I remember facing motherhood not knowing how to be the mother I wanted to be. When I became a mom, I desired to make a home that makes disciples. But I was overwhelmed by what I didn’t know. My own mother grew up in church. But she mothered me more motivated by legalism than the gospel. So when I became a mom without a blueprint, I was lost. How could I possibly be a gospel-centered parent when I had no idea what that looked like?
My mother and my grandmother grew up in church. In turn, I did too. While I was lovingly parented by them, life was more about being good than living in light of the gospel. They loved Jesus imperfectly, knowing and proclaiming that he is good. But raising me to know and do the same intentionally was missing. They taught me to say my “grace” before each meal, rehearse hymns on Fridays, and dress up every Sunday. But not how to live under the lordship of Christ and in a personal relationship with God.
Without a blueprint to parent intentionally—pausing to point my kids to his promises, grace, power, and presence consistently—my desire to raise kids after God’s own heart was burdened with insecurity. During my first pregnancy, declarations of “I’m not enough” filled my thoughts.
“I’m not enough to foster the perfect mother-child relationship because I do not have one.”
“I’m not enough to train my children to be who God has called them to be. I don’t even know how to be the woman God has called me to be.”
“I’m not enough to mother in light of eternity because I don’t know what it looks like or all it could mean.”
In his love, God confirmed my thinking.
“I AM NOT ENOUGH” IS ENOUGH
Motherhood is one of the hardest and most beautiful roles I have ever experienced. With or without an example of intentional mothering, it was never meant to be easy. As God perfectly parents you and me, our parenting has always been meant to point not just our kids, but also us, to his feet.
In Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family, Paul David Tripp says,
So your hope as a parent is not found in your power, your wisdom, your character, your experience, or your success, but in this one thing alone: the presence of your Lord. The Creator, Savior, Almighty, Sovereign King is with you. Let your heart rest. You are not in this parenting drama alone. Your potential is greater than the size of your weaknesses, because the One who is without weakness is with you, and he does his best work through those who admit that they are weak but in weakness still heed his call.
Our hope in stewarding our mothering has little to do with our background, experiences, or ability. We can rest in this promise. Who we allow to carry our motherhood transforms our potential to be gospel-powered moms. When we recognize that we are not enough to do this on our own, it is enough to lead us to lay down our semblance of control.
OUR HANDS IN MOTHERHOOD
In the many seasons of mothering—whether preparing in pregnancy, fighting to stay awake while feeding, wanting the day full of regret to quickly turn to yesterday, wishing to simultaneously speed up and slow down their independence and aging—we do not have to know what we are doing for him to use us for his glory. He promises to gently lead those that have young (Isa. 40:11). This is the liberating security we need.
If we follow God while our kids follow us, we learn that God is all-sufficient in his carrying. Our independence pales in comparison to our dependency. Christian motherhood is possible for the eleventh-generation Christian woman and the first-generation Christian woman. It is possible if she mothers by the gentle leading of the Father’s hand while leaving her own hands open and lifted.
DON’T FACE MOTHERHOOD ALONE
So, how can you mother in the ways God desires daily? You can try to mother on your own. Or you can lean into and filter your words, expressions, and actions through his indwelling Spirit. You rely on the Holy Spirit to be your help, accepting his assurance and equipping.
When you mother by the power of the Holy Spirit, you can rest. You can know that he equips and works through those he calls (2 Cor. 9:8 CSB). And, you can be confident in God’s ability to use you to be his blessing. Give him the room to do this work through you. He is the parenting prototype we need.
Your mothering will look different from others, even with the common goal to lovingly and graciously point your kids down the same narrow and straight path. To settle into what God wants this to look like for your individual family, you must pray and listen to God’s voice in his Word. You can read his Word and converse with God about everything. As you study God’s Word, you will learn about his blueprint for your parenting. And, when you pray, the chasm between your confident reliance on God and your fear of doing something wrong will narrow. Prayer will transform the multitude of moments in becoming a mother who parents intentionally toward the gospel from terrifying to hopeful.
Meet the Author
Shekea Moreno is a wife, mama, homeschool teacher, and writer who is passionate about encouraging intentionality in lifestyle and mothering. Shekea makes her home in Northern Virginia with her husband and their two daughters.
Shekea's heart is simply to encourage other mamas toward Jesus and his call in motherhood. She began from a deep and immovable conviction to help mamas live aware of his presence and the ease in helping their children to see the same, one teachable moment at a time.
Shekea spends her days loving on her family, making a home that makes disciples, teaching, and serving where God has placed her feet. She is the author of This Mama Prays™ Prayer Journal– 31 Days of Intentionality, she loves to read, and her affection for ice cream runs deep.
You can find Shekea and plenty of encouragement at ShekeaMoreno.com and on Instagram @shekeamoreno.