The Challenge of Modern Motherhood

by James Rudy Gray

Somebody once observed that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. It's no less true today, but motherhood has changed. Today's mother is likely to be overworked, stressed, and fatigued. She may fight the blues, struggle with anger, or feel guilty. She may suffer from an identity crisis and energy crisis at the same time. Yet motherhood is still one of the most important and powerful positions in our culture.

Psalm 127:3 says, "Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward." To be an involved and loving parent is both tough and blessed. Moms are typically around the kids more than dads are, even though dads must spend time with their kids and be equally involved and caring.

James Rudy GrayPerhaps the dilemma of our time is that it is possible to give birth to a child and not really mother the child. For a child, love is often understood in the amount and quality of time we give them as parents.

It seems kids grow up so fast. When they are babies, we want them to get out of diapers, walk, talk, etc. Then when they graduate from high school and go off to college, we weep and wonder how the years could have passed so quickly. The empty nest period of life is not a bad time, but it is a stark reminder of James' description of life being just a vapor. One mother in the Midwest had a cross-stitched message framed over the mantle in the den: "Cleaning and scrubbing can wait ‘til tomorrow for babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow. So quiet down cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep. I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."

Patricia Rushford tells of a great experience she had with her kids. A baby squirrel fell from its tree and the kids picked it up and brought it into the house. Afraid that the mother squirrel would abandon it after human scent was on it, she decided she would try to help the kids raise the squirrel. They named him Earl. At first they fed him with an eyedropper. Then they helped him gather acorns for the winter. He hid them in the yard and in the house! Earl was friendly to humans. He would run up the legs of people-even visitors! Earl eventually found a girl friend, bit Patricia's hand, and left home. They never saw Earl again, but what a special time they had together caring for him.

Godly mothers can train their children in biblical truths (Prov. 22:6) and provide an atmosphere where laughter is welcomed. Proverbs 17:22 says, "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones." It is a blessed kid who has a godly mother. Those kids who were blessed by a godly mother are more likely to pass the blessing onto their kids. Hopefully, they will also honor the woman whom God used to touch their lives.