The Imperfect Servanthood of Motherhood

I’ve been thinking about servanthood which may as well be a synonym for motherhood. The tasks of motherhood are tasks of service: making meals, refilling cups, cleaning spills, wiping butts, re-wiping the butts that were inadequately wiped. From morning to night, I am a servant. Too often though, I am a grumbling servant, a proud servant, a servant who doesn’t want to serve anymore.

Philippians 2 describes Jesus in three forms: God, man, and servant. As God, He had the right to demand to be served, yet He came as man so that He could serve us. He had every right to grasp, but instead, he surrendered. He had every right to demand, but instead, He gave. “Have this mind among you…” Paul says.

I’m praying I can become a more humble and joyful servant, but I’m also really thankful I don’t have to earn or prove anything. I’m thankful that the Gospel isn’t merely “Here’s Christ’s example. Go do it,” but “Here’s Christ’s righteousness. He did what you could never do for you.” I can never be the servant Jesus is, but I can pursue growth out of freedom and gratitude. We should want to serve better because Christ has served us…but we can also receive grace when we serve imperfectly because we have been so perfectly served by Him.

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