“This job [of motherhood] has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” ― Elisabeth Elliot
There is so much in this quote from Elisabeth Elliot worth talking about that there is no way to fit everything I want to say within the confines of one blog entry. So I am going to break this quote into parts and look at it piece by piece, because, even though it is only a few sentences, it is dripping with parenting wisdom.
Let’s begin with the first few sentences.
“This job has been given me to do. Therefore it is a gift.”
Motherhood is a job. It is a vocation. It is a calling. It is a calling of the highest magnitude. There is simply no better “job”!
I remember the days when I was covered in spit-up, exhausted from being up all night with an unwilling sleeper, and hadn’t seen a shower for two days. Motherhood didn’t feel like a job. It felt like drudgery. It was so unglamorous. It was thankless. It was messy. It was lonely. Those women who went off to work in cute high heels and perky hairdos – those women had real jobs. They received paychecks, recognition, and advancement. They looked good. I received sticky floors and dirty diapers. Sometimes being home all day didn’t seem fair or fun and I longed to return to the working world. But then one of the little darlings would climb up in my chair, give me a slurpy kiss and nestle into my lap. All those longings for corporate-dom quickly faded away. This was my job, I remembered as I stroked my little daughter’s soft blonde hair. This was my wonderful, difficult, Holy job and I loved it (most days) with all my heart.
And the job of motherhood is a gift from the Lord. God did not have to give you this gift. He chose to. Ephesians 2:8 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a gift as “something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation” (Italics mine). There is nothing we did to deserve that gift. We did not pay for it. It was bestowed on us. What a blessing! James 1:17 says Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Children are a gift. They are a good and perfect gift for us. Our children don’t always act good and perfect (can I have an “Amen”?) but they are good and perfect for us.
Take a moment to think about your vocation; the incredible job of motherhood. Take just a moment. I know you don’t have a lot of time. A little one may already be tugging on your pant leg. But, Mom, you have been given the gift of being mommy to your children. There is no more important job on the planet!!
Thank God today for this sacred job – this gift – that He has given to YOU.