Motherhood is a very high and noble calling but it’s not meant to be a total fulfillment. There is only one Source who can be that for us.
I am all for encouragement. In fact, many have said they believe I have the gift of encouragement. But we need the hard words, too. I am most empowered by words that challenge my comfort. But there has been so much written on grace and “being OK with where you are”, that there was a time I lost sight of what the Bible really says. Because it’s NOT okay to remain where we are (Romans 6:4).
I am not speaking about perfection here. But reaching farther then we have been (and maybe you already do). I know I can reach farther. I know I can sacrifice more. I know God will fill in where I cannot reach, but I need to be willing to step out first.
I love Stacy McDonald and Jennie Chancey’s (aff) “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God” to challenge and motivate me. And I love all Sally Clarkson’s books for grace and gentle guidance when I feel like I’m emotionally “over it”. She certainly doesn’t sugar coat anything though. But she writes with complete understanding, having been through the same seasons we are going through.
I need to hear that I must die to self, not coddle my mistakes and embrace (i.e. be satisfied to walk in) my selfish state and chalk it up to, “We all sin. We’re all a mess.” Precisely. But we are still called to live better (Romans 12:1) and practice righteousness (1 John 3:7).
The Bible challenges us and gives us grace to fall into. We still need to die to sinful self (Romans 6:6). We still need to love well and control our emotions. We still need reject laziness and selfishness.
The balance of the command to live a life worthy of the calling of Christ (Eph. 4:1) and walking in His grace is knowing we obey Christ because we LOVE Him (John 14:15). It empowers me to embrace a better way of encouraging myself, as well as other wives and mothers, through His word.
God’s word commands us in the most deep way to let go of our old ways, but we often neglect that part of teaching. We make the mistake of thinking that grace is a free gift, but it will cost you your life. If we truly believe God’s word, we know this is true.
One cannot survive without the other. But I’ve been more apt to lean on swimming in grace and lacking repentance. I think we tend to skate over the fact (while nodding our heads) that motherhood requires sacrifice. Sacrifice requires that it costs us something and that it hurts.
Grace saves. And God’s word transforms (Romans 12:2).
The Repentant Mom
Repentance goes beyond being sorry. It’s a complete turn around and walking away from sin. It’s admitting when we’re lazy and taking the steps to kill that laziness. Not throwing our hands up and saying, “Welp. That’s just the way I was created. God knows my heart.” This is a complete lie. God did not create us lazy. But He certainly knows our hearts and they are wicked, above all else (Jeremiah 17:9).
We are not exceptions to God’s word. What we read in His word goes for us as much as the next person.
Moms, we need to stop with the excuses. I’ll list some of the ones I have used and maybe you can relate:
- I don’t read the Bible because I don’t have time
- I don’t read the Bible to my children because I don’t know what to read
- My children are misbehaving and I have every right to yell out of anger
- So and so is doing it and they are Christians
- I hate to cook (clean, plan, the schedule – choose one) so I’m not putting my efforts into that area
When we become a mom, we are called to mother. We are created to lean on the everlasting God to provide us with everything we need. But we must seek Him, not our own abilities nor coddle our inabilities.
I’m not saying to throw out grace. I’m saying to season what God’s word says about grace with the salt required to make it effective. Not only for our sake, but the sake of our children, whom we are called to train up in the Lord.
Motherhood should be more fulfilling then it is desperate. Seeking God and asking Him for wisdom tends to be a last resort for us as human beings. We believe we must do all we can first, before we come to God. The truth is, He wants us to come to Him first.
So what’s the secret to fulfillment in motherhood?
We need to go deeper with God in order for motherhood to be fulfilling.
Going deeper doesn’t mean cramming more Biblical head knowledge, it means doing what the Word says (James 1:22). If we think knowing God’s word alone will change us, we deceive ourselves. We need to walk it out. We need to lean in to the most important aspect of motherhood…and that is raising our children with a love and understanding of the Lord.
Are you willing to go deeper in motherhood?