This is a guest post by Christina Fox.
“Is your husband out of town this week?” she asked.
“Yes. All week. Is yours?” I responded. She nodded.
“Want to come over for dinner?” I asked.
Motherhood is hard enough on a good day. What with the constant multi-tasking, unexpected illnesses, endless pile of laundry, the refereeing of squabbles, teaching the same lessons over and over again, all while trying to keep up with the daily responsibilities and duties of life.
It’s even harder when you feel all alone.
When my kids were young, I had a couple of friends whose husbands also traveled for work or often worked late at night. Having these friends was a lifesaver, literally, because at the time, I was in the midst of post-partum depression aftershocks. We took turns making dinner for ourselves and all our kids. Sometimes we met at a park and then took the kids to their favorite taco place. And when the weeks were especially long, we got together multiple times.
Not only did we keep each other company during those years, but we also encouraged one another in the gospel. We reminded each other of what was true. We prayed with and for each other. We walked with one another through life’s trials and challenges.
Made for Community
It’s easy as moms to get caught up in the busyness of raising children. It’s demanding and tiresome. We often feel overwhelmed, helpless even. We’re always wondering, “Am I doing the right thing for my child?” and “How should I handle this situation?” Just when we think we understand the stage our child is in, they move on to another one, catching us by surprise.
In the midst of it all, we can feel isolated and alone.
Yet, we were not made to do life on our own. God created us as image bearers to reflect him. Because our Triune God is a community in himself, we image him by being in relationship with others. Community is God’s creation. That’s why after God created the world, the plants and animals, and Adam, he said there was one thing that wasn’t good; Adam was alone (see Genesis 2:18). So God created Eve. Adam and Eve then formed the first community, imaging our three-in-one God in their love and service to one another.
What this means is, we were made for community and for relationships. We weren’t meant to do life by ourselves.
The Church Community
When Christ came to redeem us from sin through his perfect life and sacrificial death, he created a new community, the church. When we are united to Christ by faith in his work for us, we are also united to other believers in the church. Though we come to faith as individuals, we are then immediately adopted into the family of God. This makes the other believers in the church our brothers and sisters in the Lord. “I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18). We are united together through the blood of our Savior. It is an eternal union; one day we will live together forever with the Lord.
The Apostle Paul used the image of the human body to describe what the church looks like and how it functions. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:12). The church, like the human body, is made up of many parts. Like the body, each part is important for the church to function; not one is better than the other. Also like the human body, when one part in the church doesn’t function, it impacts the rest of the body. That’s why Paul wrote, “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Corinthians 12:26).
Moms, your local church is the Body of Christ. Christ is the head and each member of the church makes up the parts. You are united together with Christ and to one another. You are knit together with your brothers and sisters in such a way that when you hurt, the rest of your church hurts. When you rejoice, they rejoice. And vice versa. What this means is, you need each other. Your church needs you and you need the church.
Because of this unity with Christ and with one another, throughout the New Testament we find admonitions on how the church family ought to treat one another:
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10).
“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
What this means is, our church family is a gift of grace to those of us who find ourselves weary and worn. God uses other believers to encourage us when we are weak. He disciples us through the wisdom of those who have journeyed before us (see Titus 2). He often meets our needs through the hands and feet of fellow believers. He pushes us forward in faith through those who remind us of the gospel when we forget.
Those were hard years when my husband was traveling and I was home with young children. But God met me in my need through my sisters in Christ. Moms, though the days are long and at times overwhelming, you are not alone. Turn to your sisters in the Lord. Walk together in the journey, encouraging, exhorting, serving, and loving one another. For you are one body, united in Christ for all eternity.
Christina Fox is a speaker, writer, editor, and blogger. She is the author of A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope Through the Psalms of Lament and Closer Than a Sister: How Union with Christ Helps Friendships to Flourish. She is a homeschooling mom to two boys, loves her coffee black, and enjoys browsing antique shops. Christina shares her faith journey at www.christinafox.com.
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