Hi this is Pastor Ken, thanks for joining in for the Monday Marriage Message…Parenting 101 – Session Four.
Last week I shared with you many scripture references illustrating six parental roles that God perfectly accomplishes in the process of raising all of His children. God is our example and therefore, each of those noted tasks are transferable to us as parents as we interact in the lives of our children. As husbands and wives we work together to reflect the image and likeness of God. According to His own word, that is why He created men and women. (Genesis 1:26-27) By joining us as “One flesh” in marriage, it is His intention that we will allow Him to conjoin the abilities He gives us and cooperate with one another as we parent the children He has also gifted us with.
Last week I referenced scriptures noting God filling parental roles with the intention of offering validity to each of the tasks outlined. Some of them are uniquely suited to moms who are relational thinkers and have a primary need for love within their relationships. Others are purposed to be fulfilled by a compartmentalized thinking dad who must be respected if the relationships he engages in are to be in good standing.
I think it important to make mention that I understand that these concepts work most easily in the traditional family or what I call the “Original design”. These are the fortuitous families that are made up of a father, a mother and their biological children. If your family is structured this way, praise God! He is the strength that has enabled you to remain within the “Original design”. These families will be able to see the value in, and incorporate the concepts I have been speaking of with the most ease. These precepts are not my ideas, they are found in scripture. As such in traditional families there is an innate acceptance that things should operate as the Creator intended.
However, I want to be careful not to exclude everyone else. The statistics I offered a few weeks ago clearly indicate that 40% of families today are stepfamilies and a full 25% of American children have only one parent at home. With these numbers what they are, any serious discussion of parenting must include these familial structures as well. I understand each of these scenarios. I began raising my own two biological children in a home that fit the criteria for the “Original Design”. Just a few years later, I found myself in the role of a single parent for five years. I am eternally grateful that twenty-two years ago, God allowed me to marry my wonderful bride Lynn, and our union initiated a stepfamily joining not only the two of us but my son and daughter and her three daughters. We have been blessed beyond belief and have what I consider to be an amazing family that long ago dropped the “step” part. We are now blended to the point of total homogenization. It is difficult sometimes to tell where bloodlines begin and end. I don’t mention this to brag…ok maybe a little…they are worth boasting about. In all seriousness, I offer my story to be transparent and truthfully admit I have been a part of three different family structures. I have not experienced it all…but more than some. Thankfully, however, I have the opportunity to draw from the word of God for guidance on marriage, parenting and family and don’t have to resort to my personal experience. I also make this connection to make the point that we will in fact be taking one of the sessions of Parenting 101 to address these other family constructs as well and the nuances they involve when adopting these biblical precepts concerning parenting.
Today I want to focus on the three jobs of parenting referenced last week that moms are specifically created for. Women are relational thinkers, who require anyone who desires to be in a good relationship with them to love them for the things they say, think, do and believe. These God-reflective qualities predisposition their hearts and minds toward the importance to tend to the needs of, mend the brokenness of, and defend their children. We see these three roles or tasks validated other places as well. Moms are known as “Momma bears” indicating the ferocity with which they will defend their children against any perceived threat. They are universally understood to be much more suited than are dads to excel at nurturing their children far beyond their natural ability to provide nourishment and his complete inability to do so. Furthermore, though not celebrated by the current pop culture, these three parental tasks are performed by mothers for their children prior to birth. The human female body is in fact, designed specifically to this end.
While in-utero a baby is connected to the mother through the umbilical cord. This amazing apparatus allows her to tend to her baby’s needs. It contains two umbilical arteries that provide oxygen rich blood to the baby as well as nutritional needs. Additionally, they work together to regulate the baby’s blood pressure independent of the mother’s. The cord also contains one vein, used to remove the babies oxygen depleted blood and carry away waste to be filtered by mom’s kidneys and liver. During the final trimester a mother is already busied (even if subconsciously) mending her baby’s potential brokenness. In the last three months of pregnancy a mother delivers vital antibodies to her baby through the placenta known as passive immunity because the baby’s body has done nothing independently to develop them. Further antibodies delivered through the placenta in the moments directly after birth will continue to fight for the child and mend potential physical brokenness for the first several weeks of a baby’s life. This selfless act of offering a baby her immune system continues through breastfeeding, which also tends to vital nutritional needs. Additionally while in utero, babies are defended from the world around them. Enveloped in the mother’s womb a baby is safe from a plethora of various dangers. It is a wondrous consideration that a mother’s body is uniquely created to accommodate each of these three needs her child has…tending, mending, and defending. Her special capacity for these three parental tasks do not end there…in fact, they are just beginning.
I have a theory that every mom who holds her child for the first time has the following thought “I am going to be this baby’s mommy forever.” They innately feel that their role in their child’s life will never end. They fully trust they will be capable of tending to any need, mending any brokenness and defending their child until their dying day. I know that in all of my 56 years on this planet my mother has never ceased to find these three things her responsibility. She is an elderly lady now who isn’t in the best of health. She finds it difficult to get around and when she does get up and move about it is with pain. However, if I were to walk into her home today she would greet me with a short statement and a few questions. “Hi son! Can I get you something to drink? Are you hungry? Is there anything you need?” Her first interactions with me would be to assess any needs I might have. She will do this even though both of us know I am more than capable to meet those needs for myself. Almost before that process is completed, she would be scanning my posture and countenance to make sure there is no brokenness that needs mending, physically or emotionally. Heaven help you if you try to disparage me in any way in her presence. You might just as well put your tail between your legs and slink away now because it is going to be exactly what happens when she is finished with you!
My mom is special to me but she is not unique in her desires. God created her and billions like her. We call it mothering instinct, but it is more rightly described Godly imprint. God created my mom to be joined with my dad, to be my parents. When He married them, He gave certain of His characteristics to my mom and others to my dad for the express purpose of creating a marriage that would be reflective of Him (Genesis 1:26-27 & Genesis 2:24). Because of this, my mom has Godly coding written into her spirit to tend to my needs, mend my brokenness, and defend me, all at any cost to herself…Just like El-Shaddai does. This name of God means the breasted one who provides for our needs. That name comes from the Hebrew root word Shad which always refers to the breast of a woman. I am not making claim that God is a woman, according to the scriptures God is Spirit. I simply offer it to show that one of the names of God illustrates that the roles of a mom come directly from her Creator.
Questions to answer:
What are your thoughts about these three parental roles being specifically those of a mom’s?
Have you ever considered that those “Mom Jobs” are also things God is intently interested in providing for us?
What are some specific examples you both see of these three jobs being manifested in your family?
Actions to take:
Husbands: take some time now to thank your wife for the special and personal ways you see her filling her roles as a mom. If you have multiple children, give specific examples for each.
So now, celebrating moms and the God-like attributes that make them a crucial part of “Raising up a child in the way he or she should go” Give thanks to God for His amazing design and Go Be Awesome!