“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
“[Motherhood] is a privilege.”
We are continuing to pick apart this quote by Elisabeth Elliott to better understand our roles as mothers. In my last blog entry I talked about motherhood as a gift. Today I will talk about how it is also a privilege.
Since the gift of motherhood is coming from the Creator of the universe it must be very, very special. Receiving the gift of motherhood is like receiving a priceless diamond. And possessing a valuable treasure carries with it weight and responsibility. This gift is now in your care. That child sitting on your lap was given to you. Not somebody else. You.
At its roots the word privilege is a highly individualized word. It means “special”. Wordbook defines privilege as, “A special advantage or benefit not enjoyed by all”. The word privilege comes from the Latin word privilegium which meant “law applying to one person”. It was a duty, action or allowance that was unique for that individual. Being a mother to your children is a unique gift given to you for your sanctification and your child’s sanctification.
Will you do me a favor? If your child is near you, take a look at him or her right now. I mean really look at him. Look at the cute way his hair falls over his eyebrows. The way her eyes sparkle in the light. The sweet little chub layer on his cheeks. The bouncy curls on the back of her head. Maybe it’s the strange way she pronounces “cereal” or the funny military crawl that he does. If your child has a physical or mental challenge, think about the unique way they handle that challenge. They are a beautiful one of a kind. There has never been, nor ever will be again, a child like the one before you. He is amazing isn’t he? Can you see the fingerprint of God on her?
I have a friend who has a daughter with Down’s Syndrome. The little girl’s name is LeAnne*. She is absolutely beautiful. You can sense God’s special touch on her. There are numerous challenges for LeAnne and her parents, to be sure, but LeAnne’s parents view raising her as a privilege, a “unique law unto them”. To them, she is a priceless diamond. Their gift from God. LeAnne’s challenges have taught them many new things and the child has flourished under parents’ unconditional love.
Do you see motherhood as a privilege? As a special duty from the Lord? I realize that sometimes it is very difficult to view it that way. It doesn’t always feel very special. The children don’t always act very special. But they are, and so is your job. The children are with you such a short time and then they are gone, so rejoice in your gift! Rejoice in the privilege of your special commission!
*Name changed to protect family’s privacy.