Two Lies Which Good Moms Believe

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   8/26/2014

Good moms are nurturing and caring. They exercise these traits well— which can also cause a heap of trouble.

Several months ago I was asked to help meet a need in another family. While describing this opportunity to an older woman, I was given this advice: don’t do it. I thought this advice was rather selfish. What? Don’t help when I’m asked, when I know I can make a difference in someone’s life? She cautioned me against it, saying that she had seen many Christian families struggle when meeting the needs of others.

Several scriptures come to mind as I process this statement. Isn’t it anti-Biblical to say no to an obvious need? What about all the times Jesus admonished loving others more than yourself, sacrificial giving, and supernatural generosity?

All of these are true statements that God does require of us. The problem is that moms- especially good moms- tend to express all of these admonitions toward everyone outside their family. And in the course of meeting other people’s needs, and feeling very spiritual about it, good moms can unknowingly neglect the generosity and sacrificial giving they are called to give to their own family, the very charge that God had originally given them.

The older woman’s advice didn’t make sense to me until I got an email from a friend asking for prayer for her teenage daughter. This wasn’t the first time problems had arisen in this family, and I began to think, why them? They’re such good people, always volunteering their time and giving of themselves for others. I’ve often thought that our world needed more people like this couple: hearts of gold that would drop everything to come in a moment of need. They were committed and faithful to the organizations they served. Then I began to count off how many families I knew who had this same pattern: parents who were incredibly generous with helping others, and their older children who rebelled. Several came to mind, and I took this as a somber warning from God.

The moms in these families were good moms. They had awesome intentions. Their example of service was golden. Then I realized, there are two lies that good moms believe, and both can cause a heap of trouble:

Two Lies

One: "I can make a difference!" The truth is, you are not a difference-maker. God is, and He chooses to use us as tools as He sees fit. Our job is to obey His calling on our lives- most of which is revealed in Scripture. As God designed it, the biggest mission field in your life is with the little ones in your home. They are looking up to you, and little ones need you all the time. Don’t miss out on this mission field! Committing all your discretionary time to a ministry outside your home may help save one person, but is it worth it if you lose respect from the little disciples (and their future kids and grandkids) you have growing under your own roof?

Two: “I can't say no!” Good moms have a tough time saying no. This sounds like such a humble, self-denying trait, but it’s actually full of pride. The truth is, God can accomplish His good work with or without your help. It’s easy for good moms to see an opportunity or a request for help and think of all the ways that program will suffer if they don’t say yes. But the truth is that you are not necessarily the answer to that gaping hole, no matter how many people beg or state how talented they think you are.

These lies are commonly believed among compassionate, good people. But they're actually a trap. Good, compassionate moms are quick to see a need they can meet, and they desire to meet it. This is a good, God-given trait, but God calls moms to exercise this in their families first.  

Abraham Was Called To Be A Father

I keep going back to the way God described Abraham way back in Genesis: God emphasized his role as a father more than any other role. He could have called Abraham a ruler, a patriarch (the fancy word theologians use for him today), or God could have even called Abraham His servant. But He used the word “father,” and that is the way Abraham is referred to throughout the rest of the Bible. He was the father of the Jewish nation, a direct ascendent of Jesus. These were God’s chosen people, and the role God gave Abraham as “father” was incredibly important.

It’s easy for good moms to forget this. You’re with your family all the time- we lose sight of the importance of our God-given role as “mothers.” There are days- few or many- when we actually long for a life outside the home. We feel unimportant in many ways. But don’t believe your feelings- your role is incredibly important.

When considering Jesus’ parable of the talents in Matthew 25, we have to ask ourselves: what are we doing with the “talent,” or responsibility, God has given us? Are we stuffing it, or investing into it? I have come to see my role as a mom as like a soldier at a post: at times it is mundane, but I can’t leave my charge. God has called me to this role, I need to do my best to stay at my post.

This article is very convicting for me to write. My kids just came in from running through the sprinkler, and while I longed to be there with them, here I am at the computer. Yet I know there has to be a balance, too, or our children could grow up thinking the world revolves around them. A friend of mine has confessed that she needs to do some kind of service in her church. Otherwise her days were filled, literally, with playing all day long with her boys. Yes, she needs to show her children that they are not the center of the universe, and she has recognized that, but some days I wonder if her little ones will someday run for the office of president because of the security she has given them at home.

I know of one large family which decided that the only church activities they would commit to were those they could do as a family, and their children have been raised to serve together as a result. So it's not that we have to quit reaching out- but consider reaching out together instead of separated from your kids. 

Those of you with older children know that the times our kids need us are unpredictable. Those moments when they ask spiritual questions or open up a secret in their life take you by surprise. I’ve heard it said that the times kids need their parents most is before school, after school, suppertime, and bedtime. But how are we to know when an opportunity to disciple will arise?

I realize that for every mom out there, their level of involvement outside the home will differ. Some really they are able to handle more than others. But I beseech you, please pray diligently and consider seriously what you do say “yes” to. If it draws you away from your family, it’s not worth it. Saying “no” is not unchristian. When considering the role God gave you, "no" may be the most spiritual response you could give.

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