Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cafe Chat: Lies about mothering

Today's Cafe Chat is:

What are some lies out in the world (secular views) today about women that contradict what God says in His word about how women should be/act? Diving a little deeper…What are some lies that are still out there in our Christian circles about women? (Feel free to talk from a single woman’s point of view or a married woman’s point of view)

I prayed about this before I came in here to write up my post on these questions because this is a subject I've stood on my soapbox about many a time past. This subject matter of lies women believe, especially Christian women, is heavy on my heart and has been ever since the Lord opened my eyes to seeing the lies I had swallowed, hook, line and sinker myself. Once I realized how deceived I had been and easily am and how slippery and seductive the lies the enemy feeds my never satisfied flesh are I started seeing the deception and lies EVERYWHERE!

I don't want to come off sounding like I've arrived or have some super-spiritual knowledge here. I, like so many I see around me, have and could still very easily fall for the lies out there. I can't blame "the world" for the lies either, for just as James says, my own desires drew me to buy the lies, and so it is for each of us.
"...But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." (James 1:14-15)

There are a lot of lies out there! Satan is the Father of lies and he is the deceiver, always lying. But He can't create anything. Even his lies are truths twisted and perverted and made lies. The lies I've believed and that we all buy into are from the pit of hell appealing to our own desires and they are deceiving because they are maliciously formed out of pieces of truth.

The lie out in the world that my own desires and flesh easily buys into that I wanted to share here and remind myself of lest I fall for it time and time again concerns mothering. (That's why I'm posting here at Timothy Moms today.) The lie goes something like this (I'll let Elisabeth Elliot define the lie for me, she does it MUCH better.):
But what have buying groceries, changing diapers and peeling vegetables got to do with creativity? Aren't those the very things that keep us from it? Isn't it that kind of drudgery that keeps us in bondage? It's insipid and confining, it's what one conspicuous feminist called "a life of idiotic ritual, full of forebodings and failure."

The world tells our flesh that the everyday life of mothering- changing diapers, answering questions, preparing healthy meals, playing and talking with them, teaching and training them- is a drudgery for the unintelligent and unprofessional. And as Elisabeth Elliot's quote goes on to speak so beautifully the truth that has gotten all twisted up into a tasty, poisonous little delicacy that our flesh feels pampered and honored by and thereby swallows readily:
To her I would answer ritual, yes. Idiotic, no, not to the Christian--for although we do the same things anybody else does, and we do them over and over in the same way, the ordinary transactions of everyday life are the very means of transfiguration. It is the common stuff of this world which, because of the Word's having been "made flesh," is shot through with meaning, with charity, with the glory of God...

What the world and our flesh believe is that a life of doing "footwashing" tasks (which mothering is full of) is demeaning and unworthy of our lives. But as we walk by the Spirit we actually desire to give ourselves to a life of "footwashing" because we've tasted of the glory of God there. There, where our Lord did what all the creatures He created would not do because they thought it beneath them, (rather they sat there arguing about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven) Jesus washed dirty feet and said, "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." (from John 13)

When it comes to the lies Christian women believe, unfortunately, I don't think the lie is any different (I mean concerning the lie I'm focusing on here). It's just a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing so it's even easier to be deceived by if a woman is not rooted and grounded in the Word of God.

I too have fallen for the "Christian" version of the above lie about child-rearing being a second rate "calling" or "ministry" (that's what we Christians say when talking about what the world calls a profession or career). Life for the Christian IS ministry. It IS our calling to pour out our lives as servants, whatever we do. I have believed as a Christian that ministries worthy of giving my life too were ones where my spiritual gifts would be honored, maybe with a title. I hate admitting it. It sounds so selfish. It is selfish. But it's true. And it's not just a lie I've believed, but it's one my flesh's desires for honor continue be drawn by.

Daily, moment by moment and until God is finished with me, if I will choose to die to myself and give myself to serving Jesus with the spiritual gifts He's given me in unseen places, in the "footwashing" life of child-rearing; if I'll give myself to the glory of the transactions of everyday life by which I am transfigured into the image of God's own Son, I'll receive in eternal and more wonderful measure the honor my flesh wants to settle for from mere men here on earth.

May I, may we, aim for higher honor and embrace a life that is lower in laboring in love, pouring out our lives and God's word into the children God's entrusted to us!

*If you're interested, I'd love to have you join us starting Monday, June 2nd, for the
Timothy Moms Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Challenge . You can learn more about it here. And on Tuesdays Timothy Moms has the Tuesdays for Timothy Moms meme. Join us for that too! I'd love to have you mommas (younger and older) share!


Toknowhim said...

Whoa... You are right on again.. I think I remember reading a previous post of yours and I was challenged. You nailed a lie that I have struggled with, as well as so many other women.

Thank you for reminding us about being a servant, and how what we do should bring glory to God... You have words of wisdom for all women to hear today :)

Shari said...

Somewhere I read that our ministry to our families should come first and that really made an impression on me. 14 years ago, I made a decision to stay home with my babies and then we started homeschooling. I still have a lot of years left "at home" because my youngest is only 6. But, the closeness that I have with my children is priceless. There are opportunities to minister to them that arise each day. I'm glad that you're reminding mother's that working at home is an important job. Many are probably bombarded with the lies about mothering, even from well meaning Christians and family members wanting them to get ahead financially.

Buffy said...

I think that the whole foot washing episode must have been astounding to Jesus' apostles, who revered him. It is a perfect metaphor both for the need for us to demonstrate humility with each other and of the importance of the most basic and unappealing tasks that, as you say, we are all encouraged to run away from today. Thank you for helping me see this.

Lily said...

AMEN! People think that if you're not leading a bible study, on the worship team, on the prayer team, or involved in several other areas, you don't have a ministry. God first, then family. Not church or activities. Yes, it's important to be involved and have fellowship with other believers, but your number one priority, or ministry is you family. When God tells us to be good stewards...He's talking about all that He has entrusted us with.

I'm not a mother, but I am the oldest of 6 kids and I have had enough experience to say that it is not easy. Just consider yourself a Domestic Engineer.

Gina said...

Your post was something I needed today. I am always challengd and motivated to spend time afresh in the LORD and continue pouring out my life into my husband and children. I spent so many years seeking to be in full-time ministry when I had four souls within arms reach of me that needed my unique ministry. I am their wife and momma - there is noone else that can take my place whereas others can come and take up the mantle on other ministries. The LORD will call and equip others to fulfill the call. . . and I need to be faithful to serve where I am called right now - HOME!

I hope to begin joining in with you on the Monday and Tuesday events!

Thanks for spurring your fellow moms to invest in our precious treasures on earth - our children.



Jamie - RoseCottage said...

I totally agree. I absolutely know I'm called to be a mama, and while some don't think it a prestigious title, I have total peace about it because it's what God wants me to do!

Found said...

Thanks ladies for all your uplifting comments! I pray you'll each continue in your walk of faith in Christ as a woman, and as a wife and mom if you are so blessed!

Be strong and courageous!

Penney Douglas said...

It took years for God to get that through my heart and my head - that this IS my ministry and that it is valid and extremely important. Training and loving my children is the most important job I have. If I taught Sunday School or was on a worship team, it wouldn't have near the impact that being with my children and teaching them and living my life with them is having. I keep getting confirming words from other Christians now, so I'm convinced that this is a ministry that is close to God's heart, and He is pleased that I chose to obey Him and forsake the need to be seen and to have the approval of man.


Found said...

Wow Penney! You wrote that soooo well! That's been exactly my experience. It is so good to be confirmed in the way He leads us and to find joy and peace if forsaking the need to be seen and approved of!

so glad you stopped by!