I based this post off of a disturbing trend circulating social media.
Across the internet, mothers around the globe are posting cute photos of them with their babies with the caption “I love my kids, but I miss her…” as pre-motherhood photos and videos of them smiling, dancing, and having fun play in the background. I’m sad to think what these thousands of children will think of these posts if they one day come across them in the future. The message from culture globally is clear: motherhood is alright, but life without kids is glorious…life without kids means fun, a beautiful body, and freedom to do the things that make you happy.
As Christians, we know this message is a lie. Scripture and influential Christians across history agree that children are a blessing from God:
“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.”C.S. Lewis
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;”Psalm 127:3-5
But we should be careful to think we are above believing the lies about motherhood we see online and in secular and Christian culture. So often we, too, treat our children as interruptions. Interruptions to the dream life, me time, ministry, career. We too often find ourselves giving our lives to our children resentfully, instead of joyfully and sacrificially. In Philippians 2, Paul encourages us to love others as Christ loved us:
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”Philippians 2:3-4
In our minds, we know we want to love our families as we see Jesus’ love in Philippians 2, but the whispers we hear from culture can be so enticing:
“I love my kids, but I miss…”
-my figure and toned abs
-being able to do all the things I used to
-staying out late with friends
-having a pristinely clean house (that stays clean)
-having a lot of time to do ministry
-being able to focus on advancing my career
-having extra income to spend on something besides diapers…”
How tempting it can be to sacrifice our children for what we perceive brings greater glory. I know in my own life I have loved the praise of men: “I’m an ICU nurse and saved a life!” “I’m a missionary discipling 15 women!”. These are good things, of course, but at the end of my life, will it matter more how many women I mentored and IV’s I successfully placed, or how I shepherded the souls God created within me?
As mothers, the Lord has literally given souls into our care. Will we trust Him and raise them to love and obey the Lord and glorify God? Are we modeling to them now what it looks like to live a life for God? Are we teaching them to love sacrificially, as Jesus loves us, through our actions today? Or will we be swayed by culture feeding us the lies that life before motherhood was better.
Do not give away the glory of motherhood for a cheap substitute. When we believe the lie that glory comes from the praise of the world, we ironically end up sacrificing something that brings far greater glory: laying down our lives for the life of another image bearer of God.
As our children grow, they will interact with thousands of people and have countless opportunities to impact the Kingdom of God. Lord willing, there will be generations of Godly men and women who come from them! The work you are doing, fellow mama, is good work. It is glorious work.