Ah, mercy. We need it and take it. We want to show it, but it’s one of the more difficult actions to practice. Mercy defies human logic and justice that says “they deserve punishment” and instead says “you are forgiven” with no strings or conditions attached.
Mercy is the heart of our heavenly Father. It should be the heart of the mother as well. How do we show mercy in motherhood?
Reasons to Show Mercy
Jesus told us, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:36 NIV) Our reason to be merciful is summed up in this verse. He shows us mercy so we should show mercy to others.
God is merciful to us.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.Micah 7:18 NIV
God doesn’t just show mercy to us because it is a part of His nature, but He has “delight” in showing mercy to us. He pardons our sins when we ask for forgiveness and “his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime.” (Psalm 30:5a NIV)
Who is a God like this? One that is worthy of our total adoration, praise, and complete devotion. A God that we should seek to obey to the fullest without hesitation.
God commands us to be merciful to others.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.Micah 6:8 NIV
Obedience to God’s word is a hallmark of a follower of Christ. He has commanded us to “love mercy.” This means that we uphold mercy in the highest regard. We look for ways to show mercy and honor our Lord in doing so.
Mercy produces mercy.
2 Corinthians 4:1 NIV
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
Through God’s great mercy, we have a ministry to reconcile others to Him. It starts in our homes, Momma. We teach our children about God’s love and mercy as we pour out our mercy on them.
We minister outside our homes in the same manner. We live as women of mercy who, “love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:35-36 NIV)
We can not lose heart regardless of the behavior of our children or others. Our inspiration is that God is merciful to us and has called us to a ministry of mercy and empathy toward others.
Scriptures on Mercy
There are over a 100 scriptures about mercy. This is by no means a complete list. These are scriptures to help emphasis the points made previously on why we show mercy and to lay a foundation for how to show mercy in motherhood.
- Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. Psalm 57:1 NIV
- For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6 NIV
- Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7 NIV
- Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Romans 12:1 NIV
- he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, Timothy 3:5 NIV
- Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NIV
- Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:10 NIV
- Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 22-23 NIV
How to Show Mercy in Motherhood
We have our reasons to show mercy, but I thought that some practical examples might help me put it into practice. I hope it does you as well. I have prayed and taken other suggestions on these. I’d love to hear if you have any other thoughts, in the comments.
1. Pray for Mercy
- Our first step is to thank God for His mercy in our lives and to request more mercy.
- The second is to ask Him to help you be a wife, mother, and friend full of mercy. You can refer to the prayers below for help.
2. Study Scriptures on Mercy.
In order to fully understand what God expects from us, we must understand His mercy. Mercy means He did not give us what we deserve. (Sin = Death, Romans 6:23) I have given you a list of scriptures on mercy, but here are some longer passages to study in relation to mercy.
- Deuteronomy 13
- Matthew 9:1-13
- Matthew 18:21-35
- Romans 9:6-29
- 1 Timothy 1:12-17
- James 2:1-13
3. Look for Ways to Show Mercy.
Children provide multiple behaviors that allow us to show mercy. But, mercy is not just us overlooking disobedience. We still call it out, correct with scripture, and let them know that we are showing mercy.
For example, my youngest daughter is super loud. I have asked her to control herself or leave the room if she can’t be quiet when the other kids are working. Instead of punishing her, I chose to let her know that she is being loud after being asked many times, read scripture on respecting others, and then said, “I want you to go to your room and play now. I will not punish you this time but I am showing your mercy.” I used it as an opportunity to explain God’s mercy.
Please don’t misunderstand, many behaviors require consequences because they are harmful or severe. And, again, we never overlook a bad behavior, but many times this kind of reproach sticks with them and teaches them more about our Lord.
How to Pray for Mercy
These are sample prayers based on scripture to help us get started praying for mercy.
Prayer for Mercy.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. Psalm 6:9 NIV
Lord, thank you for hearing my cry for mercy. I need your mercy in my life when I sin against You. Have mercy on me and forgive me. Help me to stay on your path of righteousness. Teach me from your word how to obey. Lord, accept my prayer for mercy. Amen.
Prayer to be Merciful.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7 NIV
God, I want to be merciful like You. Give me a heart that easily forgives and has compassion on others. Help me to not be spiteful, vengeful, angry or hurtful with my thoughts, words, or actions. Rather, show me how to in love, mercifully treat others they way you have treated me in my sin and shame. I want to represent You well and be blessed for my mercy. Amen.
Prayer for Mercy in Another’s Life.
Be merciful to those who doubt; Jude 1:22 NIV
Heavenly Father, you know ____________ is doubting your mercy. Please reveal Your love and mercy through Your word and the power of your Holy Spirit. I want them to know You more. I want them to feel the weight of their sin and the goodness of Your mercy. Work in their heart and life for their good and Your glory. Amen.