This coming Sunday is a big day for mothers everywhere (and for the fathers or children who may feel pressure to get Mother’s Day right).
It’s a little bit different at The Porch, though. Our young adults crowd of twenty- and thirty-somethings are mostly single, and though there are a good number of single moms on Tuesday nights, most women there are not mothers. However, I’d venture a guess that the majority of those women do want to be mothers at some point in the future—some of them very strongly so.
This message is for you, the hopefully-someday-future-mothers.
You Are, Right Now, Becoming Something
Motherhood is important. It’s probably the most important job you’ll ever have. There’s a reason why Mother’s Day is a holiday, and why it gets so much more attention than President’s Day or Earth Day or—let’s be honest—Father’s Day. Mothers have such a huge influence on the lives of just about everyone. Hopefully that influence is good, but bad moms are also a reality in this fallen world.
If you’re sitting there dreaming of becoming a mom someday, it’s a safe bet that you’re dreaming of being a good mother. One with happy children, who grow up to be happy and well-adjusted adults who spend every Mother’s Day singing your praises.
However, good mothers don’t just happen. It’s not just something that automatically occurs whenever you give birth (or adopt). It’s the result of a lifelong process—one you have already started. You’re either in the process of becoming a good mother right now—or you’re not.
Again, I bring it up just because it’s such an important job. The world needs good mothers. I’d like for you to be a great mother someday, if that’s what you want to be. But what you’re doing right now has a big influence on what kind of mom you’ll be.
How to Become a Good Mother
So what should you be doing, if that’s your goal? Some thoughts:
Be in the Word. It’s emphasized among Watermark church staff that our most important ministry is at home. Pastors might reach a lot of people with a sermon during one hour a week, but that doesn’t compare to the influence that parents have raising their children 24/7/365 for the first 18 years of their lives. As my pastor Todd Wagner has often pointed out, his current ministry is only possible because of the time he spent learning and studying the Bible as a young adult, before he had kids and the responsibility of leading a church to take up his time. You, likewise, have way more time now as a single person without kids then you ever will again (or at least until the kids are grown and it’s already too late). See Deuteronomy 11:18-19. Good moms spend time in God’s Word.
Practice patience. Children require a lot of patience, trust me! So be patient now as you wait and date and make choices that will affect you long-term. A great way to love your future children now is to not compromise or take shortcuts. Good moms model patience in how they trust God.
Be wise with money. Yeah, so children also require money, from conception through college. So live below your means now, and build good financial habits. Good moms honor God with their stewardship of His resources.
Be healthy. This is important, but is a tricky one to include. Because “healthy” is not synonymous with “thin,” and the things some people do to chase having that “ideal” body are not healthy at all. Plus, if that’s your idol, you’re going to have a hard time with the reality of having kids. What you can do instead is to have a healthy body image, develop healthy habits, and avoid or overcome habits that could be harmful to a baby (like smoking, drugs, or alcohol addiction). As I’ve said before, men don’t need trophy wives; we need women to go to war with us! Good moms take care of themselves.
Choose a good father. I’ve heard it said that a woman should only marry someone if they’d be happy having a son who is exactly like him—because that’s what you’re going to get, more or less. Check out this list of things to look for in a man. Good moms hold out for men who are becoming good fathers.
Get experience. You don’t necessarily have to have kids to reproduce yourself. There are many kids missing a parent, or just generally in tough situations, who would benefit a great deal from you pouring into them. You could mentor a child through Mercy Street, for instance, or shepherd a whole flock of kids through Watermark student ministries. There are also many single parents who could use your help.
One final thing to mention: I’ve seen children become an idol to some people, both among those who have children and those who wish they did. What I mean is that children become the ultimate, most important thing in life, ahead of even God. Now, the desire for things like marriage and children is a good thing. It is in no way wrong to have those desires. But if you require those things for fulfillment, ignore God’s commands in order to get them, or reject God because you haven’t gotten exactly what you want—that’s a problem.
God doesn’t guarantee us marriage, children, or (insert idol here). He doesn’t promise us that life on earth will be a fairy tale. In fact, He specifically promises that we’ll have trouble in this life. And the reason why we can have peace and joy in spite of that is because He has also promised that this life isn’t all there is. Regardless of whatever troubles you face or will face in the future, by trusting in Him you get heaven with Him in the end. So trust, and wait. But make good use of your time while you’re waiting by becoming what you hope to be.