By David Brandt Berg
There’s a lot more to being a mother than just having a baby! Almost any woman can have children, but it takes a real mother to raise and care for them and do all the work that’s involved—and it’s a full-time job! Motherhood is probably one of the hardest jobs in the whole world, yet one that is seldom appreciated enough. People who have never done it can’t possibly appreciate what a big job it is! It takes great faith and a whole lot of plain hard work.
Up until a couple of generations ago, most women believed that their calling in life was to be a wife, mother, and homemaker. They gave themselves to it, and began learning it at an early age by helping their mothers do all the things they would one day need to know.
In many modern countries today, however, girls grow up without learning that kind of responsibility. Young women may receive little or no preparation for motherhood and homemaking before they are plunked down with a full-grown man and a baby and find they don’t know what to do with either one of them, much less the housekeeping and cooking. To them, boys were romantic playthings and a husband some kind of a dream, apparently with no work attached. But real life is a drastically different picture. Even with all the conveniences of modern living to take much of the pain out of housekeeping, children are still a full-time job!
To do the job of a mother takes the strength of Samson, the wisdom of King Solomon, the patience of Job, the faith of Abraham, the insight of Daniel, and the administrative ability and courage of King David. David was a fighter, and it takes a lot of fight to be a mother. It also takes the love of God, that’s for sure!
I think motherhood is just about the greatest calling in the world! Mothers of the next generation are the ones that are molding the future. The world of tomorrow is what the mothers of today make it, according to the way they raise their children.
My mother undoubtedly had the greatest influence of anybody over my life. Even though she couldn’t be with me all the time due to her ministry for the Lord as an evangelist and pastor, I was constantly conscious of her spiritual presence, her love, and how she felt about things. Others had a great influence over me too, of course, like my grandfather and my father, my teachers and caregivers. Children are influenced by a combination of a lot of people and a lot of things—parents, caretakers, teachers, scoutmasters, Sunday school teachers, uncles and aunts, and friends they admire, books, and so on. Nowadays kids can also be greatly influenced by what they are exposed to on television and in movies.
Throughout my childhood, there were wonderful, dedicated people who helped mold my character and make me what I would become. I remember well the caretakers and Sunday school teachers my brother and sister and I had when we were young, who read us the Bible and told us Bible stories.
Bible stories and the Bible itself were a tremendous influence on my life, because I knew God was speaking to me through His Book. Thus God was a tremendous influence on my life through my teachers and mother and father, who all taught me of Him. Even as a small child, I knew the Lord, and He was a powerful influence on my life. I also learned a great deal from reading books, especially historical classics with their idealism and heroism.
As a young teen, my father became a tremendous influence in my life too. That is a crucial age when young people learn a lot about the world around them, much of it from their friends and peers. Young teenagers are very idealistic and begin to form strong ideas of what they think is right. The ideals, morals, goals, standards, and hopes that will largely steer their later lives are crystallizing.
At the age of 19 I was filled with the Holy Spirit. After that I just lived in the Bible and devoured the Scriptures all the time. I would say that from then on Jesus really became the greatest influence in my life.
After completing school I helped my mother in her full-time evangelistic work, and she continued to influence me. At 25 I married, and soon came another tremendous influence in my life—my own children!
Children make us parents serious about life and inspire us to be good and do good, to be an example and train them in the way they should go. We realize the sober responsibility of having a little child’s life in our hands, and that he’s going to be what we make him. Probably the final greatest influence in your life will be your own children.
Psychologists say that a child learns more in the first five years of his life than he’ll learn in all the rest of his life put together. Those first years are extremely important. Parents can’t wait till their children are five years old; every passing day is important. Parents are responsible to see to it that their children are not only fed and clothed and protected, get proper sleep and are physically healthy, but that they are also trained, taught, stimulated mentally, and inspired spiritually.
Child rearing is a serious, sobering responsibility. God will hold parents responsible who don’t do what’s right for their children or don’t take care of them properly. If both parents must work at other jobs or are otherwise unable to be the primary caregivers to their children, then it is their responsibility to their children and to God to find somebody who is qualified to give that care and dedicated enough to do it right—and the same goes for single parents.
It cannot be stressed sufficiently how important children are to the future, or how important a mother’s job is. God will bless you mothers for all you give of yourselves for these precious, eternal gifts from Him, your children. In fact, He is no doubt blessing you daily in ways that others can’t even imagine!
Train your children in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not turn from it (Proverbs 22:6). When they are grown, your children will be so thankful that they had a real mother!
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