“The universe is our classroom. Every parent is a “home-school parent” regardless of how we choose to formally educate our children. We are all called to be our children’s first teachers. My task is to point my children to God’s word and God’s world, and say ‘Behold, our God!’ “ - Irene Sun
Happy New Year!
I’m excited to debut a new website template at Motherhood & Sanctity. The website layout has been simplified to allow for clearer navigation. In addition, updates have been made to every page of the site. Please see below for specific changes or simply explore! In either case, thank you so much for subscribing to and reading Motherhood & Sanctity. I’m excited about the new focus, new features, new series, and new videos coming in 2019. I hope that you will visit often and as always, thanks for sharing!
This year I’m partnering with 24 other women to create a gospel centered Advent Devotional designed specifically for moms and it's available at no cost to you! The devotional is designed to come straight to your email inbox. Each morning between December 1st and Christmas Day, you'll receive a short devotion on how the coming of Christ fulfills a specific longing common to motherhood along with questions for application/reflection. You don't have to remember anything, pay for anything, or print anything. Just visit this LINK to sign up!
Is it biblical for a mother to work outside of the home?” The question was pitched at a small-group Bible study where I sat as the only mother working outside of the home. The women around me held strong opinions on the subject and my instinct was to defend myself. I didn’t want to be viewed as “unbiblical,” so I worked hard to justify my employment status. In the end, this question—offered as a “Bible discussion”—felt more like a test I had to pass.
Sadly, this scene is all too common. I’ve been in similar spaces before. Sometimes, I’ve played the part of the defendant, as seen above. Other times, I’ve been the plaintiff. I measure a sister by her position on some matter of secondary importance, and I’m tempted to define her by that one issue. Perhaps you’ve been there.
Many of us, regardless of our season of motherhood, are hard-pressed for time and energy. Our schedules are filled with homes, husbands, children, churches, jobs, friends, and the constant temptation to stay in-the-know of the hashtags, the trends, and the news. We are busy mothers with full hands. And somehow, amid the juggling of responsibilities, we are to nurture our children in the instruction of the Lord. The call to obey Ephesians 6:4 can feel like a tall order for the frazzled mom. A busy mom with full hands might “minimize” scripture for her children, teaching the Bible the way we teach our fairy tales—with a quick and simple “moral of the story” in view.
I’ve heard it said that in our culture today, it’s not a matter of if your child will encounter pornography, but a matter of when. In other words, the pervasiveness of these toxic images have made porn an almost omnipresent tempter that seeks the attention of everyone, even very small children. In a post-Genesis 3 world where sin is always crouching at the door (Genesis 4:7), God’s grace to my children can include my own prudent and diligent work in guarding and preparing them for the possibility of these “bad pictures.”
It was a Tuesday like most others: playground time with my young daughters. Who would have guessed that, amidst the gigging screams of my girls, I would find myself defending the deity of Christ in conversation with another mom who was a Black Hebrew Israelite? A deep theological debate—covering the Trinity, substitutionary atonement, and Pan-Africanism—hadn’t been on my radar as we headed to the playground. And yet, there I was, chatting with a relatively young mother of two in her attempt to proselytize.
If I had known that the little baby--whose sleeplessness often tested my patience--would grow up to pray for my rest, I would have maintained more joy on those weary nights. But I didn’t know; and there’s been many other moments of impatience and failure as a mom in my daughter’s young life. But love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
Melissa Kruger is the Women's Ministry Coordinator at Uptown Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her husband, Michael Kruger, is the president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. She is the author of Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood. Melissa presented a workshop, of the same title, at the 2017 Gospel Coalition National Conference.
The central thesis of her talk was this: Read God's Word! More important than feeding our kids organic meals or securing their spot at the best school is a mother's personal commitment to the study of Scripture. I was encouraged by Melissa's challenge and hope you find her words helpful as you walk with God in your season of motherhood. See LINK to audio.
If my husband and I reduce the Gospel to mere obedience, we tempt our natural “law-keeper” with the false gospel of moralism. She could easily “act” like a church-going Christian without true repentance of sin and trust in Christ’s active obedience on her behalf (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our prayer for her is salvation, not just "good behavior." A saving faith in Christ is far more than being “a good person” who treats others well and believes there’s a God.
On the other hand, if we excuse (and even praise) the bold autonomy of our youngest as “budding leadership,” we dangle the false gospel of self-fulfillment in her eyes and encourage a “best life now” mentality. We love her determination and cleverness...but we want more for her than that. Our prayer is for godly wisdom and boldness that comes from the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7).
As I read the story of Christ’s birth, I wonder: what “looks” did Mary endure when “found” to be with child in Matthew 1:18? Did her cheeks burn under the gaze of Nazareth? Did she suffer shame at the eyes of a doubting Joseph (Matthew 1:19)?
It’s amazing to consider that “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law” and under the ignominy of a curious pregnancy (Galatians 4:4).
My husband and I are the thankful parents of two precious daughters. We would be grateful for a third child and have prayed for over two years for this gift without conception.
I’m technically infertile with what is known as secondary infertility. Here, a couple that has already produced, at least one child, will suddenly face difficulty conceiving another. In most cases, couples are considered infertile after a year of trying without conception.
Both motherhood and the desire for more children have proved useful instruments in God’s hands, dissecting and revealing my heart. As I kneel today to pray for a third child, here are three truths that resound:
My first day watching porn was also my last. I was nine when an adult neighbor took me to a house where several of her friends were gathered. The men and women came knowing the agenda—to watch hours of pornographic videos. I was placed on a man’s lap, and the tapes were played. At one point, my neighbor asked if I “felt” anything. I said no, and the group laughed.
I remember the day now as the end of something immeasurably precious—the gift of being innocent and unashamed. I’ve often mourned for my nine-year-old self, her soul plundered and her naiveté stripped. I grieve for her and fear for my two small daughters. What images (and God forbid, touches) might be lurking, waiting to take their innocence? God help us.
Read the full article at Christianity Today.
For nine months, Zechariah must employ the use of a writing tablet for communication (Luke 1:63). He must have scribbled these amazing words for Elizabeth’s reading for in Luke 1:59-60, she insists on the name John for her son. Here, I wonder if Elizabeth longed for her husband’s voice in these months. Her first and second trimesters are spent in hiding (Luke 1:24). These must have been quiet months for the expectant mother. A picture, perhaps, of Israel’s own 400 years of waiting in silence for the fulfillment of God’s promise.
We tend to approach Proverbs 31:10-31 as a recipe to be tried and tested. And as done with most recipe books, we dog-ear and separate favorite pages from the rest. But Proverbs 31:10-31 is not a “formula” for biblical womanhood. The verses are God-breathed Scripture—profitable for our teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). For this reason, we do well to study the passage within its context. Proverbs 31:10-31 follows thirty chapters within the book of Proverbs: how do these preceding verses help us to understand this excellent wife? And how can a contextual view of the text shape our own desire for godly femininity?
The woman who struggles to take hold of God’s promise now grips the feet of God’s prophet in thanksgiving. I’m reminded here of Abraham who, when given a son through the deadness of Sarah’s womb, believed that God could raise even the dead (Hebrews 11:19). Yes, God gives His children good gifts. Yet His blessings are always meant to offer more than mere provision--they are given to reveal more of Him to us. And that is by far the greatest reward of all!
The widow had nothing but a single jar of oil. Elisha tells her to borrow many vessels from her neighbors. Her jar of oil would miraculously multiply as she poured it into each vessel. God’s means of provision for this woman sends her to many doors on that day—the more she knocked on, the more vessels she would receive. The more vessels she borrowed, the more oil she would have for her son’s freedom and for their livelihood (2 Kings 4: 2-7).
Just imagine! A woman of court, once accustomed to comforts, makes a home for herself on a rock and for days, weeks, or even months, suffers the putrid stench of seven decaying men; she battles the persistence of plundering birds and beasts by day and by night; she stands sleeplessly over the bodies of her family that they might not suffer the final disgrace of being carrion for scavengers (Deuteronomy 28:26). Rizpah's brief story is packed with so many twists and grievous turns!
I'm thankful to the Reformed African American Network for their re-post of my 2014 article, Parental Failures and the Gospel. The beginning paragraphs follow and the full post can be found here. Always grateful for your read!
I could begin this post with countless descriptions of my parental failures. Moments when anger got the best of me; times when a little patience would have made all the difference; or just plain insecurities in making the right decisions for my children at every moment and at every stage of their development.
You might agree that feelings of inadequacy are common to parents; whether relatively new like me or seasoned with experience, we feel the weight of the responsibility and the immensity of the task. But in some ways, feelings of inadequacy can be a blessing!
My church selected three women to answer three questions this past Mother's Day. The questions follow below and my answers are heard in the video above. Motherhood is a high and blessed calling. May the LORD give you the grace to glorify Him in that role!
1) What do you love most about being a mother?
2) In what ways has your own mother influenced your mothering?
3) Why is the role of a mother so important?