I heard his cry through the monitor.
Seriously? I thought. Three straight nights of post-bedtime tears. I was so over it.
Walking up the stairs, I devised a scheme to get me out of his room as quickly as possible. But as my feet hit the hallway leading into his bedroom, I felt God’s gentle nudge.
Slow down. He needs lullabies of grace tonight.
How does God calm and quiet our souls? Like a mother. “But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content” (Psalm 131:2).
I took a deep breath of faith, and for the next 40 minutes, I sang my scared little boy to sleep. My lullabies calmed and quieted his four-year-old soul.
Most of us have witnessed, in some way, the soul-calming effect of a mother’s presence on her child. There is safety with a mother, just as there is safety in the Father’s arms. The child hears peace in her voice, just as the sheep hear peace in the Good Shepherd’s.
When a child is hurt or scared or sick, he calls for his mother. He trusts her completely. If the mother he trusts teaches him that there is One in whom his soul can trust even more, then hopefully, one day, he will cry out for Jesus instead.
God’s good purpose for mothers goes beyond feedings and nappies and taxi services. He designed you, dear mother, to be your child’s first glimpse of His comforting love for us. No-one is better suited for this job than you. What a privilege, then, for you to put God’s soul-soothing character on display for your children.
In the message “Join Me in Soul-Satisfaction in God” on desiringGod.org, founder John Piper says, “Psalm 131 is about a kind of contentment, or stillness, or quietness of soul, that is rooted not in circumstances, but in God—a God who never changes in His utter commitment to us in Christ.”
If we desire for our children’s souls to be rooted in God as he describes, then we as mothers have the great responsibility of providing a climate that is prime for growth. Root systems thrive in rich soil and sunlight. With ideal conditions early on, roots are able to absorb water and nutrients that eventually help the plant thrive in less than desirable circumstances.
The monsters and thunderstorms that induce fear in our children’s hearts right now will turn one day into real-life demons and tempests. We can begin the good work of preparing their souls for battle today. When our children come to us afraid or anxious, we have the God-ordained privilege of offering them rich soil and sunshine. Our hugs, snuggles, words and lullabies are life-giving minerals to their souls.
How do we nourish our children? We offer them steadfast love and faithfulness. We bear with them, forgive them, show them kindness, listen to them and offer them words of encouragement and life by sharing the good news of Jesus Christ on a daily basis.
Drench your child in God’s Word. Shine light into his darkness. Sing him to sleep. Take your child by the hand and lead him to streams of water so that God can plant his roots down deep and allow him to bear good fruit in the coming seasons.
Motherhood is exhausting. It requires all of our energy—both mental and physical—and at the end of the day, it’s not uncommon to feel like we’re doing it all in vain. At times, it feels like you’re giving up your life for your child. If it does, be encouraged that you’re probably doing it right.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our [children]” (1 John 3:16).
Today, take the time to kiss the boo-boos, wipe the tears and sing lullabies of grace. Let your children rest in the comfort of your presence now so that they learn to rest in Jesus soon.