Cease Striving, Precious Mom

strive

Motherhood is the greatest job on the planet. It is also the hardest. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually draining. Filled with sadness, joy, triumphs, losses, anger, frustration, laughter and wonder. Even with all of the great emotions motherhood brings, we, as mothers, still find ourselves feeling unworthy, like failures, and sometimes without purpose.  Motherhood is the most varied, exciting job, it can also be the most boring, I guess it just depends on the day! Motherhood is full of  REALLY crazy days, dealing with  tantrums, attitudes, dirty diapers, fingerprinted walls and messy floors. Feeling fat, frumpy and ugly. 

The reality is this; motherhood is a journey. A long journey that takes you up mountains, through valleys, down the rapids, and sometimes, very occasionally let’s you relax on life’s beach. Regardless of where it takes us, it is one of the most rewarding and gratifying journeys you could take.

You have to experience motherhood before you can truly understand the God given, deep, protective instinct that is within each of us. The mother bear awakens and she will never go back to sleep. We are strong, brave and will do anything to shield our babies. But even so, we still feel like we are not enough. But listen up Mom! I have great news! NOBODY has it all together all of the time. In fact NOBODY has it together MOST of the time. We will NEVER be enough. Doesn’t that kinda take the pressure off?!

Society has placed us under so much pressure to succeed in the career of motherhood, that we often set the bar too high and then have a hard time forgiving ourselves when we fail to reach it. If we work outside of the home, we try to justify why it’s necessary. If we stay home we have to prove that we are perfect and get everything on the list done so we can justify our not financially contributing to the family. Here’s the real problem! We ALLOW society to decide what a ‘good mother’ looks like. We try to meet the requirements our culture has set, in order for us to feel good about our motherhood, when really we should be looking to JESUS. What does He require of us? It’s pretty basic.

He requires this:

  • That we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
  • Teach our children His ways. Deuteronomy 6:5-11 
  • That we commit our ways to Him. Proverbs 16:3

In return He promises this:

  • He will give us rest, peace and wisdom & satisfaction
  • We will succeed.

What else do we really need? We need rest when times are crazy, we need peace when our nerves are shot, we need wisdom when our children are driving us crazy, and we need to feel satisfied that we are doing well. Why do we put ourselves under so much pressure to be perfect?

I know many of you may relate to the things written here. Outwardly you are successful in keeping up the appearance of togetherness and perfection, but inwardly you are crying out for someone to rescue you from the constant demands of your children and families. You constantly fail to live up to the expectations you have set for yourself. This is for those of you who are afraid to make your struggle known.  The Lord is saying to you, precious mom, “CEASE STRIVING! You are NOT alone.” God’s Word is full of wisdom and guidance, of knowledge and instruction. If we could only learn to cling to and hold on to His promises. His requirements are few, and His rewards are many.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all you (precious moms) who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

“Lord, help us as mothers, to come to You daily. Help us to look upon our children, not as projects or pests, but as souls given to us to raise in the knowledge of You. Help us to rest in your promise that you are there to carry our burdens and struggles. May we look to You for our value, and not allow society to steal the joy we should have in our children” – Amen

Are You a Hater?

Be-sure-to-taste-your-words-before-you-spit-them-outHate. Haters. Hate speech. All words commonly heard or spoken in our society today.

Any opinion, belief or thoughts contrary to our liberal culture is immediately branded as hatred. Especially if those thoughts come from Christians.

The Bible tells us to hate and also to love. We are to hate what is evil and cling to what is good (Amos 5:15). We are also called to love people, practice kindness and hospitality, even lay our lives down for others. So how do we, as Christians reconcile the two. Hate and love simultaneously?

The Bible NEVER tells us that we are to hate any person. Jesus came for ALL that are lost. Gave His life for EVERYONE! Not just a select pre-chosen few. But we ARE to hate sin, godless behavior and the things that separate people from relationship with Christ.

Through the years, I have often disciplined my children for using the word ‘hate’. It is such a strong word! “The only thing we should hate is the devil” I would say. However, as I’ve been thinking over the last few weeks and months about this issue, I wonder if I have taught them correctly. If our children grow up thinking that hating is wrong then how can they possibly have a biblical world view? We must teach them what and what not to hate.

According to God’s word we are to hate:

Evil – (Romans 12:9), Hands that shed innocent blood, Haughty eyes, Lying, A false witness, A person who divides, Feet that rush into evil, Robbery & wrongdoing. (Proverbs 6:17-19)

We are not to hate:

Our brothers (1 John 3:15) Our enemies (Matthew 6:43-45)

Pretty much sums it up, don’t you think? Hate the behavior (sin) not the person (God’s creation).

Our job is to call people out of sin. To hate it so much that we are compelled to pray for people to turn their hearts towards their Savior. We are to be uncompromising in our hatred of sin and love of the truth, but unrelenting in our love for others.

“Lord, help us to be a people that will call sin for what it is, but love the sinner unconditionally. Help us to love them asYou love them, and enable us to teach our children to do the same. Amen.”