“Martha, Martha [Mother, Mother], you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
“As you go through your day, you are taking your child somewhere. Make sure it is to Jesus” (Melissa Kruger, Walking with God in the Seasons of Motherhood)
We have made motherhood about so many things. Our culture tells us constantly what it takes to be a successful mother. Any five-minute perusal of social media will confront us with various posts and articles of what we need to be doing as mothers, or worse, how we’re harming our children by what we are doing. Mothers are overwhelmed. I was never more aware of this until I became a mom myself. All of a sudden I was bombarded with decisions that would supposedly determine the health and well-being of my child – would I choose a natural birth or an epidural, nursing or formula, conventional medicines or oils, vaccinations or no vaccinations or an adjusted schedule of vaccinations, organic food or processed food, regular cleaning supplies or chemical-free living? And the list goes on and on. This probably sounds silly to many of you. I don’t know how much pressure people in generations past have felt on these issues, but in today’s society these voices can be deafening. For often it’s not just presented as another option; instead, it is presented as the right option. Choose wrongly and you will be harming your child. When I gave my daughter formula for the first time at 3 months of age, I was tired of the voices. I posted a list of things on social media that I had done, all of which I’d seen posts and articles strongly against (vaccinations, epidurals, processed foods, formula, etc.). My goal in doing this, and how I concluded that post, was to encourage moms to not worry about all those voices, but to listen to the One voice that truly mattered. The response was overwhelming. And it was from mothers… Mothers like me who were tired of all the voices telling them what they needed to be doing. Mothers who needed to be reminded of the truth that all those decisions, while not necessarily unimportant, are not what mothering is about.
The truth that Martha needed to hear in the Scripture passage quoted above is the same truth that we need to hear today, whether mothers or not. It is the same truth that we pass on to our children. We need Christ. We need His truth. We need to know what He says about mothering. We need to sit at His feet, let Him speak peace to our hearts and put all these other issues in perspective. The command Christ gives us is to follow Him, not anyone else’s list of a successful mother. Moms, what should consume my thoughts should be how to point my child to Christ, not whether or not I choose to give up nursing my child who’s struggling through feedings. In eternity, that does not matter. Let’s refocus. Let’s drown out those other voices when necessary with His truths, His priorities. Christians, let’s speak the beautiful words of Scripture to each other more than we speak our preferences about daily living practices. Let’s make sure to celebrate Christ and His work in our children’s lives and the grace He gives us mothers more than we celebrate the fact that we made a homemade meal with no processed foods. Oh, that the social media posts would be filled with encouragements of God’s sovereignty over our kids’ lives more than our perceived ability to control their health by the choices we make for them. Please hear me, I am not against all those issues mentioned above, but sometimes I’m afraid we’ve lost perspective. Our call above all others is to follow Christ and point others to Him.
To the mothers who have already raised their children, we need your encouragement. We need to know how you drew close to the Lord amidst mothering preschoolers. We need to know what Scripture passages spoke to you through difficult seasons of mothering, how you learned to give your children to the Lord when fears were overwhelming. To all women in the church whether mothers or not, we need your help in pointing us and our children to Christ and His sufficiency in life. May we together show the next generation that there is a Truth above all other ‘truths’ and a Voice above all other voices that truly is worthy of our complete trust and obedience.