One of the Hardest Acts of Motherhood

Here are some fun facts about moms:

· There are 2 billion mothers in the world (82.5 million in U.S.).
· The average age of a new mom is 25 (versus 21 in 1970).
· Modern moms average 2 kids (1950s: 3.5 kids; 1700s: 7-10 kids).
· Moms change 7,300 diapers by a baby’s 2nd birthday.
· Moms take 2 minutes, 5 seconds to change a diaper
       (three 40-hr work weeks per year).
· Dads take only 1 minute, 36 seconds to change a diaper.
· Preschoolers require their mom’s attention once every 4 minutes
      or 210 times a day.
· Moms average 330 loads of laundry (5,300 clothes) each year.
· Who had the most children?   Mrs. Vassilyev of Russia gave
      birth to 69 children between 1725 and 1765. She had 16 sets
      of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quads!
· Who was the oldest mom? Omkari Panwar, a 70 year old
      grandma from India gave birth to twins after an IVF treatment.
· Who was the heaviest newborn?  Signora Carmelina Fedele
      gave birth to a 22 lb. 8 oz. boy in Italy in 1955.
· What is the one of the hardest acts of motherhood?  Release.    
In Exodus 2:1-3, we read a story about Moses’ and his mom’s decision to release him.  Pharaoh had made a decree: “Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live” (1:22).  Because of the decree of Pharaoh, Moses’ mother had to conceal him for 3 months until finally the pressure became too great, and she could no longer hide him.
The child Moses is described as a “fine child.”  In the New American Standard Version of the Bible, Moses is described as beautiful.  I have never met a mother who does not think her little baby is beautiful.  No matter how homely he or she might be, the baby is still the pride and joy of her life.  I am not implying that baby Moses was ugly—I’m sure he was a beautiful little baby.  Why would the author decide to include that detail?  What does that detail bring to the story?  I think this is what he was trying to teach us about the situation.  The hardest act of motherhood is to release your beautiful baby.  No matter how old your baby is, he or she will always be your baby.  It is never easy for a mother to give up her child.  Because her child is her most prized possession.   
When the time came to release her son, she was willing to.  I want you to think about the tremendous amount of faith it takes to release your child to God and allow Him to take care of your child.  She was willing to take a 3 month old baby and put him in a basket and place him in a river that is full of crocodiles and trust that the right person at the right time would come and then take him and care of him.  I have no doubt that this was a heart-wrenching moment for this mother. 
Release is needed in many different areas of our lives.  In many ways, life is all about release.  When we are able to release what God is asking us to release, we show a life that is obedient.  Moses’ mom had to release him at 3 months.  We, for the most part, get 18 years to do it.  Our oldest daughter is almost 8 years old.  She is at a perfect age because she can take care of herself and doesn’t really have a care in the world.  So, what if I was able to keep my daughter at age 8 and didn’t allow her to grow physically?  For the first few years, that might be okay, but after a while, it would be wrong.  Think about all the things that she would miss out on because I was not able to release her in certain areas of her life.  Many parents have a hard time releasing their children into the next phase of their life.  When you don’t, it is as if you are stunting their growth as a maturing human being.  Early in my pastorate, I met a man who was 37 years old who was still living with his mother.  He never dated, he just stayed home with his mom.  Now, there is something nice about a son taking care of his mom, but when I would go over and visit with them, after listening to the mom talk about her little boy, I thought that she was talking about her 8 year old son, when in fact he was 37.  She had never released him. And he was paying the price. 
One of the worst things you can do as a mother is to hold on too long.  Just think about what would have happened if Moses’ mom would have held onto her newborn and not released him to God?  He would have surely been killed by being thrown out into the Nile and eaten by the crocs.  After having a couple babies in our home, I can’t believe they kept Moses a secret for three months.  How did they cover up his crying?  My guess is that they muffled his voice or they tried to meet his need immediately.  But as a baby gets older, they get louder voices and that was probably their main concern.  They knew that if they didn’t act, they would be putting their son’s life in jeopardy.     
A mother either has the ability of making her children ready for the world around them, or scared of the world.  It is a beautiful sight to witness mothers who diligently make sure their son or daughter gets to their full potential and will do everything to make that possible.  A mom can help prepare her children to move on in life by teaching them certain life lessons.  Here are a few of them.
In Exodus 2:4-10, we read about how Moses’ sister Miriam was left to care for him and watch him in the reeds after his mother left.  What looked like a potentially disastrous situation turned out, under the providence of God, to be the means by which God could prepare Moses for the great challenge which was ahead. 
The basket was spotted by the daughter of Pharaoh who had come down to the river along with the servant girls to wash herself.  When she opened it, she saw Moses, and had compassion on him.  She could have reacted like her father would have and thrown him into the Nile to die.  But her heart loved the child immediately.  No doubt God was working in her heart. 
We are told that he was crying when she found him.  We do not know how long this took—whether it was a few hours or a few days.  Either way, Miriam the sister and mom and dad were probably wondering what would happen to their little guy. 
Somehow Miriam got to the Pharaoh’s daughter and asked if she would need someone to nurse the child.  This would not have been an odd thing to ask because there were many Hebrew ladies who had milk, but had no babies to feed because they were all being slaughtered.  Pharaoh’s daughter liked the idea and had Miriam find someone.  And guess who she found?  Her mom.  Moses’ mom. 
Just listen to this phenomenal turn of events.  Moses gets to go back to mom, will be protected by Pharaoh’s daughter, and gets paid for doing it.  Not such a bad deal.  When Moses’ mom gave him up, she didn’t know if he would live or die.  She couldn’t count on getting him back.  But she did get him back and it was even better than before since she would no longer have to worry about his safety, because Pharaoh would protect this little baby boy now.  And the family would benefit from being paid for nursing.  This was incredible.  God provides when we release our children! 
We are told that after Moses grew, Miriam returned the baby to Pharaoh’s daughter.  This might mean that when he was weaned, which would be from 2-3 years of age.  But it could also mean as many as 12 years.  Either way, Moses’ mother got him back when she let him go.  After he was released back to Pharaoh’s daughter, he went into training which would prepare him to release his people from Egyptian slavery.
When you release your baby, you’ll receive something in return that’ll never happen if you hold on.  Moses’ mom not only got him back, but she also got to see him mature as a little boy. 
Notice too, that this was not a clear-cut release and then never see him again.  It was a constant release of the child over time.  That is what often times happens with mothers today.  And it is hard.  It is as simple as releasing your child to go to kindergarten.  That is hard on many mothers.  Another is when your child graduates and officially becomes an adult.  Or maybe even the hardest one is when they decide to move away.   All of these moments are there to help the mother make the right decision to release the child. 
And yet, when you allow him or her to grow up to be their own adult, you are rewarded in a way that could not have happened if you would have held on.  Just consider for a moment this last line of verse 10.  Moses’ mother had no idea of the significance of water in Moses’ life.  As he was drawn out of water, he would control water.  She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
Years later as an adult he would part an entire Sea by the power of God.  Moses, which carries with it a water motif, is able to part the water.  He would be the savior of his people.  He would free one million slaves from Egypt and take them to the promised land.  And all of this was possible because of a mom who would let go and release him into God’s will for his life.  Would you like to be the kind of mom who lets go when she needs to?  If you have done a great job with them, you will be overjoyed at what you find out.  You will find that this little person you helped mold will make you very proud.  But you can’t be proud of them until you release them.  It really is one of the greatest gift you can give to your child. 
Some moms don’t want to release their children because they are afraid they’ll never come back.  But throw that myth out the door.  If this child felt any kind of love from you in their 18 years in your home, without a doubt, they will come back to you and show you love.  Lay that fear to rest.  Release them.  You will be so happy you did.
There are many rewards a mother will experience when she releases her child at the different stages of their lives, but maybe the greatest reward will be when she can sit back and realize the wonderful person her little one has become.  And guess what?  None of that would have happened without her releasing him or her to go out on their own. 
When an eagle first lays her egg, she sits on it and takes tender care of it.  Then the egg hatches and she takes care of the little eagle in her nest.  She gets food for it.  Meets the little eagle’s every need.  Until one day the eagle is ready for flight.  She pushes him out of the nest and he learns to fly quickly.  Unless she pushes him out of the nest, he will never learn to soar high up in the sky.  In the same way, until we as parents learn to release our children to do great things, we will never know what could be possible if we hold onto them too tightly. 

One thought on “One of the Hardest Acts of Motherhood

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