When we realize we’re not enough and that we can’t live out our “right” way of doing motherhood, there is good news that frees us from shame.
Ask a group of Christian moms (even seemingly similar ones) questions on parenting practices, social media use, and the specifics of modest dressing and you’ll will get various responses based on past teaching, present circumstances, and personal conscience.
Is it okay for believers to disagree on these points? How does our freedom in Christ apply within scripturally gray (and sometimes contentious) areas of daily life?
As Israel was delivered from the bondage of slavery by God, so we are freed from the clutches of sin by the work of Christ. By grace, God makes unregenerate people alive in Christ. The Spirit enables us to turn from sin as we cling to Jesus in trust. Sister, if that is true of you then are free indeed!
You are set free to enjoy and delight in God.
Where the gospel and essential orthodox beliefs are at stake, we contend & admonish. Where lesser matters are involved, we ask questions and invite discussion but try not to divide. The Spirit that guides you into all truth is also at work in your sister and it is before him that she stands or falls. We exercise our liberty according to the principles of scripture and we allow others the same freedom of conscience, trusting that we all serve and desire to honor Christ.
So momma, what does it mean to have freedom in Christ? It means you’re free from the penalty, condemnation, and guilt of sin. Right now, you’re free from the control of sin as the Spirit empowers you in the word. And you’re being conformed to the image of your Liberator.
You’ll be like Jesus—and this is the full consummation of your freedom!
‘What do people think of me?’
Our attempt to shape the answer to that question can control our lives. It’s often there in the home furnishings we choose, the table we set & the planter we place on the patio. It can be there in the car we drive, the books we read & the places we choose for vacation. By means of our clothes, our weight, our gym routine & the interior of our home, we are so easily driven by a craving for an acceptable answer to that question.
It can begin before our children are born.
As our baby grows within us, we seek advice & do research on how to be the best possible mother. We note what other moms do & how they do it, setting standards for our mothering techniques along the way. Our goal is to distinguish not only good from bad, but better from best.
Sometimes, though, we wind up not only wanting to be the ideal mom but yearning to be known as that mom.
If we live self-conscious lives, we harm those we love most & mar our witness of Christ. And trying to live out an ideal-mother identity makes us critical toward mothers whose parenting choices differ from ours. We silently (or not so silently) judge rather than come alongside them to encourage their efforts to love their children.
It seems counterintuitive, but joy & genuine love result not from being thought well of but by thinking less of ourselves altogether.
As Christ followers, we can toss ‘What do people think of me?’ out the window. That’s because we’re called to ask a different question: What do people think of Christ?
When we’re driven by a concern for how people perceive him, we can live free from the bondage of what people think of us.
As we begin to grasp this truth more deeply, we’ll enjoy the freedom of self-forgetfulness.
Because our identity is in Christ, we have no reason to fear our weaknesses. After all, those weaknesses are the very place where his strength is most powerfully at work.
As we open our hearts & lives, we become a resource of God’s grace & encouragement to the struggling mothers all around us.