One of the things my wife has illustrated for me is that mere talk about love isn’t love. If I FaceBook about how people need to be more loving but spend all my time and money and energy on myself, I’m not really a loving man. I’m a talking man.
Better to be both.
And so one of the greatest blessings of my life is that the woman God gave me is a living example of fuller, more layered love. The sort of love our Savior modeled. Love that costs you things. Sleep, free time, hobbies: When you love well, it all gets put on the table for the good of another. Prayers and thoughts and affections are spent on the souls of the ones you’re loving.
Love is measured in personal sacrifice.
But motherhood isn’t mere martyrdom. Something I’ve never though to articulate until now is that Christlike motherhood both costs a woman herself and restores to her herself. My wife has given of her hours, her energy, her heart, and her mind for several years to our three children, but rather than the well of her self being drained, it has actually been dug deeper. It’s tapped larger springs. My wife is more herself after 5 years of Christlike motherly sacrifice, not less.
Our Savior doesn’t just kill our flesh, He brings it back to life. He doesn’t just rescue us, He re-makes us.
God-ordained callings make a Christian more Christian, but they also make her more human. More the human she was made to be, anyway.
Parenthood, like work and church and all of the Creator’s mandates, makes us bear out more fully the Imago Dei. In Eden, God designed marriage and parenthood and work and the people of God, and while creation is groaning under the weight of sin and death these things are still powerfully beautiful, Godly, and human.
God can use any number of His instruments to sanctify a soul. His Son, His Spirit, and His Word are necessary, but beyond them He may use creation, vocation, marriage, singleness, Christian brothers and sisters, education. But in our lives, I’ve seen parenthood profoundly widen our hearts. And for me, watching a woman who loves Jesus more than her family and so who is then able to come back to them with a full and generous heart, has helped me love others better. It’s helped me live life better. Her Christ-generated sacrifice has spurred me on towards better, more self-forgetful love. And together, as we slowly (too slowly) become more like our Jesus, we both become more like the selves we were created by Him to be.
I’m grateful on Mother’s Day for a Christian wife who loves her children and adores her Savior.
And each day the well is dug deeper, our family is blessed by what God brings out.