I checked my lipstick one last time and adjusted my cute strappy heels. Getting dressed up for a night out was a treat for this jeans-and-t-shirt-wearing mom of preschoolers! My salesman husband was entertaining clients and their wives for dinner, and I looked forward to lively conversation that didn’t include detailed reports of somebody calling someone else “doodie breath” or complaining “he looked at me” over the mac and cheese.
Happily, I slipped into a chair next to another woman about my age and introduced myself. Her face lit up as she told me her name, and then she promptly asked me, “So, what do you do?”
“I’m a mom!” I shared excitedly.
“Ohhh, that’s nice,” she declared in her very best Judy Dench voice, before turning to the woman on her other side, both of them ignoring me for the rest of the evening.
That moment in time would forever be etched in my memory. It didn’t matter that, besides being able to sing all stanzas of “There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Spider” while cleaning up a diarrhea mess without losing my composure, I was well-read, a sharp conversationalist, keen on current events, and held a college degree. I was even wearing cute shoes, for crying out loud! The fact that I was simply another human being worthy of respect had escaped her. And worst of all, in her eyes, choosing to define myself as “a mom” held no value.
Sadly, often we are the ones who are the worst enemies of godly motherhood!
The explosion of Pinterest and Instagram tempts us to compare ourselves to unrealistic standards. Homeschool mommy blogs make us tired and nearly defeat us. We become obsessed with the seemingly urgent, but non-essential, cares of life. And often the worst day of the year is Mother’s Day, when well-meaning pastors extol the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman while we interpret the story as though her lifetime achievements were a daily checklist.
Jesus had a friend who struggled in similar ways, and we see her story in Luke 10:38-42. One evening, when he was invited to her home, Martha was worried and distracted with making sure all the details of her dinner party were in order, and she began to complain. “Don’t you care that my sister has left me with all this to do by myself?” she asked him.
Her sister Mary was sitting close to Jesus, hanging on every word of spiritual truth he had to offer. He replied to his dear friend, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
What words of wisdom for every mama today! Jesus, in using the phrase “good part,” made it clear that spending time with him, being attentive to his word, and not being distracted by the temporal cares of this world are what bring about an honorable, upright, excellent, and happy life. This is often so difficult, but here are some thoughts we must remember:
- As a mom, you are made in the image of God, infinite in value, chosen before the foundations of the world, and dearly loved by your Creator. God looks at your heart and measures your worth by what he has already done on the cross!
- As a mom, you are called to obey what Jesus told us are the two greatest commandments: to love God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Loving God means we will know and obey his word and seek to apply it to every aspect of our lives. Loving our neighbor means loving our children first, applying all the “one another” verses of Scripture as we build relationships with them.
- As a mom, you are called to rest in Jesus. He has a sovereign plan for each of you and your children, and he will bring it to pass in his perfect time! Like Martha, we are to stop worrying, fretting, and complaining and simply and fully trust Jesus!
Originally published in Family Magazine, 2015.