Motherhood: The Unique Calling

To all the moms out there:

You have a unique calling.  It is a one-of-a-kind calling.  You have been called by God to rear your child(ren).  Since there is no other child just like your child, every mom has been called to a unique position of motherhood.  That obviously doesn’t mean that there are not similarities, but it does mean that you have been gifted with a child that has his/her own temperaments, likes, dislikes, allergies, fears, struggles, strengths, hopes, dreams, etc.  And you, as mom get to be a steward of those children.  It is indeed a calling, a vocation.

The word “vocation” comes from the Latin meaning “a call.”  Often pastors or other ministers will use it when speaking of their ministry.  We’ve been called to the ministry.  Four years ago I was called to pastor Highland View Baptist Church.  Missionaries are called to the field.  Mothers (and fathers) are called to rear their children.  It is a vocation and a stewardship.

To do child-rearing is a unique calling as every child is unique.  Whether or not you were or are ready for such a calling is beside the point.  No one is every “ready” for such a calling.  Hardly anyone is ever “ready” for any calling.  I certainly wasn’t ready for pastoring when I got the call to my first pastorate.  I look back on my decision making and my sermons and I cringe.  I look back as a father and I cringe at times too.  As a mom, I am sure you have had moments where you have done the same, and if not then there will be moments that if you knew then what you know now, you would have done things differently.  But you didn’t, and that’s okay.

I think about the parable of the talents.  In Matthew 25, Jesus told the story of a rich man who gave 5 talents (weights of money) to a servant (steward), 2 to another, and 1 to the last.  He then left only to come back later.  When he came back, the master spoke with each servant.  The first had doubled the master’s money.  The second did the same.  The third did nothing.  He dug a hole and waited for the master to return.  Why?  The third servant said, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.  Here, you have what is yours,” (Matthew 25:24-25, ESV).

Now the man was correct.  The master, being the master would hire out his fields to be sown and have the seed scattered.  He owned the land.  He did not work the land.  It would be no different than Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, making sure that iPhones, and iPads, and Apple watches, and Macs get built, but he would not be on the assembly line.  He gets paid the big bucks because he is the CEO, not the worker.  It’s how life works.

The servant was correct.  And as the owner of the money (land, if we are using the sowing analogy) he has a right to expect a return, even if he left others to do the work for him.  What does this have to do with motherhood?  Everything.  God owns your children.  That’s a very blunt way of putting it, but it’s true.  God has given them to you (and me, as a father) to be stewards.  He has called us to this task, this vocation.  Here’s the thing: the servant didn’t know what to do.  What if things went bad?  What if he invested in some Ponzi scheme and lost all the money?  What if he expected to make a big return and got little back?  He was new at all of this.  The money didn’t come with an instruction book.  What if he blew it big time!?

Here the response of the master: “You wicked and slothful servant!  You knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I scattered no seed?  Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest,” (Matthew 25:26-27, ESV).  In other words, “You should have done something.  Even if you did little, at least try.”  The issue with the master in the story was not the amount of money that was returned, but the faithfulness of the servants.  Here is what I’m saying:  You’re going to make your mistakes, but that’s part of being a mom–it’s part of the calling and stewardship.  Some of them big and some of them are small.  Some you will think are big but actually small. Some you will think small, but they turn out to be big.  To never make a mistake means you never sought to live up to your calling, which is the greatest mistake of all.**

I’m not saying that there aren’t bad moms out there.  There are, but most moms (probably you) are simply trying to live up to your calling and stewardship.  Remember God has given you these children, knowing that they are a handful and knowing that there is a learning curve and knowing that you will make mistakes.  God didn’t make a mistake in giving them to you. Just remember, you rear your children in order to give them back to their Creator.

Sow the seed.  Scatter the seed.  If you’ve ever planted a garden, you know that some of the seeds don’t germinate.  Some germinate but they don’t last long.  It’s not the farmer’s fault that certain seeds didn’t produce.  He did his job by sowing and scattering.  Keep sowing and watering.   When the master comes you may have much to show in your reaping or little.  The amount is secondary; what is primary is the faithfulness in your calling and stewardship.

**I know there are moms who gave their children up for adoption.  That was a difficult move for any mom.  I cannot imagine.  I would liken this to the thought that the master said to the third servant.  It was like putting the money (the child) into the bank (another family) so that interest could be paid (so that they could do what you could not at the time).  There is no shame in that decision.  There is still great faithfulness in that.

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