How Mothers Reveal the Image of God

Motherhood reveals the image of God in a profound way.

I witnessed my friend, Melissa, mother her kids. She peacefully prepared three plates of food for her young boys. Yogurt. Chicken. Ketchup. Noodles. They sat around and ate while trying to teach the baby to say “Bible” and instead he shouts, “Jack, Jack.” The room laughs.

Later that night she held her toddler on her lap for sweet face-to-face time before bed. He curled into Melissa like her lap belongs to him. It does.

Her arms, her face, her knees that bend low to listen. Her hands that hold the book at bedtime.

In some ways her body belongs to her boys because she mothers them with many moments of her day, with every muscle and joint.

While watching Melissa wipe sticky hands, build legos, cook tomato soup, and instruct with wisdom, I realized motherhood reveals the image of God in one profound way.


Motherhood reveals the image of God because moms care for creation—

their children, their homes, and others around them (and even the pet gerbil). 

When God created man and woman, he set them in the garden to rule over creation by taking care of it. Rule meant care—not exploitation.

Somehow in our post-sin existence we’ve subverted taking care of creation and exploit it instead.

But not moms who care.

We stay up late to hold a teething child—or wait for the teenager to walk through the door safely. We adjust our careers so we can help provide for our child’s needs—whether that’s taking an extra job or quitting the job.

We research the best doctors for scoliosis, the best books to read at bedtime, and the best Bible verses to memorize while eating cheerios at breakfast.

Moms are made in the image of God.

Mom's reveal the image of God because they care for creation.

And humans care in a way unlike all other creatures.

Men and women were created in the image of God so they make from what has been made. They make homes and companies, paintings and pasta with pesto sauce. 

We cultivate unlike any other creature because in God's image we rule over creation.

So this week when you wonder if cleaning the kitchen again means anything—it does. You're cultivating home.

If cuddling on the couch on family night watching Incredibles is a waste of time—it’s not. You're cultivating relationships.

If your work matters for the kingdom of God, because in this season mothering and paying the bills takes all the energy you have—your work matters greatly. Because the hearts in your home will become hearts in the world.

In my humble, mothering opinion, maybe our life as a parent reveals the image of God in one of the most profound ways by simply caring in the little details—like making sure the PB&J is cut in a diagonal and not a straight line. Because caring for creation takes selfless service in many ways.

Parents reflect the image of God because they care for God's creation in their homes and the world.

It doesn’t make our work any more holy than the single person with no kids—but it definitely doesn’t mean we are stuck in work that lacks value.

Parents, we reveal the image of God because we care for God’s creation living in our homes—and the world they some day will care for too.

That's beautiful.

This post first appeared on SeanaScott.org