December 13, 2017

Being a Good Mother

Sarah Overmiller

Being a mother is the greatest job on earth. Long nights calming a croupy cough or cleaning up after a flu bug are certainly not fun, but I still love being a mommy. When things get messy or chaotic, I try to reflect on what my children really need from me. Here are some thoughts that challenge me looking ahead to this coming year. As I reflect on these thoughts, I am reminded that I am not capable of being this kind of mother in my personal strength alone. I need the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit. As I remain sensitive and dependent on Him, I know that this year can bring great opportunities to be the mother my children need me to be.

My children need me to listen. The ironing pile is growing, supper is cooking, the phone is ringing (again), and the kitchen floor still needs to be scrubbed! Yet I must pause to hear what my children are trying to tell me. Each child needs regular one-on-one time, a chance to share their thoughts and ask me all kinds of questions. These talks are often trivial, but they always strengthen our relationship and build trust. They provide informal opportunities for each child to give me their heart, little by little. Sometimes minor chats lead to serious discussions that make a huge difference.

My children need my love. It is easy to assume that because I genuinely love them, they automatically know it. But they need to hear me say, “I love you,” throughout the day – not just when they do something noteworthy. And children need affection in other ways, too. Their little hearts are sponges that can always absorb more love, more than we realize. A favorite snack, a surprise love note under the pillow or in a lunch bag, or an occasional date together – there are countless special ways to show my love.

My children need me to pray. Motherhood is a wonderful trust, but also an incredible risk. I long to rejoice in the future, seein my children loving and serving the Lord as adults. To experience that joy, I must intercede for them regularly, praying with my husband, with my church, and alone with the Lord. Praying daily and fervently, and fasting. Praying whether I see specific needs or not. Praying with my children, openly sharing our requests and seeking the Lord together. I must teach them to take all things to Jesus and to experience the joy of answered prayer.

My children need consistent discipline. They don’t need me to be reactive or harsh of course. They need me to be clear in my expectations and calm in my responses. No matter how I feel, I cannot afford to overlook personal failures in their behavior. The day may be stressful or busy, but I must exhibit consistent, reasonable justice in an atmosphere of patient, unconditional love, the kind that points them to our Heavenly Father.

In the end, my role as a mother is to point my children to Jesus. I want them to experience God’s supernatural love and care so that they will love and serve Him with all of their heart. Will you pray for God to enable you this year through the abundant grace of His Spirit to be this kind of mother?


Sarah Overmiller is the mother of three young children with one more on the way. She serves with her husband Thomas in the ministries of Falls Baptist Church, Menomonee Falls, WI.


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