I’ve been thinking lately back to the days when I was a new Mama. Thinking about all the decisions that filled my days and quite frankly, stressed me out. When I brought our little boy home from the hospital it was up to me to get him fed, diapered, rested, and loved on. Sounds easy enough? But I was a first time mom. So I racked my brain over whether or not I should breast feed or bottle feed? Demand feed or parent-directed feed? Rock him, or let him cry it out? Introduce solids early or later? Vaccines? Organic? Scheduled? Baby Wise? Dr. Sears? The choices seemed endless.
And the decisions did not end in the infant stage. The months went by and I had to decide on discipline, when to potty train, when to send them to school, IF I was going to send them to school… Motherhood for me has carried this constant weight. And if not to make the decision making even more complicated, every one and their mom seems to have an opinion about what’s best, what’s biblical, what’s most beneficial for their child, what’s most beneficial for their family. It can all quickly become exceissively overwhelming if I let it.
And often times I can become so wrapped up in my own opinion that I alienate other moms, who, just like me, are trying to raise their kids in a godly, biblical way. And there have been several occasions when I've chosen to feel hurt by other people's passionate opinions about how I should or shouldn't raise my own children. Because although we as women can truly bless one another with our words, we can also easily crush with our words.
I’m only six years into this thing called motherhood but recently I’ve discovered something that has changed everything for me in terms of being a mom.
Like so many moms in the body of Christ I want to raise my kids biblically. I want to spur my kids on in the truth of His Words, because His Words are truly the only ones that will lead my kids into a truly abundant life. And as I have searched His Word, I haven’t found much on bottle verses breast, or home-made verses store-bought baby food… but what I have often come back to is this…
I know that it may seem that I’m completely taking this verse out of context but I truly believe that it’s such a freeing verse for mothers everywhere who love God and want to raise their kids to love and serve Him.
I’ve met grown kids who have grown up on cloth diapers and breasts, organic foods and attachment parenting ideals, who now as adults, have a true passionate love relationship with Christ.
And I’ve met equally as many grown kids who have grown up on disposable diapers, store bought food, and schedules who have grown up to passionately serve their Savior as well.
I ‘ve met those who have grown up in the public school who love Christ fervently (myself included in that bunch) and those who have been home-schooled who serve Him with their lives.
But when all is said and done at the end of each of our days, the one thing that matters above all these decisions to be made... is our decision as Mamas to live by example in a genuine, raw, honest, deep, humble, fervent and passionate love relationship with our Savior. Twenty years from now, how we fed them and what we put on their little bums that first year of their lives, is not going to be at the forefront of our minds. But what should be at the forefront from day one until they die are the matters of their hearts. Twenty years from now, are they going to be confident in who Christ made them to be? Are they going to trust in their Savior so deeply, so freely, that they're eagerly willing to lose even their very lives for the sake of the cross?
I don't want to discredit the importance of the daily decisions that we have to make when raising our kids. It's a great thing to feed our kids healthy, to love on them often with a tender mama's touch, and to help them get into good habits for a joy-filled life. I simply want to be mindful in my own heart of not using those non-kingdom issues as as a means of dissension amongst other sisters in Christ.
I can remember several nights that I agonized over hurtful words that were said to me in those early days of mothering over non-kingdom issues.
And in the same breath I want to humbly confess my pride in expressing my own opinions throughout the years that although unintentional then, I know now might have hurt hearts. Diapers are not a Kingdom issue. Leading little hearts to God is a kingdom issue.
If I’m going to get together with other moms and talk about my kids, my hope is that we will spend hours filling one another up with the truth and godly wisdom that comes only from His Word. My hope is that we would encourage one another towards Him rather than tear one another down about things that won’t matter in eternity. My desire is to be the Mama who encourages other Mama’s to make all their decisions solely for the glory of God.
I have never known my God to be one who made all his children the same. He created us all differently with different desires and talents. But the one thing He put in EVERY single one of us, is a need for Him. We were made to worship Him. That’s it. That’s the whole of Motherhood. Learning to worship Him in such a way that it becomes contagious and our kids can't help but want to know Him too.
Motherhood is a refining process towards Him. The reason He puts those treasures in our womb, and in our lives, is not so that we can show off how cutely dressed they are, or boast on how well behaved they are, but instead, so that through our day in day out life with them, we might become more like Him.
And through our daily dance with our own sin and His mighty redemption and glorious grace, our life with Him might be so full that it could splash out of our own hearts and into the hearts of our treasures.
By His grace may I be the kind of friend, sister in Christ, and Mama that loves Him with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul... and through that love... learn to love my neighbor way more than I love myself.