-old son Jack asked me why Jesus had to die for our sins. We were driving in the car on a warm spring day – worship music blasting in the background – and it stopped me in my tracks.

That sweet little voice prompting me to pour out the gospel. 

This was my moment. I got to explain original sin, the depravity of mankind and the beautiful redemption of the cross. He listened intently and opened his mouth for what I was sure would be his first proclamation of faith.

Instead he said, “And why do we have thumbs?”

Isn’t that motherhood in a nutshell? We build up in our heads what discipleship looks like in our homes, only to find it a lot messier – and oftentimes, sillier – in practice.

Luckily, since that day in the car, God has provided countless other moments to share the good news of Jesus with my children. And the funny thing? Hardly any of them have come during structured “discipleship” time. 

You see, God works His best when we let Him move freely in the everyday rhythms of our daily life. Gospel conversations don’t always have to take place during evening devotional time. They can happen while pouring cereal in the morning, on the drive to school, or when we snuggle into bed at night. When I take time to intentionally tune into their conversations — even the random babblings of an excited toddler — I can often find ways to speak of the goodness and grace of God.

While driving down the road: “Mommy, do you see the cows?”

“Yes, isn’t it amazing how God created so many different animals? Which one is your favorite?”

As we’re fixing dinner: “Look mom, I set the table!”

“That was such a wonderful way to help mommy. God tells us in the Bible that we are to serve one another in love – and that’s exactly what you did! And do you know who was the greatest servant of all? Jesus! Can you think of some things Jesus did to serve others?”

After being mean to our sibling: “Brother is always breaking my things, and I just get so mad sometimes!”

“Thankfully, the redeeming thing about our sinful state is that it gives us plenty of opportunities to point to our need of a Savior.

“I know — a lot of times mommy loses her temper, too. God knew that we would do things that would make Him sad, which is why He sent His son Jesus to die for our sins. Maybe we should pray real quick and ask God to forgive us for our anger and to help us be more patient tomorrow?”

Now these moments aren’t long. And they usually aren’t drawn-out conversations. (We save those for important things like thumbs.) But they often provide me opportunities to paint a picture of the character of the God who I pray they will one day will worship. One that is mighty, creative, loving, kind and forgiving. 

Do I mess it up a lot? Of course. Do I snap at them out of exhaustion or look past them because of my own busyness? Constantly. Thankfully, the redeeming thing about our sinful state is that it gives us plenty of opportunities to point to our need of a Savior.  

As my children get older, our conversations grow deeper. But to them, talking with – and about – God in our home is something we’ve practiced their whole lives. Living in a house full of sinners, we have the opportunity to extend and receive grace frequently – all while pointing to Jesus, the One full of grace and truth. 

To all the mothers out there: It’s hard. It’s exhausting. It’s hurried, frazzled and utterly imperfect. But, Praise Him, He can work better in the broken, outstretched hands of an exhausted mom, than the one who tries to do perfectly all on her own. 

May our battle cry be 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (NIV).

by Caroline Barnhill   /  Contributing Writer

25 ways to make your service ‘family friendly’ as you regather

By now, your church has probably regathered in some format, either outside the building in cars or lawn chairs or inside the worship center with modifications for social distancing. Many churches will wait until fall to reopen children’s ministry areas. If your church is...

Confidence is key to making disciples at home

Faith at Home works with pastors and church leaders to help equip busy families to be confident disciple-makers in their homes. As churches align their ministries to equip families in discipleship, parents and grandparents will discover new ways to be the primary disciple-makers...

6 new rhythms and new normals for your summer

COVID-19 turned our spring upside down and forced us to create new ways to offer discipleship training to our families. Hopefully, parents have embraced the call to disciple their children at home. As summer arrives and teachers no longer send school work home, parents may have...

6 questions to reframe your ministry vision after COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all into new rhythms. Stay-at-home orders for all but the most essential of professionals, caregivers and service providers have dramatically impacted families, businesses and government.Churches are not immune from this impact. Social...

9 ways to prepare families (and churches) to worship with children

As we slowly ease out of quarantine, many of us are excited to head back to our church campuses. While we have been grateful for online worship services, nothing can compare to worshipping together with our brothers and sisters. However, there will still be some restrictions and...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the latest news and information by signing up for our N.C. Baptist newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!