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Motherhood is a role with eternal implications. Stop and think about your reaction to those words.
Do they make you roll your eyes as you consider that women have been doing this work for centuries? Or do these words weigh heavy on you – causing you to feel even more anxiety?
I say that motherhood has eternal implications because we are raising image-bearers, humans with eternal souls who are made in the image of God.
In his book, The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis says,
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
Is this how you view your children? Do you view motherhood as the work of raising image-bearers, immortal souls specifically crafted by God to display some aspect of His character to the world? Do your everyday actions reflect this belief?
One way we can raise image-bearers is by teaching children what it means to be created in the image of God and then living in such a way that proves you believe all people have intrinsic value.
In other words, I believe that our work of raising image-bearers is not complete unless we are actively demonstrating to our children the beauty of diversity.
“…while each of us is fully in the image of God, none of us can fully reflect and represent God alone. Instead we reveal the nature of God together, and as a result, we also find identity together.” Hannah Anderson – Made for More: An Invitation to Live in God’s Image
Implications of Raising Image-Bearers
My oldest son does not look like me and has already experienced racism in his short life. This breaks my heart, as it should, but it should also bring me to lament for a bigger reason than just his experience. Treating others badly or differently demonstrates a poor view of God and His creation. Racism is a sin against God.
We must raise our children to see the intrinsic value in all people, giving glory to God for His creation.
This starts with ourselves.
1. Listen to others and value their words
- Listen to and respect what your children say. Reach out to others in your church with different experiences to hear their opinion. Always measure everything to the truths of the Scripture, but that doesn’t mean you dismiss the words of others.
- Study the Bible to learn more about what it means to be created in His image and how that should change the way you act. Read from a diverse range of authors.
- Pray for the church globally, learning with your children more about the needs of the church in other countries and cultures. Confess your own sins of prejudice, racism, apathy, etc. Pray for peace and justice. Pray for those in your church who may feel scared or angry.
- Call out the sin of treating others as anything but immortal souls made in the image of God. Vote for those who see the value of each person. Create a Christ-centered home that genuinely celebrates the beauty of all of God’s creation.
Resources for Raising Image-Bearers
Little Image-Bearers: “The first season of Little Image-Bearers is seven episodes long, and covers the following biblical concepts: being made in the image of God, intrinsic value, self-worth, aiming for the mark that God has set before us, knowing God as our Creator, right and wrong, having a standard for our choices, and valuing what is on the inside of a person. Though the series is simple, it is designed to have a calming and peaceful effect on children while sharing the powerful truths of God’s Word.”
- I had the privilege of receiving a copy of this DVD to review. Although the episodes were a bit lacking in diversity, they teach sound Biblical truths that you can use for great discussion opportunities with your little ones. Both my toddler and preschooler were engrossed in this Mr. Roger’s Neighbood-esque show and were eager to recreate the DIY project featured in each episode. If you aren’t sure what it means to be an image-bearer or are unsure how to teach the concept to your children, this is a must-have resource.
God’s Very Good Idea by Trillia Newbell: “Everyone you see if different than you, and the same as you. We look different, speak different and play different – but we are all valuable. That’s because, in the beginning, God had the very good idea of making us that way. This is the story of his idea – and how you can be a part of it!”
- This children’s book specifically tackles the ideas of diversity and racism but in light of the fall and the Gospel. Newbell calls out treating others badly as sin, talks about the need we all have for a Savior and celebrates the current diversity within the church and the future diversity in Heaven. This is one of my favorite books in our children’s collection as it so simply conveys the Gospel message. The illustrations are fun, engaging, and include images of a diverse range of people.
Other Recommended Resources
Look for books with characters of other races, that celebrate different cultures, and are written by authors who may look different than you. Here are some of our favorites.
Let’s Talk About it
Were you raised to view yourself and others as image-bearers? What does your church do well when it comes to teaching this truth? What can we, as the church globally, be doing better?