Someone asked me recently, “If you could say one thing to women, what would it be?” My response was, “You need the gospel more than you think you do.” This sounds rather trite, like something we’ve heard over and over before. But it’s the truth.
It took motherhood for me to realize just how much I need the gospel. Before I had children, the gospel was like viewing a tower in the fog. I knew the gospel, understood its importance, but I didn’t see the impact in all its fullness. The details were hazy and its beauty shadowed. But after becoming a mom and taking on its package of responsibilities and challenges, I have begun to see the gospel with more clarity. It has become for me the tower of refuge that it is.
Gospel in the Everyday
Parenting has helped me understand and love the gospel at a deeper level than I had ever known before. I see traces of the gospel story every day in the things I encounter as a mother. Each time I confront sin in my children, I see my own sin reflected back at me and I am reminded of my great need for a Savior. When I work with my children on yet the same issue again and again, I see God’s patience in how he handles my own ongoing struggles against sin. When my child wanders off in a crowd and I can’t find him, I get a glimpse of the Father’s love for me and remember the lengths he went to make me his child. And as I pray with my children through their tough circumstance, helping them see the gospel’s relevance, I experience anew the refreshing and cleansing work of Christ’s death in my place.
In Christ Alone
The hymn “In Christ Alone” captures the main lesson I have learned through motherhood. My hope and strength are really found in Christ alone. I need Jesus. I need his gospel every moment of every day. For it is the gospel which tells me that because of what Christ accomplished for me at the cross, I can bring my sins, failures, and weaknesses to his throne of grace in confidence and find the help I need (Hebrews 4:16). It tells me that while I am utterly sinful, even more than I think I am, the Father loves me with the same love with which he loves his Son. It tells me that because Jesus lived a perfect life, God looks at me and sees Christ’s righteousness. He sees Christ’s perfect love for others, his perfect patience, grace, forgiveness, and forbearance, and not my sinful reactions, grudges, and selfishness. It also tells me that because Christ freed me from slavery to sin, I am free to live for him.
When I view my daily parenting challenges through the lens of the gospel, I see Christ’s love and grace for me. When I fail as a mother, the gospel reminds me of the forgiveness Christ purchased for me. This truth sustains and strengthens me. As I trust and rest in what Christ has already done for me, I am empowered to face every challenge motherhood throws my way because the gospel is my tower of refuge.
Jesus said that we need to abide in him because apart from him, we can do nothing (John 15:5). Parenthood has revealed this truth to me in so many ways. I can do nothing apart from the gospel, including parenting. It may sound trite, but it’s true: I need the gospel more than I think I do — every single day.