My journey into motherhood began 38 years ago today. 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 had made straight A’s in “book learning” 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 Jennifer didn’t do anything the books said she should do (sleep 20 hours a day, be comforted when I rocked or nursed her), he had the nerve to tell me that she hadn’t 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?
Then, I picked up on clues while reading through the gospels. The disciples were Jesus’ children. He even calls them “children” in Mark 10:24. They were with him all the time–12 of them–for almost two years (Luke 8:1). He was constantly teaching them (Mark 4:34; 12:42-44)—sometimes the same lesson over and over, for example, teaching them how to multiply (Mark 6:38-43; 8:5-8) and quizzing them on it (Mark 8:18-21). Moms are constantly teaching the same lessons, too.
Others questioned his parenting (Mark 2:18, 23-24; Mark 7:5). They thought he wasn’t 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; 7:17-18). Lots of questions. And, it seemed like they just weren’t listening to the answers!
When we expand his “family” to include the crowds that followed him, sometimes not leaving him alone long enough to eat (Mark 3:20; 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 he could, even sleeping through a violent thunderstorm (Mark 4:35-38). That’s tired!
Jesus disciplined his children when their behavior was wrong (Mark 8:33; Mark 10:13-15) and had to confront sibling rivalry (Mark 9:33-34; 10:41). His children even forgot their lunch (Mark 8:14). Yet, Jesus loved his children dearly (Mark 13:1) and prayed for those 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! But, Jesus understands that moms teach and warn but must let children learn lessons by experience for themselves.
Yes, Jesus understands what moms experience. And, as it is says in Hebrews 4:15-16, “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.”
He knows, he felt it, he understands the temptations we face as moms. 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)