Every Mother’s Only Hope
This post is adapted from Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman.
The Overflow of Our Hearts
Once upon a church potluck, my three-year-old was caught hovering around the donut table like a velociraptor stalking its prey. Before he went in for the kill, a friend of mine broke his concentration. She leaned down and said to him, “I don’t know if you can have a donut yet. What does your Mommy say?” He blurted out for everyone in earshot, “What my Mommy says? My Mommy says, ‘Flush. The. Toilet!’”
We sound like broken records sometimes with the things we always say. I bet if people hung a voice recorder around your neck and played it back at the end of the day, they’d track some interesting patterns. What we always talk about reveals what is important to us. What we say and write reveals what we place our hope in. Our words are the overflow of what is going on in our hearts.
Yesterday, it must have sounded like my hope was in one of my friends. I talked about how I was waiting to hear back from her. I reread our latest email chain multiple times. I kept staring at my phone, and kept refreshing my inbox. My insecurities about how I interacted with her kept coming up in conversation with my husband. Should I have said something else? At a different time? Or in a different way? How did she understand our latest conversation about some really significant issues? I was not as engaged with my kids or their stream of questions. I played a round of Uno with them while the glowing screen of my phone lit up my face. The message to those around me was loud and clear. But if you turned on the voice recorder on the morning we pack our suitcases to leave the country then you might think my biggest goal in life is to make sure the trash and the laundry are completely empty. I sounded like a [grumpy] broken record!
What to do? The overflow of our hearts comes out through a variety of communications, verbal and nonverbal, all the time. Nurturing women have a lot of different messages overflowing at the same time too: “Brush your teeth . . . be careful with that . . . just have that hard conversation with him . . . knock on the door . . . read this first . . . check your homework . . . I love you . . . Jesus loves you.”
No Other News
Being a disciple maker means that the gospel is our one, main message. We are most concerned with obeying, communicating, and living in the reality of the gospel. The gospel motivates the way we care about the suffering we see around us. Communicating the good news clearly and faithfully is our goal in evangelism. And the gospel drives us to dream big, creative dreams about how we can invite the world to worship together with us at the feet of Jesus for all eternity. Making disciples is the priority of missional motherhood.
The gospel is the good news of missional motherhood. No other news can compare. No health craze, no safety tips, no school curricula, no positive pregnancy test, no social club, no bargain purchase, and no ministry leader can deliver you from the gravest problem you have — your sin. Jesus Christ is the end of righteousness for all moms who believe, and his person and work is also the message we communicate.
How does that old hymn go? “For my child’s pardon, this I see / Nothing but the fact that she earned the Respectfulness Award in her class? / For my child’s cleansing this my plea / Nothing filthy like Cheetos has touched my son’s lips.” Of course not! We don’t hold out worldly fake hope to our children. We hold out good news: the gospel.
For my pardon, this I see, Nothing but the blood of Jesus; For my cleansing this my plea, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
The gospel is not good advice for moms; it is life-giving news.
Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of four, doula, and writer. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, The Pastor’s Wife, and Missional Motherhood, and blogs regularly at the Gospel Coalition and GloriaFurman.com.
Originally published at www.crossway.org on May 17, 2016.