It was a cool fall afternoon. A precious friend had taken time out of her busy schedule to stop by for a visit. It was a refreshing break from our daily responsibilities to relax, drink coffee, and talk.
She is the mother of 3 children, ages 7 and under. I listened as she honestly shared about the challenges she faces in her season of motherhood. As the conversation continued, we began to evaluate the popular message that many are adopting as their philosophy of motherhood.
- Follow their dreams
- That there is more to life than this
- That life should be an adventure
My friend shared how she once whole heartily followed this popular message and that it actually affected how she viewed her children, “Gina,” she said, “when I had that perspective on mothering, I was frustrated and discontent. I yelled at my children all the time, because I resented them. I was encouraged to hear her share how God is changing her attitude towards her children. Yes. Being a mom is still hard for her, but she has a new perspective. God is changing her and giving her a fresh and different motivation for serving her children.
Our first reaction to life when it is challenging is often to look for an escape. We can be tempted to question our circumstances, asking God if this is what He really intended. If we are not careful we will then try to justify a message that allows us to shift into a way of living that makes everything seem easier, rather than pressing in closer to God and experience His grace and power where we are weak. When it comes to our philosophy of motherhood, if we embrace the wrong message, families are weakened, loyalties are divided, and we become even more tired, stressed, and frustrated than ever.
Like any other season, the season of mothering small children is temporary. And if we spend that short amount of time being pulled in multiple directions, we will miss out on the few moments that God intended for us to be there to live the gospel and nurture our relationships with our children. No matter the season of life you may find yourself in, your calling is the same. God’s Word tells us that we should observe and emulate the life of Jesus
- He was compassionate. Matthew 9:36
- He was focused. He had a mission and didn’t get sidetracked.
- He was a servant. Mark 10:45
- He was kind and selfless.
- He was submissive to His Father’s will when He came to earth knowing he would eventually be sacrificed on the cross. He knew that dying on the cross was the only payment His Father could accept for our salvation. Matthew 26:39
- He was obedient to the Father’s will. Hebrews 5:8; Hebrews 4:15.
- He was intimate with His followers, spent time with them, taught them, and helped them focus on what was eternal.
- He was intimate with His Heavenly Father. He prayed to Him regularly, listened, obeyed, and cared about God’s reputation.
Sacrifice. Losing our own lives for the life of another. Finding fulfillment in Him alone and being conformed to His image. Imitating Jesus. That is how Biblical motherhood should look. And if we are faithful to our calling in the early years, God works in us a depth and a closeness to Him that will be used to carry us through the seasons yet to come, and bring the most glory to Him.
If you have the privilege of being a mom, your calling is to put certain things on hold (like careers, or giftings) or scale way back TEMPORARILY, in order to invest in the mission field of home and children. This life is not an “adventure”, but should be a daily, living sacrifice. We don’t need to “find ourselves”, but to find God in our daily living. Death to self is what we are called to, even death to some of our own desires for a season, in order for God to accomplish what He wants to in our lives and the lives of our children.
- Can I take the philosophy of motherhood that I am living, hold it up next to the example of how Christ lived his life, and find they look the same?
- Is the philosophy I am living consistent with what the scriptures tell me my life should look like in light of the gospel?