More Grace for Mothers

Mothers of young children need to walk in wisdom, because self-sacrifice and diligence and patience are required around the clock. But God gives more grace when we ask for it, and wise mothers need to be asking for grace as much as their children are asking for drinks and treats and food in general. As soon as my daughter was big enough to get out of bed by herself, she would come to my bedside in the early morning and begin whispering very courteously in my ear, “Ba-na-na, ba-na-na, ba-na-na.” She must have coached my younger daughter a few years later, because she would do the same thing except expand the menu: “Ba-na-na…toast…cheerios…juice….” That is about the time, just as my eyes were opening, that I needed to start asking God for grace, eager, like my children, for results.

A wise mother bestows on her children, she does not demand. She teaches with the law of kindness (Prov. 31:26) on her tongue, builds her house (Prov. 14:1) one kindness at a time, looks well to the ways of her household (and behold, there are many “ways”), and treats her children with courtesy and love, considering their frame.

Hospitality really begins with our own children, and we should set the table with a generous spirit, with large portions of comfort, forgiveness, kindness, and affection toward them.

If it is better for a husband to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman (Prov. 21:19), I think we can extend the application to children: better to stay in bed in the morning than be greeted by a stingy, demanding mother. She turns all the things that God has intended for the family’s comfort into misery for everyone, firing one command after another at her children, or choosing to ignore them in her own idleness and frustration.

You’ve heard the command not to boil a kid in its mother’s milk. This means that we ought not turn that which was designed by God to be nourishment and life (like Mother herself) into an instrument of death. Parents do this many ways, and I have seen it work like a charm to drive the children away. It can be a regimented “family time” where attendance is required “or else”; a family “worship” time that no one likes; an education the kids hate; or it can come from loading them up with too many responsibilities that they are not mature enough to appreciate or carry.

God does not treat His children like that. He offers us food and life, forgiveness and more grace. He never turns us away hungry or tells us to fix it ourselves. And there is no way on this earth we can be like Him without constantly turning to Him for grace and more grace. Try asking for it every time your newborn cries for milk, your toddler asks for a drink, or your teenager asks what’s for dinner. It is a vivid illustration for us. As God supplies you with grace, you’ll find you have enough to give your children, and more.

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15 thoughts on “More Grace for Mothers

  1. Were you in my house today? My goodness. No, actually, it was badness 🙂

    Thank you for the admonishment to dole out lots and lots of grace and patience.

  2. Thank you for the encouragement! The banana example also reminded me of one of the first memories I recorded of Knox after losing him…

    “Knox was bananas over bananas. The first thing he wanted every morning when he got up was a banana. He would go to the counter where they were and would beg “I wanna nana” over and over until he got one which he did every morning. I made sure we never were out of bananas. He usually ate another one later in the day and would ask for more but well, two is the limit kid. He went through this phase for a while where you would get the banana and peel it partway and hold it out for him to take a bite and he would get so excited that instead of taking a bite he would giggle and squeal and dance around the banana for a while before taking a bite. He probably did that because he knew we thought it was too cute and laughed! “

  3. With this fourth little due to arrive very soon, I have definately been lacking in grace with my children. Thank you for the reminder to just ask for it! – Duh!

  4. I’ve been ill for a few weeks now, getting over pneumonia. It’s been hard dealing with my precious three yr. old because she’s been testing me ever since I got home from the hospital. This post was the reminder I needed to dose out an extra measure of grace while we adjust to getting back to normal life.

  5. Oh Nancy, thank you so much! I needed this desperately.

    I am ashamed to say that in the midst of things sometimes I forget to ask the Lord for more grace to keep going. And sometimes I just think “well He’s given me so much I probably shouldn’t ask right now.” I don’t know where I ever got the idea that God is stingy with His love and His grace but I find myself thinking in those ways at times.

    I think it’s time to ask for even more grace to change those thinking patterns.

  6. Very timely indeed! We work so diligently on our children’s behaviors, that we neglect to check our own! Thank God for his grace.

  7. Thank you for saying that hospitality begins with children! While cashiering at a grocery store I have seen so many mothers give out of petulance. I am convinced that so many of our national troubles (obesity, cancer, homosexuality–abortion being the obvious one) come because we hate our children. I hate seeing mothers indulge their child in order to get them to shut up. In time, I think the children become demanding because the candy and cereals become a substitute for the mother’s attention and love.

  8. So wise and encouraging. May I ask for permission to share your words with my bible study group? I think this is such an important reminder.

  9. I ask for wisdom every day. I have to with three boys 6 and under! Even then, I still fall short of what God calls me to be as a mother. Then I get on my knees at the foot of my sons’ beds and pray for His forgiveness, after asking for their’s, and ask for more wisdom for the next day, when it all begins again! Good post-especially needed it after yesterday-Whew!

  10. This reminds me of how I felt after reading about mothers and daughters and how careful I need to be to not be harder on my daughters than on sons. I have three daughters and no sons, but I can see myself being too demanding of them, especially my oldest, and I’ve been convicted for a while of the need to show her grace as I have been shown grace. Thanks for this extra reminder.

  11. This phrase…Hospitality really begins with our own children, and we should set the table with a generous spirit, with large portions of comfort, forgiveness, kindness, and affection toward them.

    I love it!

    So thankful for your life!

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