Grace and contentment.
These are perhaps two of the most difficult concepts to grasp as a mother. The glass of wine…well that’s just well deserved.
Becoming a mother opens a whole new realm of inner struggles and identity searching. Let’s face it, I’ve prayed for patience, wisdom and strength more in one hour today than I ever did before kids.
Alone and burdened; inadequate and overwhelmed. The struggle surrounding the self-created isolation was real. I don’t know if the author of the article is a Christian, but the longing for a daily fellowship or cohesive community rang true to my soul.
And then I remembered I had that available to me in spades.
At least I should…within the body of Christ; fellow believers and fellow moms in all stages and situations raising their children to love the Lord. Truly, this is the fellowship we crave isn’t it?!
Psalm 133:1-3 (ESV) says:
Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
How good it is when we dwell in unity, it is like precious oil on the head.
My heart swells when I read those verses and think about my relationships with other Christians, most especially my “mommy friends”. Sadly, our culture and society has pitted us “mommies” against one another for various reasons and “atrocities” we commit in our life choices. Stay at home moms vs. working moms, moms of one vs. moms of twelve, moms of _______ vs. the world.
We all struggle.
Whether we work full time, stay at home or anything else in between, I believe we all continue struggle with feeling alone in our choice, like a lone warrior on a quest for well-adjusted children. The pride that often rears its ugly head in motherhood sometimes fosters a defensive or competitive spirit even in the most subtle of ways, or even insecurity because we are guilty of not giving each other grace. It’s even harder to give ourselves grace. Then we feel discontentment.
1 Peter 4:10 (ESV) says:
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
All of our lives look as unique as the people Christ created us to be even before we were knit together in our own mother’s womb. As women of God, we should have an abundance of grace for other moms. We are called to love one another and many times, that looks like grace. It is so much easier to have grace for others when our heart is right with the Lord.
Sometimes it’s hard though…
sometimes we are angry about our own situation, or at the very least disillusioned as to what life or motherhood was supposed to look or feel like. Sometimes we feel displaced or overwhelmed, inadequate, or just plain exhausted. Sometimes it seems easier to run away. During these is when we need to remember Galatians 6:2 (ESV):
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
I am convinced that every mother, no matter what her situation, struggles with contentment in her “version” of motherhood. For me, I struggled with it the most after I had my first child. I found myself in a situation where I wanted to stay home but couldn’t (which hurt), but at the same time I struggled with loving my career and knowing that God had called me to do certain things outside the home. Then after my twins, I struggled with a calling to stay home with my kids in this season. I have been completely double minded, living on opposite spectrums of “my heart’s desire” searching for how to follow Christ’s will for my life. It seemed endless. Truly, the double mindedness of our own human hearts is at the center of the “mommy wars”.
You know what finally helped me find contentment and grace?
That community I mentioned. The body of Christ. Sisters in faith who listened, who mentored and who pointed me to God’s Word. A community of believers who challenged me in my double minded thinking, but also challenged me to understand that God’s will in an individual’s life is ultimately between that person and their Father.
I want to encourage women who feel isolated or discontent, or struggle with grace, to find a fellow believer in Christ as a prayer partner to hold you accountable for spending time in the Word and seeking Christ. I encourage you to be intentional in finding a mentor, an older sister in Christ who lives out Titus 2 and will teach you. These women can dwell with you in unity, they can bear your burdens and give you grace all while pointing you toward Christ and being a godly mom.
The important things to do.
That’s the most important thing: that we are purposing to grow in our relationship with Christ and disciple our children. Christian women in every stage of life and in every situation are striving toward that same chief end.
I pray that you find community, even here, and for you to know that you are not alone and that other women know exactly how you feel. Have grace on other moms, don’t let your pride, discontentment or defensiveness in your own life cause you to break fellowship with sisters in Christ or keep you from having a blessed friendship.
Finally, go have that glass of wine with a fellow sister or two. Or tea, or coffee. Or chocolate. Just build a deep community of faith in Christ, have grace for one another and be content in your season of life.
Romans 8:28 (ESV): And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Have you ever struggled with being discontent with your life ? What helped you overcome that feeling?