Monday, August 8, 2016
1 Samuel 1:21-28; Luke 2:41-51
Motherhood is from the word mother and hood (which means cloak, lid, cover or covering). Mother that covers (protects her children and home). Online dictionary defines motherhood as state of being a mother; childbearing; and kinship relation between an offspring and the mother. I see motherhood as the covering for all children in a home including the husband, family, neighbourhood and communities. In Africa, mothers are heroines that mold, make and build nations. In the Bible, motherhood is a holy privilege from God. Eve conceived and confessed, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.” (Genesis 4:1b). Bible confirms the dignity and joy of motherhood in John 16:21 which says, “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world”. In this lecture, you will be glad to know that God has destined you to be mother that shall build lives for God’s purpose.
COMMON TAGS ON MOTHERHOOD
Do you have any one of them? If yes, maintain them. If not, plan to pick them one after the other. They are your tags before God and man. Mothers are carriers (pregnancy), caregiver (infancy to young adult) and counsellor (young adult to old age). They are all season-relevant people to all man.
It is important to know the reason or value of a thing in order to avoid misuse or negligence. Motherhood has reasons. Few are enumerated below:
1. It is an institution established by God for continuity and maintenance of human beings.
2. It gives shape and structure for human values.
3. Motherhood is an instinct in a woman that obliges her to do her duties towards her children without external forces.
4. Mother act (motherhood) gives a woman power to act as prime-name giver (Sarah named her son Isaac by her experience, Eli’s daughter-in-law named her son Ichabod, Jabez by her mother, Mary first received Jesus’ name, Elizabeth named her son John, etc.). Mother has power to name the child the real name with experiential meaning.
5. It allows mothers to teach their children language – Mother tongue. They are language-givers.
6. It allows mother to be a life-support care taker for the children.
7. Motherhood goes with trust. Trust is born on the chest of the mother when the child sucks breast with a mother’s smile.
8. Motherhood goes after good physique and moral growth of the children and family.
9. It is infectious as long as you are available.
10. Motherhood is like a watch tower. She watches the growth and development of her children from infancy to old age.
WHO YOU ARE AS A MOTHER TO YOUR CHILDREN
· Teacher: You are the first and authentic teacher that teaches values, moral, home training and education as from the day of birth.
· Nurse: The one that cares for the healthy living of the child without pay. It has no off-duty schedule; it is all the day and night.
· Evangelist: The one that will and must show the child the way to God as you do.
· Lawyer: You give daily give instruction, law and guide. Your words are respected by your wards.
· Counsellor: The one that all issues end on her table. She uses her past to teach the children.
· Confidant: She keeps issues for the child. She has large heart to protect the vision of her child.
· Cook: The best cook that knows the meal that will enrich and enhance the growth of the child.
· Disciplinarian: She does not spare rod.
· Friend: The only and available fried for the child when sea billows. She understands the pains and language of her child.
· Final student: She is the only person that will later receive care, love, guide and instruction from her child. Whatever you give now will be given back to you when all strength is over.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MOTHERHOOD IN THE BIBLE
Whatever character we have in the Bible represents millions of people that exhibit the same traits. Let’s learn from these mothers.
1. Careless mother (1 Kings 3:17-19) – Woman that slept off when the child was dead
2. Carefree mother (1 Kings 3:23-26) – Woman that slept over her child
3. Burden-bearing mother (Luke 2:34-35; 51) – Mary mother of Jesus
4. Careful mother (Exodus 4:24-26) – Zipporah saved Moses from death
5. Supportive mother (Ruth 1:1-2; 3:1-4) – Naomi
6. One-sided mother (Genesis 25:28; 27:5-13) – Rebecca
7. Faith-based mother (2 Kings 4:18-27) – Shunammite woman
8. Wicked and unforgiving mother (2 Kings 11:1) – Athaliah
9. Brave and community mother (Judges 5:7; 12) – Deborah, the judge
10. Godly and responsible mother (Proverbs 31:1-31) – Virtuous woman
PREPARATION TOWARDS MOTHERHOOD
1. Talk to God – start with God in prayer about the kind of mother you want to be.
2. Talk to mothers – be open to share with godly and exemplary mothers. Know the strength and the creativity of motherhood as you visit them, assist them and listen to them.
3. Dream motherhood – have future look of your motherhood. Pray about it and plan as you live daily.
4. Marry right man for your life – a wrong marriage cannot give space for right motherhood. Let God guide you. Do not rush into it because of pressure, pity, pleasure or wealth. They do not last.
5. Avoid sexual trial before marriage – the joy of motherhood comes when you wait till your wedding night.
6. Avoid early motherhood – it is shameful and makes one poor. The stress of such motherhood is without glory. Wait to be the right mother in your home.
7. Love, learn and play with children – start to learn their lifestyles and patience. Go their world.
8. Deeply engrave in yourself your value and principles for living – what are you living for? This is what your children will know you for. Be principled.
9. Celebrate your mother and others – all human beings have errors yet we must celebrate the strength. What you want your children to do for you, do it for your mothers.
10. Bend to learn from your mother’s mistake and prospect – do not be a victim of their past. Let their past be experiment table where you learn. History always wants to repeat itself. Avoid bad historical occurrence through learning from the aged ones.
11. Eat good food – balanced diet makes your real mother. Why? When you marry, you will be pregnant, deliver painfully, back your babies, cook I the house and still satisfy your husband on bed, still shout and give instruction to your child. All these consume energy. Eat well to be free from diseases that are prone to women.
12. Care for your physical body – avoid bleaching creams, cancerous perfumes and naked clothes. Give dignity to your body. A life with purpose without healthy body is equal to a dead person.
13. Treat any infection very well – any untreated infection can lead to infertility that denies you motherhood.
14. Abstain from abortion and contraceptive pills before marriage – miscarriage, infertility and secondary sterility occur as the result of abortion and wrong drugs. Contraceptive pills have power to deform your beauty body in the future.
15. Read, study and learn about motherhood – learning goes on to eternity. Read Bible and books that guide into right motherhood.
DURING MOTHERHOOD EXPERIENCE
A. UNDERSTAND YOUR EMOTION
B. KNOW YOUR BODY/PHYSIQUE
· Sex life (Plan your family to avoid unwanted pregnancy and inability to care for your children; how many children to bear must be planned for)
· Menstruation and ovulation (Family planning programme)
· Body changes/gynecological changes (Stress management and frequent check-up)
C. KNOW YOUR CHILD BEARING AND REARING
· Pregnancy (Trimester)
· Breastfeeding (Exclusive and other kind)
· Children hygiene (Seasonal changes and growth differences)
· Schooling (When, why, where and which school that is good for your child)
· Dream career (Future plan according to your discovery as the child grows)
· Relationship with other children (Peer group)
D. UNDERSTAND YOUR MARRIAGE
· Your husband (Guide the children with your husband consent. Do not take glory over any child. Do not allow children care to create gap between you and your husband.)
· Your children (They are not yours but God’s. Do not over-pamper them. Provide for enabling environment for their spiritual, mental, physical and social growth.)
· Your family and in-laws (Your motherhood should extend to your nieces, nephew, cousins and in-laws. They are your children also.)
· Home making (Caring for children without effective care for the home is equal to zero.)
CHALLENGES OF MOTHERHOOD IN NIGERIA AND AFRICA
Motherhood encompasses pain and gain; insult and honour; disappointment and endurance; passion without support; daily commitment to children survival and it is for life. However, know these challenges in order to plan, pray and guide yourself against the occurrences in your home.
1. Early widowhood
2. Divorce and separation syndrome
3. Infertility – blame shift syndrome
4. Fading beauty and shape with age
5. Loss of energy
6. Shifting of honour to fathers
7. Home responsibility paradigm shift
8. Negligence of children in the future
9. Dealing with stubborn children
10. Poverty and economic hardship
LESSONS FROM HANNAH (A BIBLICAL MOTHER) FOR ALL MOTHERS
In the Bible, stories are written for us to learn from as examples. Some are written with preciseness while other information is hidden. However, it is only revealed to Bible study students and to him who has constant fellowship and revelation of the Holy Spirit. There was a woman of faith, silent teacher, mother-like mentor and a good example to follow. She is Hannah, the mother of Samuel (1 Samuel 1-2).
Hannah had issue of infertility for years. She made a vow to give back the child to God. By revelation, I discovered that she had no plan to return him, not as she wanted but as a pleasing, perfect and acceptable soul unto God. Samuel was given to God through Eli, a boy with God’s presence in him despite the environment he was to live. Hannah laboured on Samuel and her labour was impacting. She did not consider the circumstances that surrounded his birth, she worked to form, transform and impact God in Samuel – it went into the deep part of him that nothing could erase again. How did she do it that Samuel remained child of God till the end of his life?
1. Hannah saw Samuel as God’s child, not hers.
2. Hannah saw nurturing of Samuel as a ministerial obligation rather than natural responsibility.
3. Hannah saw the future, “Prophet of the Most High God” and strived hard to prepare Samuel for it.
4. Hannah first lived righteous life before her son.
5. Hannah never forgot her moment on knee after conception. It was her culture to mold Samuel.
6. Hannah was a woman of commitment to time and task of life molding. She knew the time to hand over Samuel would soon come. So also, our children will soon leave us to be alone. Do your best now.
7. Hannah daily taught Samuel about God during the sensitive, conducive, happy, interesting and learning time. Know the right time to impact lasting legacy.
8. Hannah built a house of God in Samuel’s heart, that is why Samuel chose to sleep close to the altar. Make your home a place of God’s presence for your children. Control the films and pictures they watch.
9. Hannah satisfied the need of Samuel so that he was not moved to covet meat from sons of Eli.
10. Hannah did not go back for Samuel again after she had given him to God. Stop disturbing the destiny of your children with false divinity you receive from Prayer Mountains and valley. Create mountain of God in your home and your local church. Be at home in your house with Almighty God. He is everywhere.
Motherhood is easy but costly. It involves one’s totality. God needs mothers that will bring forth and train godly offspring that will shake the world for Him. Your kind of motherhood can stand out if you know Jesus as Lord and Saviour and you are committed to obey Him daily. May God grant you strength to give forth national builders.