I stared at the coffee pot listening to the moms behind me before finally choosing the green mug – because green is my favorite color – and slowly walked down the stairs to join the other women in my church’s moms’ group. As we squeezed onto the couches with our parenting books and kids ran in circles around us, our hostess kindly asked us to introduce ourselves. I felt my stomach knot immediately, and I wondered, “Do I mention my job if everyone else is a stay-at-home mom?”
I’m not technically a stay-at-home mom to the stay-at-home moms, although I’m at home every day taking care of my family, with the exception of 35 days a year. And I’m not technically a working mom to the working moms, even though I operate my business and manage my team during naptimes and after bedtime, and travel for work throughout the year. I feel alone in my own little world, but it appears God’s current call in my life is to have a foot firmly planted on each side but not planted deeply enough to be privy to the secret handshakes and helpful life tips of either mom camp.
Every Mom Has Unique Circumstances
The fact that we have mom camps is evidence of our sinful tendency to compare and size up. It’s easy to look at other moms’ lives and judge them against our own, or judge ours against theirs. Does she cook healthy meals every night? Does her job allow her kids to do more extracurriculars? Is she doing bedtime every night? Did she miss a soccer game or two? Instead, what we should focus on is that every mom has been given unique families with unique children who have unique needs. God has called all moms into the service of Christ within the context of their particular families. But every family is different, which means the hard work of motherhood looks different for each woman.
Every Mom is Called to Hard Work
You see, hard work is the work of the Christian. We’re told to bear our cross, to outdo one another with honor, to count it all joy, to be hospitable always, to submit joyfully to God’s will, and to seek first his kingdom in all things. None of these are prescriptive, necessarily, because the good works of the Christian come from the overflow of a sincere and submitted heart. You can work daily at home or the office with an unsubmissive and rebellious heart and neither brings God due glory. What God requires of us is to love him fiercely and submissively, seeking his will before our own wants, in whatever life he gives to us. He is the good and perfect author of our days, knowing the number, the trials, the joys, and the purpose. He is a God with a plan – the same God of eternity past and eternity future.
This is the God who planned, before the beginning of time, good works for each of us to do (Eph. 2:10). He’s the God who called the Israelite woman into midwifery, who later saved Moses, the deliverer of God’s people (Ex. 1:15-20). He’s the God who described a woman who works in the early hours to care for her family and sells her linens for profit as a woman who fears him (Prov. 31:15, 24). He’s the God who calls women to love their husbands and children and to manage their households (Titus 2:4-5). He’s the God who calls, into his service, the women who love him – for their good and his glory.
Every Mom Needs to Find Her Righteousness in Christ Alone
We’re an eclectic bunch in my moms’ group: different numbers and ages of kids, ethnicities, cultural upbringings, geographic locations, needs of children, and work experiences. Some of us choose healthy snacks and some buy Puffs. Some of our hearts weigh heavy when we leave our sweet babies to go to work, and some moms wonder, while working on projects during naptime, if God desires to use their gifts outside of the home one day. My group, however, is one of biblical perspective and encouragement for the mom living the different-looking life in pursuit of the same glory. Where our differences find common ground is in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
It’s by Christ alone that we are justified and called righteous by God. God does not look at our dinner menus, diaper counts, corporate success, or money earned to pardon us. It’s by Christ alone that we find mercy when we are in need, not in our husbands, children, or jobs. It’s by Christ alone that God extends his boundless, extravagant grace to us in every moment to do every good work he’s called us to do (2 Cor. 9:8). The good work is faithfully done by the mom with dishes up to her elbows and the mom with business reports stacked on her desk. It’s completed by women who long to see God glorified in their lives.
The good work is the hard, faithful, joyful work of the women submitted, not to the uniqueness of one another, but to the Lord.
Autumn is the Blog Editor for Risen Motherhood. She’s the wife of a sometimes bearded man and mother to one bashful little lady. Autumn likes early morning walks that end at coffee shops, jovial conversations, and simultaneously reading at least four books.