"older women likewise, that they be...
teachers of good things- that they admonish
the younger women to love their husbands,to
love their children... that the Word of God
may not be blasphemed."
~ Titus 2:3-5
IS THIS NORMAL?
Recently a friend emailed me to ask my opinion on a popular article. Several people had sent the article to her because they thought it would be an encouragement. It was not.
In the article a young mom was rolling her eyes at the older women who tell her to embrace this season of motherhood because it is in fact hard! She recounts that at the moment one of the older set was encouraging her to enjoy this season her kids were out of control in the store.
One was missing. One was bothering another shopper who was trying to pay for their purchases. And one was eating a lollipop off the ground and had damaged store merchandise.
We are meant to chuckle along and say along with her- yep. That's normal.
Friends- that should not be normal. A bad day- sure. A sign that training needs to happen at home- absolutely.
But not a normal part of the climb.
|Grandma Donna with Tom and the girls|
MOTHERHOOD IS NOT A 9-5 JOB
We are supposed to be encouraged by the author's "realness" and agree that the goal is to simply survive each day like anyone else at a 9-5 job. In fact, my heart goes out to her. As you know, motherhood is nothing like a 9-5 job.
God has placed in our arms children who will last forever. And He expects us not just to hold on to our talent but to multiply it.
I do trust that the author's intentions are good. She wants stressed out moms to be relieved from the shackles of those who are telling them they should be enjoying this season- because she is struggling. And she has a couple of good points.
Foremost, motherhood is real work. No "working woman" should be able to outwork us. We work unto the Lord and we have a much higher calling than someone just punching a clock.
Conforming ourselves to the discipline of raising and disciplining others is not always pleasant at the moment (Hebrews 12:11). We may have been used to great freedom and indulgence. As we put our flesh to death it can be difficult. But we must have a vision of we are moving toward.
Our pain should not be the result of daily neglect in training but because we are on the front lines of a spiritual war. We are the ones raising up a generation of warriors and reformers who will champion the principles of God in their time.
No, people don't approach our husbands and encourage them to "enjoy" their work because we all know there is a world of difference between the two types. One is necessary for daily bread. One is eternal.
|Grandma sittin' pretty|
THE YOUNGER MOM VS. THE OLDER MOM
My concern when reading any "real" rant is the fall out. In this case, as sweet older ladies approach younger moms, a new "us" and "them" mentality has been forged.
We have been encouraged to shake our heads at their "lack of memory" and assume these women have early onset of Alzheimer's disease rather than good, old fashioned wisdom that they learned while making the climb themselves.
Hopefully, if you are a younger mom you will seek out those more seasoned, godly women and as them- - how?
How do I train them and have some order so that I don't just feel like I am surviving or that I can't even take them to the store?
The truth is, those older women in your church (and maybe even at your local Target) do not have amnesia- but often life experience and wisdom.
|Hailey enjoying down hill sliding at Uncle Ted's|
PUTTING DARKNESS ON DISPLAY
I can say in all honesty that I am not trying to pounce on anyone specifically- not this author or the moms who chuckled at her story, but I simply want to encourage us to think through this issue of putting "realness" on display and it's implications.
It has become so very popular to blog about our sufferings, our annoyances and any other gritty "realness" we can get our hands on. Those who have done it can tell you that their readership has increased exponentially. We are encouraged to share "inner darkness" to encourage others.
But we must ask- encourage them to do what?
If we are encouraging others to: meditate on Scripture and grow in Christ; to have a vision for this important season; to deny self (aka our natural bent) and take God at His Word; to embrace the biblical role of keeping our homes and expanding our husband's vision and the like, then we are on the right path.
However, if we are encouraging women to simply embrace their inner slob; do what feels right at the time; to disregard discipline or the needs of their family. Or to simply gain popularity. I would warn that we are on dangerous ground.
Yes, real life drama and putting darkness on display has become very popular-- and as readers we are called to a higher level of discernment.
|Tom and his brother Ted supervising kids-- in short sleeves! Brrr...|
"We need to be careful lest our eagerness to expose our inner darkness becomes an exhibition or even a celebration that will gain for us an acceptance with those who really do love darkness rather than light.
The man who resolutely turns from darkness to light will not have much popular support. The truth teller, as Socrates predicted long ago, will have his eyes gouged out. So it has been. So it will always be... "
|Michaela boarding down little hills- go Kayla!|
"We don't gouge out eyes nowadays, not in civilized society.
We merely tell the man who turns from the broad road to the narrow that he is hung up, not in touch with his feelings, a do-gooder, a party pooper, holier than thou--any label that will exonerate the rest of us of the responsibility of being Christ-like."
|Our newest sweet niece, Bethany Kathleen|
God's Word is like a screen door. It helps us to filter out the bad and welcome in the good.
- Let us be those women who filter everything through the Word of God
- Let us be careful not to simply co-sign darkness on display. When you read a blog post or a Facebook status, ask yourself if it's biblical (Phil. 4:8) before you give it your "amen!" and forward it on to your friends
- Let us ask ourselves what the goal of our "realness" is before we post something online- and be honest about the answer
- Let us feed on things that build us up and increase our vision for godly motherhood
- Let us be on guard against what is described in Colossians 2:23- things that have an appearance of wisdom, but are falsely humble and of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
Rather, let us encourage one another to love and good deeds in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 10:24).
|Cousin time just means fun multiplied|
A lovely resource that encourages a vision for godly motherhood: Tending your Garden by Denise Sproul.
A wonderful audio helping us to: Think Like a Christian by Douglas Phillips.
We do not receive any reimbursement for our recommendations.
Photos from our visit with Grandma (all the way from Washington!) and our sweet extended family.