By: Mary Kirkwood
One of the biggest disappointments, early in our marriage, was the stillbirth of our first child, Rachel. We eagerly anticipated the birth for nine months, and finally the day came that we were on the way to the hospital. As soon as we got there the doctors examined me; they seemed concerned because they could not hear the baby’s heartbeat. When they told us the bad news at birth, I wanted to go home right away. It was so painful hearing the babies as they were brought to their mothers and knowing that I would not be getting Rachel. Jim made arrangements for me to hold her in the elevator because they could not bring her to the maternity ward. I wish we had a picture of her She was so beautiful! Losing our first child helped us to appreciate the four children we now have.
The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 113:9, “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord.” I believe there is nothing in this life that is more rewarding or fulfilling than being a mother, and having the blessed privilege of sharing the gospel with one’s children and teaching them from the Word important truths that could prepare them for life.
Choosing to be a mother, on the other hand, is choosing hard work. It is not a 9 to 5 job. Your work never ends –many times children wake you up from a sound sleep because of sickness. You also have the sibling rivalry to deal with, and the fighting. One of the hardest things in raising them is that you suffer with them over heartaches and problems they go through that you experienced when you were growing up.
Some of the greatest men in history were influenced by their mothers — Abraham Lincoln, John Wesley, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Robert E. Lee, just to name a few. Abraham Lincoln said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel-like mother” (stepmother). As believers we realize we can only say that about our Lord Jesus Christ. We as believers are equipped with everything we need to do our best. The Holy Spirit, the new nature, and the Word of God indwell us. The Holy Spirit acts on the new nature by the Word.
I listened to an interesting interview with Diane Sawyer and Katherine Hepburn. Katherine Hepburn has said quite frequently that she is glad she didn’t have any children because she would probably kill them. In this interview, she confessed she missed out on the greatest experience in life by not being a mother. She said the women she admires the most today are the women who stay home to raise their children.
I wish I had a copy of Barbara Bush’s speech to the women she addressed in college. She ended by saying, at the end of our lives even the most successful career woman will not be thinking of the most important business deal she accomplished, but of her family.
We have to remember never to give up on any of our children. My mother never saw two of her sons come to trust Christ, they were both saved a few years after her death. The only key that opens closed doors is love. “And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13) *