As a wife and mother of 3 adult kids, my kitchen table was always the heart of our home. It was at this table where tears would fall, laughter would abound, growth evolved, dreams spoken yet to be lived, and love multiplied. It was an atmosphere full of aspirations and hope surrounded with the fragrance of God that Paul speaks about in 2 Corinthians 2:15 (NLT), “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.”
When we look at the word ‘mother,’ in Hebrew it is Am/Em which means ‘strong water-giver’ and the one who ‘binds’ the family together.
Every day we live we are given an opportunity, as mothers, to set our table and invite our children to sit at it. The atmosphere created here is what helps bind our families together in the love of God. We may not realize this truth, but we cultivate life-changing, God-inspiring examples every single day by exhibiting hope, love, grace, forgiveness and perseverance in our homes.
But what if we’re having a difficult day? What if the battle within us is causing the atmosphere in our home to be filled with anxiety and stress?
That’s where Jesus comes in. It’s not about being a perfect parent, because that will never happen. But it is showing our children the activated word of God living out and through our lives throughout the many difficult seasons of life.
I recall a particular time in my life being on the mission field and feeling overwhelmed. Learning a new culture that didn’t quite understand my ‘quirky’ personality left me feeling alone, while also struggling at that time with the battling depression my ex-husband was walking through. I found myself caving into the stress and weight of it all and it was then that I noticed it was affecting my responses to my children. My wake-up call was one particular day while buried in piles of laundry, sinking in the despair of emotions, my little 4-year-old daughter came up to me asking a question. In my response, I snapped at her. Something I had never done before. Startled by my reaction, she sadly walked away. Conviction hit me immediately as I crumbled to the kitchen floor. Tears streaming down my face, I asked the Lord to forgive me. I knew at that moment I was not cultivating the fragrance I wanted to create in my home.
Shortly after, I went to my daughter asking her to forgive me with the promise that I would not shatter her world in that way again. With the Lord’s help and strength, I held to that promise.
Everyday we live we will face battles; it is something from which we will never be able to get away from. We have an enemy that is trying to steal, kill and destroy us. But greater yet, we have a Savior who has given us every resource through the activated power of His Word to overcome.
The beauty of God is that while we are in the middle of a battlefield, He sets a table for us in front of our enemies, asking us to take a seat as it says in Psalm 23:5 – “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil, my cup runs over.” Psalm 23:5 NIV
Have you ever wondered why he prepares a table for us to sit at right in front of our enemy? Because it’s safe there with Him. His fragrance dissipates our circumstances as he so beautifully anoints our head with oil.
You see, the oil protects. It creates a barrier that stops the enemy in his tracks. The oil calms our unsettled emotions and removes fearful thoughts. He provides the very peace we are looking for.
So as a mom, we have been given one of the most influential positions in the lives of our children for them to learn the greatest example of who God is and it starts with the table of blessing that we create daily for them to come and sit. Ask Jesus today into the finite details of your daily life and allow him to change the atmosphere of your home just like the anointing oil he pours over our head, as you begin to cultivate the fragrance of God’s presence. . .one that is full of love, faithfulness, courage, joy, and everlasting strength.