Archive for the ‘Women and Children’ Category

What’s in a Name? My Unborn Children

Some years after having my four wonderful children, I was listening to a radio program about healing after abortion.  I never had an abortion, but I had five, perhaps six miscarriages.  I had never thought much about my miscarriages because I understood and still do the verse in Job 21 that says,  “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”  However, on this day, one of the comments in the discussion caught my attention.  It had to do with asking God to reveal the name of the baby since he knew the baby before the foundations of the world.  I turned off the radio and began praying for the LORD to reveal the names of my miscarried babies.

Miscarriages

My first miscarriage occurred after having two healthy babies.  It was a shock, but not one that emotionally destroyed me as happens with some women.  For whatever reasons, with each of my miscarriages, I had great peace and knew I was in God’s perfect will for my life.

Mary, the ‘wished-for one,’ Bitter

My first miscarried baby’s name was Mary.  In Hebrew, Mary means ‘wished-for one’ and ‘bitter.’  I have known quite a few Mary’s in my life, but my paternal grandmother came to mind immediately.  I didn’t really have a good relationship with her so I didn’t like that He had given that name to my baby.  Why couldn’t He have named her the Hebrew equivalent of Mary – Miriam?  She at least played the tamborine after the Israelites pass through the Red Sea.  Instead, I was given a Mary.  A memorial to my grandmother who lived in ‘bitterness’ nearly her entire life because she had a child out of wedlock – my dad.  Her bitterness went deep as my dad’s father was the pastor of a Methodist church.  His wife was ill that he hired my grandmother as a nanny for his children.  My grandmother  became pregnant during this time.  It was never known if she mutually agreed or he raped her.  Whatever happened, it changed her life forever and she went on to bear more ‘unwanted’ children.   It seemed that God wanted her remembered with a name, but would not allow her ‘bitterness’ to infiltrate the next generation.

Being my first miscarriage, I was unsure of what was happening so I went to my doctor.  After she examined me she said I most likely had a blighted ovum and would probably miscarry.  I remember looking at her and saying what Job had said millennia before, “Well, God gives life and God chooses to take life.”  Her expression was one of shock.  I asked her why she looked at me that way and she explained that she tells women every day that they are going to miscarry and they get angry and  blame her.  No one had ever said what I had said.  She was blessed.  I didn’t know it then,  but a journey with numerous unborn children had begun between me and her.

Michael, Like God

Michael was my second miscarriage.  Micha’el means “Who is like God” in Hebrew.  He was an archangel, and according to Daniel chapter 10,  was the archangel who helped fight the prince of Persia so the messenger could deliver an answer to Daniel’s prayer.  This miscarriage happened quickly. I took a pregnancy test in the morning of one day and by the morning of the next, Michael was gone.

During that day, however, a friend came to visit.  She had been attending some dance classes at a Messianic congregation.  She wanted to start a little dance group at our church and asked if I would join.  She had given me the steps to a simple, traditional dance and wanted to teach them to me.  By the time she arrived at my house, I had already taught myself the steps and the dance.  So, as I miscarried Michael, we danced “As the Deer” together.  Truly, who is like God who knows exactly where we are?

Martha, My Little Lady

My third miscarriage occurred at about 16 weeks.  I had already heard a heartbeat and like my other babies, I had started a pregnancy journal.  This little one’s name was  Martha which means ‘Lady’ in Aramaic.  The most-famous Martha in Scripture was Lazarus’ sister. It was to Martha that Yeshua said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

I went to church one Sunday just before my four-month checkup. I was very excited. Our little dance group was dancing again during the worship service.  For an evangelical-type church, this dance group was nothing short of a miracle. After the service was over, we decided to dance a fast, hopping dance to words from Jeremiah 31, “As David Did”.

Later that day, I noticed some spotting and realized I was miscarrying my Little Lady.   I don’t believe it had anything to do with the dancing, but I know that the song was about being a warrior and celebrating victories.  

The next day I had my appointment with my OBGyn.  She didn’t have good news.  There was no longer a heartbeat.  I was going to miscarry this baby, too. While driving home up a dark, canyon road alone in my car, I did the only thing I knew how to do.  I began to worship through a Rich Mullins song, and with the words tears flowed for my ‘little lady’. To this day when I hear that song, I remember the pain of that evening and the peace that my praise brought.

“Oh God, You are my God and I will ever praise You; Oh God, You are my God and I will ever praise You; I will seek You in the morning  and I will learn to walk in Your ways; And step by step You’ll lead me and I will follow You all of my days.”

Rachel, The Lamb

Rachel. Little ewe lamb.  She was the beloved wife of Jacob who gave him two sons: Joseph and Benjamin.  With the birth of Benjamin, Rachel passed away.  For me, Rachel was more than a simple fourth miscarriage.  I developed a molar pregnancy.  Without going into numerous details, my doctor thought I was carrying twins because I expanded so quickly.  Instead, morning sickness not only lasted into four months into the pregnancy, it continued to get worse. I had not allowed a doppler to hear a heartbeat because there may have been a connection to the ultrasound and my miscarriages. It was discovered that I had a Hydatidform mole. In short, my body created a tumor around a failing placenta.  With all of the dying going on in my body, I became seriously ill and went immediately into surgery.  During the recovery process, the mole became malignant and cancer cells were still in my body.  I needed chemotherapy.   My three-month journey of healing through the ‘lamb’ became a testimony not only to my doctor, but to all the nurses who had to take my bi-weekly blood tests and administer the shots of chemo.  This fourth miscarriage actually changed the course of my doctor’s career.  After the birth of my third child she stopped performing abortions.

Then I had my son, Jacob. He needed a sibling so I got pregnant again.

Rebecca, the Binding

I had a fifth miscarriage.  Her name was Rebecca and in Hebrew means ‘knotted cord’ or ‘snare.’  Rebecca was the wife of Isaac who had a sense of adventure – a willingness to leave her home and family to marry a man she had never met!  This particular miscarriage happened in the early weeks like Michael, however, I found out the sad news once again at the doctor’s office.  My 6-year-old daughter was with me at the time because she wanted to hear the heartbeat of her little brother or sister.  There was nothing. Nothing.

I have considered the relevance of ‘snare’ because of its suggestion of capturing an animal.  Yet, I could not understand how that fit into having a baby.  So I decided to look up ‘snare’ in a dictionary and found one of the meanings to be a device for surgical extractions.  That’s when I understood.

All of my previous miscarriages, except for Michael, had been ‘snared’.  In other words, I allowed my doctor to do a DnC for extraction.  The first one was so terrible the for the third one I requested to be ‘out.’ The molar pregnancy was full-fledged surgery so I had all of the bells and whistles with surgery, recovery and the rest of the adventure with cancer.   Sometime during all of these miscarriages I became convicted of just allowing the miscarried baby to be born – not ‘snared’.  So with Rebecca I chose to allow her to be born.

She arrived two weeks after the doctor’s appointment with an painful labor and delivery.  My young daughter was with me again as we were preparing to host a baby shower at a friend’s house.  I had to drive one hour home through a mountainous canyon  in excruciating labor with a six-year-old coaching me through each contraction.   Sadly,  when Rebecca was ‘born’, I reacted and she was not given a proper burial even though she appeared fully formed and in her amniotic sac.

After being given all of the names of my unborn children, I noted something peculiar.  None of them began with the letter J. We had named all of our living children with J-names: Jesse, Josi, Jacob, and Jemima.   I asked the Lord, “Why are there no J-names?”  His response, “I gave you the J’s.”  At that moment I had a silly vision of five beautiful blonde-haired children all about eight years old sitting on a cloud tickling, laughing and punching each other in crazy, but imp-like ways.

As with the names of my birthed children, it seems that these also speak a testimony into my life from not being ‘bitter’, be ‘like God’, his Little Lady, who loves the ‘lamb’ and is not ‘ensnared.’ And, remember, Yeshua is the resurrection and the life and I will see my children again.

The Myrtle and the Remembered

As time has passed in my life, two more unborn children entered my heart.  As I was not a moral young woman, I decided to go on the birth control pill in college so I would not get pregnant proving my immoral behavior.   One time while playing frisbee with my future husband, I felt as though I was suddenly pregnant.  It was the weirdest feeling that I had ever experienced.  I told him that I thought I was pregnant and he commented that I couldn’t be because I was taking ‘the pill.’  I didn’t completely agree and noted a more intense period that month.

Several years later when I became pregnant with my firstborn, I had the same exact sensation.  I knew that even though I had been on the pill, I had become pregnant as the birth control pill makes the womb’s environment antagonistic for a developing baby which is why I most likely miscarried with my next cycle.

What was that baby’s name? It was only when writing this little piece that I realized that God gave me her name many years ago, but I didn’t know why because I wasn’t having more children.  Her name was Hadassah.  As a Jewish woman, she faced persecution and certain death for her heritage.   Yet, she exemplified great faith and courage and brought salvation to her people.   I believe the LORD gave this baby the name Hadassah because he knew that since I was a little girl I loved the Jewish people.  He knew before I did that I would understand my connection with Hadassah – her faith, courage, and the desire to bring salvation to the Jewish people.

There is another unborn baby who has a special place in my heart.  His name is Zechariah.  In Hebrew, Zechariah means “God has remembered” which can also mean that God has not forgotten.  I cannot share details about this little boy, but God uses everything to His glory. Even the shortness of  Zechariah’s little life has brought restoration to a rebellious, wandering and grieving soul.

Not long ago a Facebook friend nearly lost her daughter.  She was playing in a park and disappeared. After a long and frantic search, her daughter appeared.  Several nights later she had a dream about her young son who died by drowning.  She dreams about him frequently, but she is never allowed to touch him.  In her dream she she meets a young boy named Zechariah.  He is obviously friends with her son, James.  Zechariah runs to her and hugs her which her own son could not do.  Then James begins to tell his mom that when his sister was lost in the park, it was Zechariah who found her and brought her back to his mom.  My friend cried because she realized her son was not alone and blessed to have Zechariah as a friend.  When she woke up, the Lord told her to tell me about her dream and Zechariah.   She didn’t know why, but contacted me.  She never knew anything about a Zechariah in my life until that very day and telling me opened the door for her to be set free from her past pain and look forward to her future – the birth of her daughter, Menorah Grace.

©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Proverbs 31 – Eshet Chayil

Proverbs 31 is called the Eshet Chayil in Hebrew meaning the ‘woman of strength.’ The Eshet Chayil is an allusion to the Bride of Messiah and her worth to Him. This proverb begins each sentence begins with a consecutive letter of the Hebrew alef-bet. Using the Hebrew letter pictures with the Orthodox Jewish Bible reveals some unique insights.

Alef – Ox (strong, powerful leader)

“Who can find an eshet chayil (a woman of valor, an excellent wife)?  Her value is far beyond that of pearls.”

A man is looking for a strong, powerful, brave, and courageous woman who has the value of a valuable pearl. 

“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for fine pearls. On finding one very valuable pearl he went away, sold everything he owned and bought it” (Matthew 13:45-46).

Bet A Tent (family)

“The lev of her ba’al (the heart of her husband)  securely trusts in her so that he shall have no lack of gain.”

The eshet chayil will keep and protect the heart of her husband. 

“He told him, “‘You are to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength‘” (Matthew 22:7).

Gimel Camel (lift up, self-will, pride)

“She will do him tov (good)  and not rah (harm) all the days of her life.”

The eshet chayil will not walk in her own self-will and pride, but will lift up her husband in goodness as long as she lives.  

“So Yeshua said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM [who I say I am], and that of myself I do nothing, but say only what the Father has taught me” (John 8:28).

Dalet – Door (entrance, pathway)

“She procures a supply of wool and flax and works with willing hands.”

The eshet chayil is the pathway of life for her family. She works with her hands during times of cold (wool) and heat (flax).   

Wool and flax represent the salvation/redemption message.  Wool is the covering of the lamb through which we receive the atonement for our sins.

“They were standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palm branches in their hands; and they shouted, “Victory to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10).

Hey Man with Arms Raised (look, reveal, behold)

“She is like those merchant vessels, bringing her food from far away.”

The eshet chayil travels like a merchant ship looking for the best nourishment for her family revealed in faraway places. 

“Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

Vav – Tent Peg (secure, binding)

“She rises also while it is yet lailah (nighttime), and provides food to her bayit (household) and a portion to her na’arot (servant girls).”

The eshet chayil  brings security to her home even in darkness and is bound to generosity to those who serve her.  

“You will be confident, because there is hope; you will look around you and lie down secure …” (Job 11:18).

Zayin – Weapon (divide, cut, nourish)

“She considers a field, then buys it, with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.”

The eshet chayil is rightly divides the needs of her family and works with her hands so that she can bring forth nourishing fruit – planting a vineyard. 

“You will recognize them by their fruit” (Matthew 7:16).

Chet – Fence (separate, protect, inner room)

“She girds her loins with strength and strengthens her arms.”

The eshet chayil protects her family’s inner room with all her strength.  

“Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences” (Proverbs 4:23).

Tet – Snake (surround, twist)

“She sees that her business dealings are good; her ner (lamp) does not go out at night.”

The eshet chayil keeps herself and her family from from the darkness of the evil one (snake).  She is wise and discerning and surrounds herself with those who do not twist the Truth.

“Your word is a lamp for my foot and light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).

Yod – Arm and Closed Hand (finished work, throw)

“She puts her hands to the distaff with the flax; her fingers to the spinning rod.”

The eshet chayil keeps all things spinning and weaving so as to complete her work. She keeps to her own affairs, busy in her own home, teaching the next generation.

“Therefore, get your minds ready for work, keep yourselves under control, and fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Yeshua the Messiah is revealed” (1 Peter 1:13).

Kof – Open Hand (allow, bend, open)

“She reaches out to embrace the poor and opens her arms to the needy.”

The eshet chayil has an open hand of hospitality, taking care of the widow and the fatherless.  She bends to the poor, the homeless, and those in need.  

“The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world” (James 1:27).

Lamed – Shepherd’s Staff (leader, one who guides)

“When it snows,  she has no fear for her household; since all of them are doubly clothed.”

The eshet chayil looks toward the future and prepares.  Her household is ready for winter and everything that comes with it: snow, cold, illness, provisions.

“Therefore you too must always be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you are not expecting him” (Matthew 24:44).

Mem Water (water, mighty, chaos)

“She makes her own coverings;  she is clothed in fine linen and scarlet (purple).”

The eshet chayil not only makes coverings for her family’s needs, but also for herself.   She covers herself as is appropriate for a mighty ‘queen’ in linen and purple. 

“For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his Bride has prepared herself — fine linen, bright and clean has been given her to wear.” (“Fine linen” means the righteous deeds of God’s people.)” (Revelation 19:7-8).

Nun Fish (life)

“Her husband is known at the city gates when he sits with the leaders of the land.”

The eshet chayil brings forth life to her husband giving him the liberty to sit at the city gates with leaders. 

“I am the gate; if someone enters through me, he will be safe and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9).

Samech -–To Prop (support)

“She makes linen garments and sells them; she supplies the merchants with sashes.”

The eshet chayil supports the community and the local merchants with her talents.   

“All the women who were skilled at spinning got to work and brought what they had spun, the blue, purple and scarlet yarn and the fine linen” (Exodus 25:35).

Ayin – Eye (see, understand)

“Oz (strength) and hadar (dignity) are her clothing; and her smile is toward the yom acharon (coming day, future).”

The eshet chayil is a woman who understands integrity and dignity.  She sees that she is prepared for the coming days – physically as well as spiritually.  She has prepared herself, her family, and her husband and can smile at the days ahead. 

“Adonai gives the command; the women with the good news [of the kingdom] are a mighty army” (Psalm 68:12).

Peh – Mouth (speak, words, mouth of a river)

“When she opens her mouth, she speaks wisely; on her lashon (tongue)  is torah chesed (loving instruction).”

The eshet chayil is a river of life with her wisdom, always instruction God’s words of life through love. 

“They should teach what is good, thus training the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to take good care of their homes and submit to their husbands. In this way, God’s message will not be brought into disgrace” (Titus 2:3-5).

Tzadik Fishhook (desire, pull toward)

“She watches how things go in her house, not eating the lechem atzlut (bread of idleness).”

The eshet chayil does not pulled toward the ‘rat race’ of life.  Her home is her desire and her focus is there.  She does not become ‘caught in the fishook’ of  gossip and slander that accompanies idleness.

“Your beauty should not consist in externals … rather, let it be the inner character of your heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit. In God’s sight this is of great value” (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Qoof – Back of the Head( setting of the sun, what is behind,  final)

“Her children arise; they make her happy; her husband too, as he praises her:”

The eshet chayil never looks to what is past and uses her time wisely.  She is blessed as the sun sets on the horizon of her day (yom), week (Sabbath), month (Rosh Chodesh), year (Teruah), and lifetime.   

“The righteous live a life of integrity; happy are their children after them” (Proverbs 20:7).

Resh – Head of a Man (first, authority, head)

“Rabbot (Many teaching women) have done wonderful things, but you surpass them all.”

The eshet chayil surpasses all other women because her spiritual life comes first and her authority is her head.

“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is the Messiah, and the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of the Messiah is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Shin – Teeth (sharp, consume, glory)

“Chen (charm) is sheker (deceitful), and yofi (beauty) is fleeting, but an ish Yirat Hashem  (a woman who fears Yahweh), she shall be praised.”

The eshet chayil is consumed with her faith (fear) of Yahweh; there is no deceit found in her as she brings glory to God. 

“Trust in Adonai with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him; then he will level your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Tau – Two Sticks Crossing (sign, covenant)

“Give her of the p’ri (fruit) of her yadayim (hands); and let her own works praise her at the city gates.”

The eshet chayil has the sign of the covenant, the sign of her relationship with her husband.  She is a woman who is known at the city gates because of the work she does in her home and community while providing for her family and servants, preparing food and dealing with business in the market square. 

“Also I saw the holy city, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

©2013 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

Moral Courage and Peer Pressure

Moral courage is the ability to say ‘no’ to peer pressure.

By definition courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.  Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death, or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.

I remember as a new believer having a pastor ask me, “Where in the Bible is the majority right?”  I thought about his question for a minute or two along with the thought, “Is this a trick question?”  So, I answered, “Nowhere.”

I was right.  Nowhere in the Scriptures is the crowd right.

“Do not follow the crowd into doing evil” (Exodus 23:2).

Exodus says that following  the crowd will most likely lead to evil.  My mom was right when she asked me, “If everyone jumps off a cliff to their death, will you follow?”

I had never really considered that ‘going against the crowd’ was courageous though it does take courage to say ‘no’ when everyone else is saying ‘yes’.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

It’s difficult to raise children with values and morals in a culture that has lost its moral compass.  It’s difficult to home school when the rest of the world is being educated differently.  It’s  difficult to be family-centered when everyone else is school-centered or even church-centered.  It’s  difficult to teach children the difference between  being ‘in the world’ and not ‘of the world’ while keeping their focus on ‘things above’ and not on ‘things of their peers’.   It’s not easy teaching your children that being a ‘friend of the world’ is being an ‘enemy of God.’   It’s difficult to go a different spiritual direction than family and friends because of  deeply-held convictions.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7).

I never thought of myself or our family as being courageous.  Standing against those things that are not in the Bible and for those things that are seems like a no-brainer.   Walking out our faith seems easy when having to choose between God or man.   Even when we were being ridiculed, attacked, challenged, judged, and cut-off from those we cared about, we always knew that we were on the right path.

The crowd was never right in Scripture and it’s not right in the schools, the church, the government or even some families.   Peer pressure is nothing more than  pulling those who do not have courage to stand into a place where they probably should not go.  There’s always the statement, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for everything.”  This is the end result of peer pressure that begins the moment we allow the world to help us make decisions–we will fall for everything including evil.

“So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace” (Romans 11:5).

A remnant is something left over; a remainder; a piece of fabric after the rest has been used or sold, a small surviving group of people.  Those left over, those surviving people have not only moral, but spiritual courage to stand against peer pressure.   They make up the remnant because they had the courage to stand for what is pure, right, noble, true, admirable, praiseworthy.

©2012 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. 

High Calling of Motherhood

by Edith Detweiler

“I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Motherhood is a high and holy calling, but before we can press towards the mark for the prize, we need to know what the mark is, where it is, and how to get there.

God has lovingly provided the way for every one of us to get there.

Whether we attain to God’s high calling does not depend on our circumstances:  what kind of husband we have, how many children we have, how great we feel physically, what kind of personality we have, what our living conditions are, or even what kind of background we have.  God is not a respecter of persons.  However, attaining to the high calling of motherhood does depend upon the quality of our relationship with Jesus.

When we look at the ‘high calling’ of motherhood, we have to consider three areas of our lives.

1.  A vibrant relationship with Jesus.

2.  Sanctifying our motherhood.

3.  Keeping our hearts in our home.

A Vibrant Marriage Relationship With Jesus

Most women desire to have children, but motherhood doesn’t start with babies.  It begins with a relationship.  How foolish it would be to try to have a baby without an intimate, love relationship with your husband!  So it is in your spiritual life.  You desire to bring forth fruit to the glory of God, but it will never work if you are not living in the reality of a vibrant relationship with God.  Once you are real with God, you will find his grace and power flowing into your life, making you a vessel He uses daily to carry His glory into your home.

Love relationship.

You need a love relationship with God through Jesus.

You need to bask in Jesus’ love and let His love fill your heart, then respond with love and praise to Him.  He wants your love; your heart of love.  Then out of this beautiful love-relationship with Jesus, your life will overflow with love for your husband, your children, and everyone else you touch.  Natural love will not reach far enough to bring glory to God.  It must be the love of Jesus.

Trust relationship.

You need a trusting relationship with Jesus.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

Jesus means just that – trusting – when He says, “Seek ye first.”  The reason we come up with excuses to not seek Him first is because we do not trust Him to take care of all ‘these things’.  We feel so responsible to get enough sleep and take care of the household, but God wants us to take Him at His Word and simply obey in faith.

In my own life, I can testify that the Lord cares for me in an amazing way when I rise up early to nurture my relationship with Him.  It is a delightful relationship that I never want to miss out on.  He is always faithful!  I know I can trust Him!

“Faith is the leaning of your entire personality on Christ in complete trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness.” Colossians 1:14 Amplified Bible

Strength relationship.

You need a strengthening relationship with Jesus.

“She girds herself with strength (spiritual, mental, and physicals fitness for her God-given task) and makes her arms strong and firm.”  Proverbs 31:17 (Amplified Bible)

Here you clothe yourself with divine strength.  Here you get your soul happy in the Lord.  Here the joy of the Lord becomes your strength.  You would never think of beginning a day without getting your body dressed.  It is even more foolish to begin a day without girding your soul with a divine strength for your God-given task of motherhood.

Satisfying relationship.

You need a satisfying relationship with Jesus.

“She opens her mouth with skillful and godly wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness and giving counsel and instruction.”  Proverbs 31:26 (Amplified Bible)

Here, Jesus meets the particular needs of your heart, washing, cleaning, setting you free from the burdens of sin and filling you with His marvelous peace.  Here Jesus quenches your spiritual thirst and satisfies your hungry soul.  Don’t settle for anything less than an relationship that meets every need of your heart and satisfies your soul in Christ so you are complete in Him.

A mother who is not satisfied in Christ is not able to bring the glory of God into her home. She does not have these kind of words from herself.  They must come from a daily, fresh infilling of the Word of God, the source of rivers of living water.  She needs God’s anointing upon her words as well as her life in Christ.

Sanctify Your Motherhood

“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…. That we should be to the praise of His glory who first trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:4,12).

To sanctify motherhood means to ‘set it apart for God’.    Your call is much higher than taking care of babies and children, cleaning, cooking and caring for your husband.  Even carnal women can do a pretty good job in these areas.  If you find yourself so wrapped up in the natural needs of your family, that you make little progress in your own spiritual growth and nurturing your family’s spiritual health, you have not sanctified motherhood.  You need to get a firm hold on what God’s purpose is for you as a mother.

Allow the eyes of your spiritual understanding to be enlightened so that you receive a clear vision of God’s higher calling and His purpose for a mother.   As you sanctify your motherhood, your devotional life should hold the highest priority for you.

Your personal quiet time with God will not just be one of the many things to get done in a day.   It will be THE ONE THING – the priority.   It will become the hub from which all the day’s fruitfulness extends.

The most important part of your labor as a mother is accomplished during your quiet time in the presence of God.  The only way to have the fruit of motherhood that will withstand the tests of life and bring glory to God is if you labor WITH God.  What you do apart from laboring with Him will amount to wood, hay, and stubble. It will burn in the fire of testing.   In order to build with precious stones, you need to  listen for His words of clear direction for your specific needs and area of service.  When you begin to have  this kind of communication with Him, you will have sanctified your motherhood and labor along-side of your Lord and Master.

God wants to make you a woman of prayer, a woman who has God’s power and understands  how to pray in the Spirit and get answers to her prayers.  Oh, it is a great part of your calling as a mother to pray for your children.   Sisters, learn to pray!

Learn the secret of fasting.  For years, I thought fasting was not for me because I was either expecting or nursing a baby.  But God showed me I was wrong.  He showed me how I fasted when I obeyed Him and sought Him through prayer and fasting.  He always came through to me in amazing workings.  My life has never been the same.  Praise God!

As you become more sanctified through prayer, His Word, and waiting on Him, you will be convinced that there is absolutely no other way possible to reach the high calling of motherhood in your life.

Keep Your Heart In Your Home

“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened that ye may know the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power toward you.” (Ephesians 1: 18-19)

If you desire to reach the high calling of motherhood, you must keep your heart at home (includes staying at home) and get rid those things that keep you from the work of bringing God’s glory into your home.

Distractions.  Get rid of unnecessary distractions.    Know and accept your own limitations. Learn to say “No” to many voices that only distract you from your high calling as a mother for God’s glory.  Get rid of those things that leave you feeling disoriented.   Be slow to assume responsibility outside the home.

“She considers a new field before she buys or accepts it – expanding slowly and not courting the neglect of her present duties by assuming others.” Proverbs 31:16 (Amplified Version)

Light reading.  Don’t allow your mind to be cluttered with the “Christian” reading that lacks God’s anointing.  It will lure you away from the real issues that God is working in your life and home.

Phone chatter.  Unedifying and unnecessary talk definitely darkens the mind.

Theology. Be aware of the trap of being preoccupied with theology while passing over the glory of a beautiful relationship with Jesus in your actual daily life.  Also, do not assume the burden of the church problems that are not your responsibility.  They will weigh you down and make it impossible for you to function gracefully within your own realm.

Straying interests. You can get carried away with studying and doing interesting things, while your children helplessly look on, trying to keep up with you, or live in their own world while you live in yours. (Titus 2:5)

Other people’s problems.  Don’t get into them unless God specifically calls you to minister.  Learn to intercede for others, but flee from gossip and minding other people’s business. (1 Timothy 5:13)

Peer pressure.  Yes, peer pressure a common distraction for mothers.  You feel pressured to perform like other mothers do.  You try so hard to keep up with the way others keep house, garden, sew, can, and freeze.  God’s not trying to get you to measure up to someone else’s performance, He wants a beautiful love-relationship with you.

Remove all of these things  so that you can bring the glory of God to the next generation.  That is the high calling of motherhood.  God is seeking mothers who are zealous for His glory and who become agents for bringing His glory into their homes.  God needs you to represent His glory, His name, His purpose, and His working in your home so that the work of His Kingdom can be advanced through your home.

God purposes for you to sanctify yourself daily and live in the reality of a vibrant relationship with Him so that you can share it and pass it on to your children.  God has purposed that you should be His agent to bring your children into the realm of His blessing.  God wants to reveal His glory to your children and He has chosen to do it through YOU.

“She rises while it is yet night, and gets spiritual food for her household, and assigns her maids their tasks.” Proverbs 31:15

You wouldn’t think of not feeding your children natural food for one day.  It is even more important to provide them with spiritual food for their hungry souls.  Yes, their souls are hungry and you must supply them with fresh living bread from heaven for their nourishment.

Our children belong to the Lord.  We might understand a bit how He feels about them when we think how we feel when we entrust our child to someone else to watch over them for a time  We are very much concerned about how that child is treated in our absence.  Much more so with God as He entrusts His children into our homes for a few short years.

“She tastes and sees that her gain from work (with and for God) is good; her lamp goeth not out, but burns on continually through the night (of trouble, privations, or sorrow) warning away fear, doubt, and mistrust.”  Proverbs 31:18 (Amplified Bible)

God has so many beautiful things He yearns to do in the lives of our children and He is seeking mothers who understand His heart and will work with Him.  Oh!  How He loves each child!  How He broods over them!  How He grieves when we deprive them of seeing God’s glory through us.  We either reveal His glory or else put an awful blot upon His name by our attitudes, words, and actions throughout the hours of every day.

Are you letting the glory of God shine through you by the way you respond when things go wrong?  When the baby keeps fussing?  When the boys misbehave?  When the milk spills?  When your husband changes your plans?  When you are tired and weary?  When you are on behind in your work and the house is out of order?

God wants you to reveal His glory by speaking words of faith in every situation, speaking words of grace and love, words that overflow from a heart that is full of God’s Word and full of His love.  You reveal His glory by showing your children an excellent spirit no matter what happens.  You may never attain to perfection in all the petty details of life, but there is one area that must always be sanctified.  You must have and you can have a sanctified attitude.

Choose the High Calling

If you are not living in the reality of a vibrant relationship with the Lord as the basis of your motherhood, you need to repent.  Repent of grieving God by putting other things before your relationship with Him.  Repent of all your excuses and human reasonings for not trusting Him.   Repent of your lack of discipline and your lack of faith and lack of sanctifying your call as a mother.

Our home is a very busy place with eleven children.  I used to think it was impossible for me to get up early and have quiet time before the family was up.  I tried to pray while I worked and read snatches of God’s Word here and there.  I was surviving, but I wasn’t really growing.  I didn’t have the power of God to bring His glory into our home.  I am so glad God showed me I was wrong and that He lifted me out of the miry clay (my excuses) and now He has established my goings.

Sisters, go deep with God now.  Don’t wait for a more convenient season.  Don’t allow yourself to drift on in a shallow surface-relationship with God, grieving him daily by your refusal to be a vessel for His grace and glory in your home.   Keep your relationship with God vibrant, fresh and sanctified so that you hear and know what God is saying to you so you can stick with the high calling of motherhood.

©April 1999, The Heartbeat of the Remnant, edited by Julie Almanrode

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