Someone asked the question, "Do you believe that following God's word and raising your children in the Lord will be the way for a mother to earn her crown?"
The answer is, "Most certainly!" This is an extremely important point to make. I know of many mothers who do not take their calling seriously. They think it is far more important to go out into the world and make a name for themselves, thus they receive a temporal crown (earthly recognition). The calling to be a godly mother is a much higher calling and offers a much greater reward than anything this world has to offer a woman.
WE HAVE A CALLING!
1 "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called..."
I pity the mothers at the judgment seat of Christ who have chosen earthly rewards over their heavenly ones.
1 Cor. 3:11-14
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
Of course, not all women will be mothers, and so a woman's reward will depend upon her circumstances in this life.
To whom much is given, much is required! This principle is found in Luke 12:
...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required...
1 Cor. 4:2
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
A mother is a steward in the Lord's eyes. The Lord has entrusted her with these precious ones who are her children. She will have to answer to the Lord one day for what kind of a mother she was, and if she walked worthy of the "vocation" to which the Lord has called her. He requires a mother to be faithful! This is where her reward will come from!
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
Note also, how the principle in the following passage also applies:
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Couple that with a passage from Colossians 3:
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
A faithful mother is really serving her Lord, the Lord Jesus Christ. She cannot serve the Lord without taking her job of mothering seriously. While others would say she is being a slave and is not being true to herself, in actuality she is not really being a slave to anybody in serving her children, but rather is serving the Lord Himself!
LOVING OURSELVES FIRST?
This is where modern philosophy misses the boat. I saw on a popular television show this past week, a program where mothers were criticized for being "slaves" to their children. Some of the mothers shown, were bogged down with transporting their children from one activity to another. While I agree that too many activities for the children run a family ragged, and are not what is best for the children or for the family as a whole, there was much, however, that was said on the program that was totally contrary to the Word of God. The program touted that a mother should follow her own pursuits and dreams in order to be a good mother. In so doing she teaches her children to put their own needs first. A mother was asked if she wanted her children to model themselves after her, and be a "slave" to their future families. The idea was said that a mother must first love herself and take care of herself before she can take care of others.
These contemporary thoughts can easily be proven to be contrary to what the Bible says.
Under the kingdom doctrine, Jesus taught his disciples a principle that holds true throughout all dispensations.
35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Of course, under the kingdom doctrine from which the above verses are quoted, these people could not be saved if they did not follow the above instructions.
For us, in the "dispensation of grace" (Eph. 3), in which we live, we will not lose our salvation as they would have, for we are saved by grace without any works involved, unlike them. However, the spiritual principle of first and last still applies. What do we lose? We can lose our reward and also lose the happiness and fulfillment that the Lord intended for us to have, if we do not put the Lord's will for our lives first and above all. If we lose ourselves for Christ's sake, then we will truly find life!
The Apostle Paul reiterates the same principle in many verses, some of which are:
Rom. 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; This, of course, means preferring one another above one's own self, or putting others first.
Acts 20:35 &ldots;and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Are we teaching our children, by our actions, that it is more blessed to give than to receive? This is something that should be very important for their spiritual training!
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
There are many verses such as the ones above that state that a man does not need to be taught to love himself, but rather that he already does. This is another example:
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
For mothers, in teaching their children by their words and also by their example, we can also see in the above verse that children should be taught to "by love serve one another." Much of this needs to be taught by example, for children will best learn this principle by watching their parents.
In fact, there is a warning in II Timothy that in the last days people will be lovers of their own selves, and this is seen as being contrary to the will of God. This is found in II Timothy 3:
2 Tim. 3:1-4
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
If the Lord warns against it, then "loving ourselves first" cannot be the Lord's will for us.
MODELING OURSELVES AFTER CHRIST
I pray this Bible study helps some mother reading this, who has heard these modern thoughts, and is wondering about them. I pray each mother will begin to take her role much more seriously and be the faithful steward of all whom the Lord has entrusted into her care. If this means putting her own desires and agenda aside, then so be it! We should always be striving to be more like Christ himself!
The following passage, about modeling ourselves after Christ, says it all!
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.