Rest: A Model for Mothers

Credit: Rehina Sultanova

As homeschooling mothers, we understand that life is full of comings and goings. Our weeks are crammed full of them. Community Day, Mock Trial practice, piano lessons, play date, a trip to the grocery store, then back again for the thing we forgot, soccer on Saturday, church on Sunday. Wash, rinse, repeat.

God has assigned to us the office of endurance. He made us creatures of stamina, equipping us for the long days and short years. Motherhood is a weighty matter, figuratively and literally. Whether we carried the weight of a child for nine months, or the waiting for one borne by another, we carry them forever. Except now they’re packaged with more accessories these days: the bag, the books, the toys, the devices, the fears, the attitudes, the humanness.

Humanness is in us, too. Our overtaxed minds and feeble bodies grow weary. Tired. Exhausted, even. Still we press on. That’s biblical — a mother’s service of worship. Let’s not infer, however, that work alone is in accordance with Scripture. Rest is biblical, too!

Our Creator rested — not because He needed to, but to model rest for His creation. The Ten Commandments decreed a Sabbath rest for God’s people. Christ — fully human as well as fully divine — rested, too.

On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side.” After dismissing the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And a fierce gale of wind developed, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling with water. And yet Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Mark 4:35-40

The storms raged, and Jesus Christ lay at rest. Unperturbed by the danger, unruffled by the distress of His sheep. Was it “selfish” of Him to rest? Was it “lazy” or “indulgent”? Of course not. Not only was rest necessary, it became a teachable moment for His disciples: trust in the Lord, not in the ship.

We get another glimpse of Jesus’ perspective on rest in Mark 6, just before He and His disciples feed 5,000 people with just a few loaves and fish. Jesus has sent out the 12 disciples to minister on His behalf. They went two by two, into the neighboring towns, to preach, cast out demons, and heal the sick on His orders. When they returned:

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’

Mark 6:30-31

Amidst all the demands of the people who needed Him, Jesus saw the need to withdraw with His apostles from the clamor of the crowd, to share the miracles they had seen, to break bread together, to sit in quiet with the Word Himself. Christ Jesus recognized the value of rest — for Himself and others.

If rest matters to the Lord, it should matter to us, too. Are we, as homeschooling mothers, following our Savior in this? Are we modeling rest, as He did, for our children?


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