Lay It All Down
The world tells mothers that they can do it all and have it all, but that they need not give their all. The basic message is: you can have flourishing children, you can have a fulfilling career, you can do all the things that you would like to for self-care, you can have a spouse whose whole life and ambition is to help you have a wonderful life and self-actualize. You can have it all but you need never die, you need never give your all.
And that’s a lie—it is absolutely a lie. If mothers want to be Christian mothers, they have to lay it all down for the sake of another, for the sake of their children. It’s very difficult because when mothers lay everything down for the sake of their children, they have to do it with open hands. This is not a bargaining chip.
We don’t give our all to our children so that we can look at God and say, “And now you owe me teens without rebellion!” We don’t give our all to our children so that we can look at him and say, “They’re homeschooled, therefore they shall all be pastors.” It doesn't work that way.
If mothers want to be Christian mothers, they have to lay it all down for the sake of another, for the sake of their children.
We do it with no claims on God. We simply do it because we are his and because we love them. It’s for their good and we desperately long that the next generation would proclaim the deeds of the Lord—the wonderful deeds that he’s done. We want his name and renown to go forward. We want our children to have the joy of salvation. Those are the motives that we need to have.
Not only that, we also want to take up our cross and follow Christ. That means laying down our lives for others and not counting the cost in the sense of ticking off how much we’ve done and how much it’s going to get us. We want to do it with open hands.
Regardless of Outcome
The world tells us That’s a waste of time. If you cannot guarantee an outcome, why would you invest everything? But that is not the way of Christ. Christ came and he gave his all. He laid everything down for a people, many of whom have rejected him.
We want to follow in the way of Christ. He is an all-in Savior and so as mothers who have the least of these placed in their lap—defenseless humans who cannot provide for themselves, who cannot feed themselves, who cannot take care of themselves—it is our responsibility to do that in a way that mirrors the love, the kindness, and the sacrificial nature of our Savior. It’s a privilege to follow him in those footsteps, even if we can’t guarantee an outcome.
We won’t be able to say everything in one conversation, and we certainly won’t say everything perfectly.
Being a woman means being human. And this is good news.
There is no ideal standard of a woman that we are supposed to achieve apart from the virtues found in Christ himself.