My journey into motherhood began when my first child was born. Before then, I was a mom-to-be who read all the books available and thought she was prepared with the techniques of mothering. Oh, how naïve I was!
I had made straight A’s in school for years, got lots of awards for achievement, but mothering this baby girl who was so unpredictable was the hardest challenge of my life. When I complained to the pediatrician at the first postnatal visit that my baby girl did not do anything the books said she should do (such as sleep 20 hours a day, be comforted when I rocked or nursed her), he told me in a lighthearted way that she had not read the books!
Being a mother of babies and small children, continually surrounded by needy, hungry, tired little humans, is exhausting. How could Jesus possibly know how mothers feel since He was never a mother? Could He truly understand moms? The answer is, “Yes.”
While reading through the gospels, I picked up clues as to why Jesus understood what I as a mom was experiencing.
- The disciples were Jesus’ “children.” He even calls them “children” in Mark 10:24.
- They were with Him all the time for almost two years (Luke 8:1).
- He was constantly teaching them (Mark 4:34 and Mark 12:42-44)—sometimes the same lesson over and over. For example, He had to teach them how to multiply in Mark 6:38-43; 8:5-8 and then He quizzed them on what they should have learned in Mark 8:18-21. Moms are constantly teaching the same lessons, too.
Others questioned His parenting. You can see this in Mark 2:18-24 and Mark 7:5. They thought He was not doing it “right.” That happens to moms, too.
Jesus took them on trips in His “car” (the boat) and had to give them something to do by themselves so He could have time to pray (Mark 6:45-46). He was always answering their questions (Mark 4:10-13 and Mark 7:17-18). Lots of questions. And it seemed like they just were not listening to the answers! Yep, another mom experience.
When we expand His “family” to include the crowds that followed Him, they sometimes did not leave Him alone long enough to eat (Mark 3:20 and Mark 6:31). We see that He was exhausted by the constant demand for His attention by needy, in some ways childlike, people. He had to take naps whenever and wherever He could, even sleeping through a violent thunderstorm as in Mark 4:35-38. That is tired like any mother can be tired!
Jesus disciplined His children when their behavior was wrong (Mark 8:33 and Mark 10:13-15). He also had to confront sibling rivalry. You see that in Mark 9:33-34 and Mark 10:41. His children even forgot their lunch at times (Mark 8:14).
Yet, Jesus loved His children dearly (Mark 13:1) and prayed for the ones being tempted to do wrong that they would turn back and learn from their experience (Luke 22:31-34). Do you think He would have liked for Peter to listen to His advice and not betray Him? Of course! Jesus understands that moms teach and warn but must let children learn lessons by experience for themselves.
Yes, Jesus understands what moms experience. As Hebrews 4:15-16 says,
“For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.”
That is so true. And comforting for me as a mother.
I heard someone say this recently,
We have everything we need to be an excellent mom. (Jennifer Byrd, designed4strength.com)
He knows what we need. He felt what we experience. He understands the temptations we face as moms. That is another wonderful reason why we can trust Him as women, especially as mothers!
New Testament Women Bible Study (read online)
New Testament Women Bible Study (download pdf)
Satisfied by His Love Bible Study (read online)
Satisfied by His Love Bible Study (download pdf)