The King James translation of First Thessalonians 2:7 reads: “But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children“. The word “cherish” is a verb meaning “to care for tenderly; nurture.” My children are learning verbs in grammar so they know that a verb is an action word. Therefore, we must show our love by what we do. And according to the Scripture mentioned above, one aspect of how we moms can show care for our children is to love them like nurses!
Personally, I find that concept astounding since, back in the day, I was a pediatric nurse! Considering the fact that I had human lives in my hands, I was required to be proficient and complete my tasks with accuracy and punctuality in order to keep the doctors on their schedule. But talking to my patients with consoling words and comforting touches also came along with the territory! Calming the children ‘s fears during their doctor’s visits, especially when we had to administer shots, draw blood, give breathing treatments or insert catheters, was a major part of my job responsibility. I mean, as good as my technical skills may have been in carrying out those procedures, nothing replaced a friendly bedside manner! And it was mandatory that I know how to do both well! Same goes for moms here. There is a lot to get done within our “pediatricians office” at home but our routine cannot override our relationship. We moms need to love them like nurses with equal doses of diligence and gentleness!
Serving in the medical field wasn’t a job I could just show up to, sit back and collect a paycheck. It required something(s) of me. Doesn’t love? Doesn’t motherhood? A nurse needs to have physical strength because there is quite a lot of lifting, turning and pulling on any given day. But more than that, nurses need mental stamina because this career field can be an emotionally taxing one, to say the least! Furthermore, had I not learned to absolutely love what I was doing, I knew I’d eventually hate my job! I found the same to be true with motherhood.
Both nursing and “mommying” demand a selfless, service-oriented posture where we embrace being overworked and underpaid. This calls for dedication from the nurse and devotion from the mother. Nurses and mommies lay down their lives for others, putting the care receivers above themselves. Sometimes it costs them sleepless nights or arriving at their “place of employment” under the weather because they know others are depending on them. As a nurse, I got sick days and paid time off. But, as a Mom? Rude awakening. The schedule and compensation package is… a little different. Without a doubt, mommyhood is a full-time labor of love! Oh, but the perks that don’t come in the form of bonuses and paychecks or paid vacations! Cuddles are silver and hugs are gold while sweet cards, “Mommy, I love you’s” and other such tokens of their appreciation are priceless gems! As a former nursing professional, I do not minimize the tireless hours that go into each and every shift. But, the 24/7 nature of motherhood is in a class of its own, isn’t it? Can you see motherhood is not just a job, but a calling? Not just a calling, but a high one? At what magnitude do we rate the stewardship of souls?!
In nursing, my patients were often treated and released. As mothers, our patients don’t stay with us forever, either. We only foster their souls for so long. With that in mind, I pray we shepherd our kids with integrity and upright hearts, as King David said so well! To shepherd young ones is no small undertaking! Moms may mend sick ones back to bodily health like nurses but we also go to the extent of tending to those soul wounds with compassion, prayer and encouragement. A nurse will push proper nutrition, and as informed Moms nourish their children’s bodies best by feeding them healthy foods, we likewise nourish their heart with the Word of God! We get to cover the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of the child while loving them like nurses!
As you ponder that, think also on this: in First Timothy 5:9 some widows were being considered for the list of care by the Church according to what good deeds they had done in their lives prior to becoming widows. One of the qualities mentioned in such a list was “being well known in the bringing up of her children”. Isn’t it interesting that the position of mother was so revered? Those who cared for others deserved care in return and were appointed just that! From reading the text, one would gather that the virtue of raising children spoke for itself in that day as one to be commemorated (by the Church at least)! And you, too, are accountable and eventually eligible to receive rewards for how you handled your Heavenly Father’s most precious possessions! The question then would be “Did you cherish your children loving them like nurses?”
In conclusion, nurses and mothers could easily be thought of together as angelic missions. And I wholeheartedly believe they are just that! Remember though, Mothers, you weren’t hired. You were called. And it’s a high calling. So, love like nurses who never clock out because that type of love shown will forever be known!