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The other day I was chatting with some friends who are also moms, discussing the weight of the responsibility to teach and train our children. The next morning, I read 2 Corinthians chapter 4, a passage where Paul encourages his children in the faith. And my crazy brain likes to imagine myself into the pages, and so it seemed like it would also be good encouragement for mothers and their children. So, after a little adjusting....here's the Jana-version.
Since through God's mercy we have this ministry of motherhood, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways ... On the contrary, by setting forth the Truth plainly to our children we commend ourselves to their conscience and every man's conscience in the sight of God. ... For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay (oh how fragile and imperfect we are!), to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed ... We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus and die to ourselves, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body and to our children. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body.
...with that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak to our children, because we know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus to present us with our children in His presence. All this is for their benefit, so that the Grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly our bodies are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, mothers, let's fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
What are "we" as mothers to do?
We do not lose heart
We have renounced secret and shameful ways
We commend ourselves to their conscience
We have this treasure in jars of clay
We are hard pressed but not crushed
We carry around in our body the death of Jesus
We believe and therefore speak
We know that God will raise us with Jesus
We do not lose heart
We are being renewed day by day
And what is God's part in all of this?
~ through God's mercy
~ by His light
~ power is from God
~ life of Jesus being revealed
~ to the glory of God
Some days it is hard to remember but we must cling to: For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
That eternal glory is 1) receiving our personal reward for a life well-lived, 2) seeing our children there worshipping at the feet of Jesus, and 3) being in the presence of God Himself! How worth it all of the motherhood heartache and sacrifice will be in that moment!