I’m a mama and I sit in the tension of it all; the fears, concerns, joys and celebrations. It is emotionally exhausting – this role of caring for and loving humans, isn’t it? Sometimes my brain is more tired than my body and I could cry in the corner while wondering if I am doing anything (just anything) right.
Moms plan for the best and fail with the worst. And we hide our failures because our world tells us to and then we self-implode because our bodies weren’t meant to be wrecked with burden. Our bodies and hearts were meant to rise with Christ.
But I can get lost when motherhood becomes my identity.
This special “Women in the Word” piece is written by Rachel Pereira. A mama who sits in the tension with us. She is upholding our role as moms while seeking our identity in Christ. Come close, friend. Let’s listen to her words and remember why motherhood is the reason, not the excuse for Jesus.
I can vividly remember sitting on the floor of the newly decorated nursery surrounded by Pampers and pacifiers. The tears flowed as I asked my husband, “What do we do with him now?” The thought of taking care of this little person, my son, seemed absolutely overwhelming. He didn’t wait long before announcing exactly what I needed to do next and as I changed his diaper, I knew that life would be different – forever.
As a somewhat wiser mom of three now, I can confidently say that caring for children is one of the uniquely hardest jobs a woman will ever have. Kids demand our attention at all hours of the day draining us emotionally and physically. Add to the chaos a job to help the family stay afloat financially and a ministry or two to further the gospel and we find ourselves over committed and drained. We are busy women.
Unfortunately, Satan uses that busyness as a foothold in our lives. When our schedule is packed to capacity something needs to give and the neglected item often becomes Bible study.
We use our motherhood as an excuse to skip our time in God’s Word.
As a homeschooling mom, I completely understand the difficulty of sitting down in a quiet room with a cup of coffee (especially one that’s still hot) to spend two hours studying a passage in its original languages, but we don’t live in the pioneer days. Most of us don’t have to churn butter, mend socks, and grind flour all while looking forward to our one church service in town on Sunday. We are incredibly blessed to live in the 21st century. There are podcasts and videos constantly circulating online that point our eyes back to Christ and His Word. One of my favorite Bible teachers has a podcast of her local Bible study. I can turn it on while I’m cooking dinner. My notes are covered in grease splatters, but I’m able to fill my mind with Scripture while doing daily tasks. My Bible app has an audio version. I can fold laundry or drive to soccer practice while meditating on God’s Word.
So why don’t we do it? Why do we devote our attention to a thousand lesser things? Why do I skip my time in the Word just to find myself once again spiritually weak and vulnerable to depression and self-sufficiency?
Could it be that we have simply forgotten the Message between the table of contents and topical index?
Puritan pastor, George Swinnock pleads with us to remember,
“O let this Book of books be often before you, and your meditation all the day! If you know and believe the contents of the Word, you would hardly ever let it out of your hand. You would lay it up as the tables in the ark, in your heart. God reveals his eternal good in it. It is the copy of his everlasting love, of which his eternal decree is the original. It contains his precious thoughts before the foundation of the world of redeeming miserable man with the blood of his Son, and making him an heir of the eternal weight of glory. These gracious and mysterious purposes of his, which were hidden in the night of many ages, have become visible to every eye in the Word of God. Here upon the stage of the Word, his grace and favour to mankind is fully displayed.”
The Bible and the beautiful news it proclaims is essential for handling the daily responsibilities and frustrations I face as a mom. Allowing the Word of Christ to dwell in my heart gives me wisdom and a gospel framework from which to face motherhood.
When my two boys argue about the last bag of chips, I am prepared to teach them of Christ our Brother who shares his righteousness with us.
When one phone call changes our plans from a fun family day into another hospital visit, I am comforted with the unfailing love of the Great Shepherd for me.
When I am tasked with the care of a toddler’s prized possession while she’s busy with other games, I am reminded to rejoice in the enduring inheritance that awaits me in eternity.
I simply can’t effectively parent without consistent time in Bible study. In other words, motherhood is the reason, not the excuse, to deepen my knowledge and love for the heart of God through His Word.