“And thanks moreover to God, always leading us in triumph – us in Christ and the fragrance of the knowledge of him making manifest through us in every place. That we are the sweet smell of Christ to God in those being saved and those perishing. Indeed to one an odor out of death to death, and to one order out of life to life. And to these things who is sufficient? For we are not like the man peddling the word for profit, but as out of purity, as out of God being witness we speak in Christ.”
2 Corinthians 14-17
Children are potential undeveloped waiting to be cultivated. Mothers are gardeners who take an active stance towards the change of their children. They guide them to flourish and blossom. Gardeners are ones who rearrange and dig up with purpose. This is the pattern of the life of a mother. One of creativity, assertiveness, and care.
Gardening takes the physical material of the soil that it might produce food (Tim Killer), as mothers care for the essence of their child’s God given soul so that they might produce fruit.
This sweet smell Paul speaks of is the result of a personal indwelling knowledge of Christ. The word he uses means “a sweet smell or fragrance.” This word was often used in the Greek septuagint as a sacrificial term. This sweet smell of the work we put forth because of our knowledge of Christ is a pleasing sacrifice that God smells and is pleased with.
Walking past a garden, one cannot help but notice the pleasing smell of that gardener’s labored work. This is the work of the believer before the world and creator of it. Our lives, specially the labored work of motherhood, is a sweet smelling and pleasing sacrifice to God because of the smell (literally “odor” in the greek) of the knowledge of Christ diffused throughout our lives.
The efficiency a mother has because of her knowledge of Him becomes a fragrance and a pleasing sacrifice of satisfaction to God. The fragrance of her knowledge of the Lord that she bestows to her children through her actions is pleasing to the Lord. The consistent presence a mother chooses to have in her children’s life is equivalent to the continued presence of a fragrance of a garden that has been carefully tended. She is not one who peddles the word of God for physical profit, but speaks truth continually into the lives of her children because of the worth of the children knowing the gardener of their souls.
A mother is a constance fragrance in the lives of her children as she speaks of her knowledge of Christ because of her earnest desire for her children to flourish according to their God given nature.
“To take up work that we can do well is like cultivating our selves as gardens filled with hidden potential; it is to make the greatest room for the ministry of competence.”