Motherhood: An Unassuming Currency

by Janae Zook June 21, 2024

Motherhood is often the sipping of lukewarm coffee. It’s the crunch of Cheerios underfoot. It’s washing dishes and waking to wash dishes…again. Mothering leaves us exhausted. We work around the clock, and the laundry is still half-folded. When we’ve left careers, trade promotions, and external achievements for more time at home, this discouragement is compounded by the fear of not keeping up. In a productivity-driven society, the work of the home lacks the same prestige and influence we gain in our careers. To the world, an emphasis on home is a waste of education and talent.

We can find great comfort in remembering that God invited Adam and Eve to join him in his care and cultivation of the world.[1] Part of that work of stewardship included building a family: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.”[2] This is astounding. In God’s design, our work is a partnership with God. Not only are we to tend to what already exists, but the Creator of all life asks us to be part of creating life.

Our unique role as mothers is one only we can provide—a role in which we were hand-selected by God. This calling is our greatest gift, our greatest currency toward the flourishing of our families. 

Generational Influence

God continues this partnership he began in Eden, choosing us—ordinary women—as conduits for his grace and purposes. We see this truth repeated throughout Scripture. Even in Eve’s rebellion, he chose to make her “the mother of all living.”[3] God’s promise of a Savior is fulfilled as Mary gives birth to Jesus. To this day, God calls us and positions us to make disciples. My heart soars when I read Paul’s words to Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”[4]  We should marvel at the profound influence our role might have on our children and grandchildren. God used Lois and Eunice to cultivate Timothy’s faith, whose ministry has had eternal significance throughout the ages.

Just as Genesis depicts God’s intimate hand in the beginning, so we see the intimacy in which God forms each of us in Psalms: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb…Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”[5]

This remarkable depiction of motherhood echoes the creation mandate and shows that God selects us to mother our children. It emphasizes that children are known by God and paired uniquely with us. We see God’s sovereignty, knowing our children’s days before they existed. In his wisdom and omnipotence, God wonderfully orchestrates the ages to determine our lives to meet those of our children. He guides our experiences, directs our relationships, and uses our trials to equip us for the work he asks, to prepare us for those he entrusts to our care.

Can we think of a lovelier calling than to be chosen to steward life, to have a position of influence and mentorship like Lois and Eunice? We point our children to God when confronted with defiance and guide their minds as they engage with the world. We create a home of beauty and culture, one of rest and life that displays the one who gives it. We have the privilege to show the girls and boys entrusted to us that their value is so great it demands the best of our time, intelligence, attention, skills, and affection. As God calls us to pass on our own “sincere faith” to our children, how can that be done without making them one of our highest priorities, by being the person most present in their lives?

Vocational Stewardship

My desire for career advancement pales when I remember God’s calling to steward my children’s lives and souls. He renews my vision for home when I remember Christ “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”[6] He didn’t come with the glory he deserved; instead, he overturned the expectations of the world. He set aside his rights to love his children. He endured the cross “for the joy set before him.”[7] His death displayed the greatness of his love and the riches of his mercy.[8] These treasures propel us forward through our everyday.

Our motherhood might look like spit-up-stained shirts and a toy-splattered house. It might be 1,000 dirty diapers and toddler tantrums. These aren’t tasks to complete or phases to endure; they are precious moments that teach us to depend on Christ, to serve another in every need, to calm a little sinful heart, and to say Jesus made a way to God.

Our lives must give our children the best of us so that we may disciple their hearts and display God’s love. We must remember this calling demands our physical presence. God’s pairing of us with our children doesn’t end after the newborn stage or the arrival of kindergarten. Mothers are called to a place of primary influence. God’s path to significance is often counterintuitive. He calls us to a life in his upside-down kingdom—a kingdom where the judge sits in place of the guilty, where the last shall be first, and where perhaps the overlooked, unpaid work carries the greatest currency of all.


[1] Genesis 1:26-31

[2] Genesis 1:28

[3] Genesis 3:20

[4] 2 Timothy 1:5

[5] Psalm 139:13-16

[6] Mark 10:45

[7] Hebrews 12:2

[8] Ephesians 2:4-6

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