An unfortunate discovery I had two years ago, just minutes after publicly announcing my pregnancy, was that the “mom wars” I’d vaguely heard of were absolutely real. I imagine every mom reading this, unfortunately, knows this to be true as well.
While it’s arguably the best time yet to be a woman in America, us moms have yet to escape the pressures and judgments that come along with whatever choices we make for ourselves and our families.
I find there’s a constant pressure to be more. There’s this nagging voice that frequently says what I’m doing and how I’m doing it isn’t good enough.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this pressure is largely from within. I frequently struggle with the internal dialogue that says I should somehow do more/be more/make more money than I do – that voice likes to point out that, no matter what, what I’m doing isn’t sufficient.
It boils down to confidence and contentment, and it seems my battle for contentment is one that I have to fight in each new stage of life I’m in.
I know this certainly doesn’t ring true for most women, but truly, for my entire life I’ve looked forward to being a wife and mother, and nothing else has interested me as much as fulfilling those roles. Yet I hear the world telling me that, as a mom, I should do more than “just be a mom” (a phrase I’d like to never hear or think again).
And somehow I got to this place of thinking that “just” being a mom isn’t good enough or important enough.
I recently (finally) turned to scripture to see what the Lord says about motherhood and this debate of its importance. And this is just a brief highlight of what I found…
As early as Genesis, God speaks about taking care of families.
“Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” -Genesis 18:18-19
Abraham was chosen to lead his loved ones in “the way of the Lord.” I love that he was chosen, just as God chooses us to parent each of our children. It is not an accident that we are their mamas.
Ephesians 6:4 states:
“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
It is our role as parents to lead our children in a genuine relationship with the Lord, to love and honor Him.
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” -Psalm 37:5
“Train children in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not part from it.” -Proverbs 22:6
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” -Deuteronomy 4:9
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. -2 Timothy 3:14-15
From day one, we have the privilege of teaching our children about God’s way. This is God’s instruction for us as parents.
“For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commended our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them – even the children not yet born – and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands.” -Psalm 78:5-7
In the big picture, we will leave our children with an inheritance, which in itself is Biblical. While finances have their place here too, I mean that we will leave a legacy for our children in the path we chose to lead them down and the love that we chose to pour on them. And for me, that really puts things into perspective. It’s not even a matter of whether I work out of my home or primarily in it, it’s a matter of my priorities…making my husband and my child(ren) are valued most, always. It’s making sure that I do all I can to ensure my child always knows he’s unconditionally loved and cared for, by his parents and, most importantly, by God.
“One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” -Psalm 145:4
Parenthood is exactly where God has placed us, and He is entrusting us with His children – to love them unconditionally, shower them with grace, do our best to be an example of His love to them, and know that no matter what we do or don’t do, God is sovereign.
And after reading and praying over the many, many passages, I was led to this revelation:
Motherhood is not in the way of living out the gospel.
Raising a faithful family is a central part of the gospel.
My mission field right now is motherhood.
So whether I’m working 40+ hours a week outside of my home or working full-time in it, God has placed this child in my life with intention, with love, and with trust. Our family is my first ministry.