Motherhood: A Labor of Love

Motherhood: A Labor of Love

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.
~Robert Browning

gray textured background with pink heart and black sketch of a woman holding a baby and the words "Motherhood: A Labor of Love"

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.
~Robert Browning

“All love begins and ends” with motherhood. That tugs at the heart strings, doesn’t it?

If you grew up with a loving mom.
If you grew up with a difficult mom.
If you are a mom.
If you wish you were a mom.

Thoughts of motherhood evoke all kinds of emotions in us.

Is that the beginning and end of love, though?

As a mom, I want to say yes. Because the love we have for our children – it’s huge. It’s so big that other types of love can look small in comparison if we’re not careful. It’s so far-reaching that it can become all-encompassing if we don’t practice wisdom. It consumes so many of our waking hours for so many years of our lives that, if we don’t have a godly perspective, we can lose ourselves in it, lose ourselves to it.

The heart of a mom is a beautiful and precious thing that can heal deep wounds, encourage broken hearts, and motivate profound actions. The women who take on motherly roles – whether they’re a biological mom or not – are extraordinary. They wield a power in our lives that few other people hold.

So please understand me. I have the highest regard for moms and for the women who fulfill mom-like roles in the lives of others. Moms are amazing.

But love doesn’t start and end with moms.

Love starts with God, and because God is infinite and eternal, His love has no end.

How do I know love starts with God?

Let’s take a look at the fourth chapter of 1 John.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (v 7)

Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (v 8)

God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (v 16b)

We love because he first loved us. (v 19)

First, let me say that 1 John chapter 4 is not about motherhood. It is, however, about the perfect love of God made manifest in the incarnation of Christ (v 9) and how, as believers, God’s love abides in us (v 16) and empowers us to truly, selflessly, and sacrificially love others (v 19).

That kind of love – the love of Christ in us – has the power to transform the way we parent, the way we act toward our husbands, the way we treat our siblings and parents, the way we think about our church family, friends, and co-workers. That kind of love can change everything.

Does love begin and end with motherhood? No. And we shouldn’t want it to. In our own power, our love is fallible.

I remember walking into the kitchen one day to find my daughter standing there with her arms out wide as she asked, “Do you need a hug?” Because despite how much I loved my kids, I was having a bad day – whether it was lack of sleep or something else entirely – and they were catching the brunt of it. I hadn’t even realized how cranky I was being until that moment. Let’s face it. As moms, we don’t always get it right.

Our love, apart from Christ, is a weak shadow of the perfect love God pours out on us. But in Christ? When we abide in the love of Christ (John 15:9-12) and love others in Christ, we can love with a depth and in a way that reflects Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross. And of the many things we could give our children, isn’t that the greatest of them all?

2 Comments

  1. Ruthann Barton

    Verse 7 says it all! Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (v 7)
    Love is from God because God IS love. Amen? Amen!

  2. mano mathai

    Motherhood is a very special gift from God. It allows the mother to reflect the unconditional and never ending love of God. From the child’s view, he experiences his mother’s love at the moment he is born. He may think that love begins with the mother but it does not end there if he knows the source of real love.

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