The Art of Being a Mother
Part 6 of 7
A Mother’s Magnitude
Things that measure magnitude.
An earthquake, a star, and a mother. What do they have in common?
In the past, an earthquake was measured on the Richter scale. It has been replaced by the “moment magnitude scale”, which is considered even more accurate. At any rate, an earthquake’s measurement is based upon the effect it has immediately as well as later.
The luminosity of a star is the amount of energy radiated from that star. By measuring the star’s magnitude, one can tell its distance.
Abraham’s wife – and her magnitude
Sarah was the wife of Abraham who lived long before Jesus came to earth. The measure of her magnitude affects the world today. She got tired of waiting for God to fulfill His promise to give them a son. She gave her servant Hagar to Abraham so they could have a son. You can read about it here.
After Hagar had Ishmael, Sarah grew to despise her. It affected everyone.
It affects us today.
Fifteen years after Ishmael’s birth, Sarah did have a son, and they named the child Isaac. Ishmael made fun of Isaac (I wonder where he got that attitude and that idea?!), so Sarah packed Hagar and her son up and told them to get out of her territory. (It’s in the story.)
Hagar left. God continued to watch after Hagar and Ishmael.
The descendants of Ishmael are many. Circumcised at the age of thirteen, Ishmael had twelve sons. While there is some disagreement as to his descendants, it is known that at least some, if not all of the Arabs today are descendants of Ishmael.
God still considers Isaac the first-born of Abraham. It is through Isaac that Jesus our Messiah came. Isaac’s descendants are the Jewish people, whom we also know as the Israelites.
Today, the effect of that decision made thousands of years ago by an impatient woman reaches across nations. Her outright rejection of Hagar and Ishmael affected their children and future generations. There is such constant tension between the Arabs and the Israelis today.
Who would have thought?!
A mother’s magnitude
We think that a little anger, cynicism, or bitterness won’t affect anyone else, but it does. We think we can keep things hidden, but our kids pick up our attitudes by osmosis. Before we know it, they’re mimicking us in subtle ways. Before we know it, the vibrations are continuing. Generations later, families continue to take sides when they don’t even know how the rift started.
There’s another way to affect your magnitude. The positive attitudes we have, a servant’s heart, and caring for others will reap in the lives of our children also. We choose.
As moms, we will make mistakes and we will have regrets. We’ll make splotches on the canvas of which we are trying so hard to produce beauty. We can choose to leave those splotches there or allow God to use them. He can change our mistakes and failures into something beautiful if we are willing to cooperate. It begins in the heart.
The magnitude of those mistakes and regrets can be redeemed as we make a conscious decision to choose heart attitudes that can affect the courses our children will choose. We will have a magnitude. We choose how that magnitude will affect others.
Our magnitude as mothers is our far-reaching effect.
There are 3 ways to affect our magnitude:
The things we do
The things we say
The way we pray