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The Manner Matters

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." Philippians 1:27


Millions of mothers have endured the trials and hardships that accompany child bearing and rearing. The sleeplessness, the physical pain and suffering, the whining, tantrums and transitions. The sustaining and caring for, and the letting go as they grow. "You just do it," they say - and somehow, we do. We push through, we endure, we make it to the other side of hard seasons.

But for us as followers of Jesus, how can we set ourselves apart from the world? How will others see Him through our mothering?

We will not be set apart IF we endure through motherhood, but rather by HOW we do so. This is an encouraging thought as we consider the mundane responsibilities of motherhood as well as the more trying seasons - it's not just about what we are doing (whether it be cleaning, changing a diaper, nursing, or something altogether different), but the manner in which we are doing it - the manner matters. Will we walk out motherhood in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ? This is what makes all the difference.

We must consider:

Our facial expressions as we look at our children and our chores.

Our demeanor - is it one of anxiety or peace? Contentment or grumbling?

Our tone as we speak to our children and spouses.

The manner by which we go about our days - Are we purposeful and patient? Or are we hurried? Lazy?

We can spread the aroma of Christ through our intentionality as we care for neighboring mamas and friends. We can shine the light of Jesus as we open our homes in hospitality and in how we present ourselves with authenticity, without trying to project a certain image.

Of course, we cannot do any of this in our own strength. We must depend on Jesus daily to help us mother in a manner worthy of the Gospel. We must ask the Holy Spirit for His power, wisdom and grace; we must pray and plead that the fruit of the Spirit would abound through our mothering.

May we emulate the Proverbs 31 woman as we go about our lives and motherhood: "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness...Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" (Proverbs 31:25-27, 30).

May the world notice this army of mothers rising up - brightening the world in the name of Jesus, raising up the next generation of Jesus-followers. In the mundane and the monotonous (as well as in the miraculous) we are bearing His Name. May the manner in which we mother beam bright, shining a spotlight on Jesus that others (including our children) might see His beauty and goodness.

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