Motherhood as Spiritual Discipline

Many years ago, as I was interning, I asked the pastor if he thought it was a problem that my husband and I weren’t planning to have children. He assured me it wasn’t a problem, but then commented that a spiritual advantage to having children is gaining new insight into God’s love for us.

Now, as a mother and a pastor, I can see his point. And I’m not bashing anyone who chooses to be child-free, or who does not, for any reason, have children. I also believe that whatever understanding is needed will be granted, if you simply ask God. But motherhood does provide a pretty direct route to understanding certain aspects of God’s love for us.

I always had a sense of God’s strong maternal love for me – my most consistent mental image of God is of an infinitely large and beautiful lap. But now my understanding is at another level – I can well imagine how immense God’s love is, by comparing it to my own paltry emotions.

How has children or lack of children impacted your faith?