Dear Modern Mama,
Every mama needs to be validated, so I write to encourage you. As a long-ago mama from biblical times, I know that your life is very different than mine. Yet many aspects of motherhood remain the same: we love our children, serve them with devotion, and pray for them.
My first pregnancy happened in my teens. Engaged to my dear Joe, we were both virgins and planned to change that on our wedding night. The entire situation only makes sense if you know my firstborn’s story. It started with a surprise visit from an angel who told me what would happen. I knew about the Old Testament prophecies, but never dreamed that I would be part of their fulfillment.
Check out the account for yourself, in the first two chapters of Luke and Matthew. Those chapters do not describe all that Joe and I dealt with, from experiencing our community’s shame to obeying God’s unfolding plan. My story seemed unbelievable—an angel, the prophecies, my virginity—so we did not fight the accusations people made about us. Our role involved submission and obedience, even when we didn’t understand why and how God directed us. Those first few years of parenting involved so many moves: Nazareth, Bethlehem, Egypt—it’s all a blur now. To move so often in my day was unusual, but my Joe and I followed God’s directions.
Whether you deal with teenage pregnancy, household moves, undeserved community disapproval, or anything else, I encourage you to draw close to God and let Him guide you. Your life is part of God’s plan, even if you have no idea what God is doing. Believe me, I had to learn that too. God is worth following, even if people shame you, try to kill your child, or hurt you in other ways. I experienced all those things and more, but I tell you the truth: God will guide you through anything you face.
My personal motto became the words the angel said to me: “For no word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:37). I hung onto those words every time I did not understand, which happened a lot. Joe and I experienced so many unusual events. We knew we needed to obey God and trust in what He said. I tried to take it all in, internally savoring and reflecting on everything that happened.
In the Bible, you will notice that I never preached or told people about my perfect son. Luke chapter 1 records my personal praise song to God during my pregnancy. Other than that, you don’t read a lot about me. Like I said, my job as God’s servant involved my mothering role. No one but me can say their child is perfect. That does not mean I had an easy workload! The imperfect kids came soon after Jesus, and then Joe and I dealt with discipline, misbehavior, and other challenges. All the while, I stayed busy with diapers, meals, household chores, and chasing kids. (Of course, you know all about that, but we did not have the luxuries you do: indoor bathrooms, running water, and toilets.)
As you know, a mama’s job involves lots of hands-on work. I encourage you to use those precious days, months, and years to teach your kids about God’s word and His son. As part of God’s plan, we mother and love our children, thereby becoming a role model of our heavenly Father’s love for us. You may never have a huge platform or speak to crowds, just as I never did, but your children will always watch, listen, and learn from you. My firstborn son proclaimed His story, not me. Instead, I fulfilled my God-given role by raising my children to honor the Lord.
Thank you for loving your kids as part of God’s plan and purpose for them. Our children are a blessing and a life purpose from our dear heavenly Father. May our Lord give you strength and stamina to raise your kids, no matter what challenges you face in parenting.
May your soul magnify the Lord and may your spirit rejoice in God your Savior (Luke 1:46-47), during this Christmas season and always!
Mary, the mother of one perfect child and a bunch of regular ones
[Originally posted December 2021]