Motherhood is discipleship, and it's part of the mission.
“Children tie the mother’s feet.” That is an old Tamil proverb that means children keep mothers from doing what they want to do. I can sympathize with the feet-tied feeling when my four kids join forces to do away with the interruption-free moments that I envision for myself.
I was first introduced to this saying through Amy Carmichael. Amy was not the biological mother for any of the hundreds of children she nurtured. She was their mother, however, because Jesus caused her to be fruitful and multiply spiritually as she discipled the orphans and children she rescued from slavery and death. Amy saw her feet-tiedness as opportunity for the gospel because she understood what was really going on. God wasn’t tying her feet with all of those children, he was opening doors for the gospel to be proclaimed in India.
We could all benefit from Amy’s perspective, especially when we feel as though our children are keeping us from the missional lives we want to live. The refrigerator needs to be restocked, the sick kid needs to be picked up from school early, the Sunday School class needs volunteers, and the exam study groups need to be supervised. “I’d love to ‘go therefore,’ but the farthest I can go is to the nursery and back,” a frustrated new mom once lamented.
When we’re feeling trapped in our feet-tiedness, we need to be reminded of what is really going on:
- Motherhood is evidence of God’s mercy. God’s undeserved gift of life, in spite of our sin, is overwhelming. Children are a heritage from the LORD (Ps. 127:3).
- Every plan that mom makes can come undone, but nothing can undo God’s plan to lead her in the good works he planned for her to walk in from before the foundation of the world (Eph. 2:10).