I know Stephanie that this baby shower devotion is meant for you. However, as I was writing this I found that it could easily be for each one of us in this room. Hilary Rodham Clinton, a modern bastion of the feminist movement, had this to say on raising children; ‘It takes a village”. This was immediately pounced upon and used to encourage the institutionalization of children to be taught according to humanistic beliefs.
However in some way she was correct if the message hadn’t been misused and corrupted. It does in fact take a village; it was how children were raised since families began. Back when our great grandparents and in some cases our grandparents were young, families lived together, elders helping raise children and guiding parents. The community around the child; neighbors, church and schools were also instrumental in teaching the same basic messages.
Today this is often no longer the case for most families. We are spread apart; mothers and families are left adrift. We are told that life outside the home has more importance than the role of mother, saying that motherhood is trivial, and a waste of our skills. We are said to be moldering at home, and our roles are downplayed. The fact is there is no greater job you have been given than the charge of a child to raise. You are the protector, teacher, and comforter. You are the shield against the world, and the first vision of their future. When a child is young, an infant’s first vision or impression of God is through the actions of the mother, later it is the father that forms their impressions of the heavenly father. For many people their beliefs on the character of God are based on these first impressions. And that makes sense as we are to be the reflection of the Father on earth as we live our lives.
SO, what is the charge, what is a mother to do, especially as a mother of daughters? You are not just raising Riley and Gracie, two little girls; but two little mothers, Grandmothers, and Mentors. Your influence will stretch beyond the temporal boundaries of today and these children will reach into the future teaching what you have taught, to your grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Teach them to Love God first, serve and glorify God in all that they do, and to pass it on. Those girls are just the start of your mission.
It’s a scary thought, so much responsibility; however we just have to take it one diaper at a time, forming, teaching, loving, cuddling, and disciplining. We don’t have to do it alone, as Christian women we have the greatest resources, God has given us his word to be a lamp unto our feet. When you are in the sometimes dark tunnels of motherhood with no end in sight and the job seems too hard, (and every mother has been there) there is God’s word to comfort and guide. I have found that it will come when you least expect in and most need it. With my own children I have been very literally (and often in front of my children) on my knees crying out for help, and He has been there, sometimes a still small voice saying “I am here,” other times as a verse shooting through a tense spot, often as another dear Christian woman reaching out and teaching me giving me encouragement and advice. Letting me know she was there, she knew.
That’s where the village comes in. We are your village. Doubtless you have others as well, but we all have a lesson to teach, encouragement to give, a shoulder to bear a burden and love to be given. We are your sisters, your family. We love those little girls and share the same goals for them as for our own. This job you have been given is the most important one in front of you. It’s time sensitive, precious, and given to you by God. You are raising the future.