When I was in my mid-twenties and a new mom I had this idea that a “good Christian” wife & mom stayed home, schooled her children, and made everything from scratch. Not that those are bad things at ALL, but there was this holy formula that I felt I must conform to to succeed as a godly wife and mother and be in Gods “perfect will”. God would definitely be pleased if I could just get it together, right!? Sadly I continued to listen to others, compare to others, and try and mold my parenting/home/cooking like or around others. I just didn’t have peace and I was so discouraged when I couldn’t be that perfect godly mom who “had it all together”! The weight of it was crushing! I so easily forgot that it wasn’t truly for me to carry, but my Lords. I had come across an old quote from a wise sister that held so much truth!
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. If you look at God you’ll be at rest.” ― Corrie ten Boom
I felt so convicted and yet God was also so gracious to show me a well-loved verse in a whole new way. I finally started looking up instead of out.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
I learned how important it is to renew my mind in scripture daily and get my eyes solely on Christ and what He would specifically have for me and our unique family. That was most important. The truth is, we just needed to seek God to direct our steps. We can then reap the joys of obedience for our days without comparing to others, or looking at the big picture and putting ourselves into a full panic attack. I’ve realized as I seek Him and obey for today there is a balance of living intentionally but also knowing and trusting Gods leading. I can tell you that I’ve NEVER been more thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit who leads us and promises to be with us. We don’t walk this journey alone.
I realized that being out of the “will” of God was not being out of the “formula” others expected you to conform to. You see, our God is so creative! He has designed each of us with not only different finger prints but personalities, talents & gifts! We each contribute so differently to not only the church body, but to other relationships, as well as our own homes. Your life, parenting, friendships, relationships, and gifts will look and be tailored specifically to and for you by our King. We can learn great tips and ideas from friends and others who are well intentioned, but at the end of the day what matters most is our personal obedience to The Lord as we follow His leading in loving our families well. And I’ll tell you, sometimes the choices we make won’t be the popular ones.
I know soooo many godly women who work or stay home, Adopt or don’t, who get an epidural or who have a natural birth, who breast feed or bottle feed, who immunize or who don’t, who homeschool or public school, who have their own business or who solely oversee the home, who love to cook or who hire it out, who have a housekeeper or who get the yellow gloves out, who is super organized or who has organized mess, who dyes her hair or who doesn’t. You see, ALL these women I know love our very same God and truly seek Him on their own personal journeys. They ALL want to love their husbands, families and friends well but how it gets accomplished looks SO different from one to the next. And you know what? Obedience for one could be total disobedience for the other if she is truly seeking the Lord and He is directing her differently.
I LOVE how Sally Clarkson compares our role to crafting a family recipe:
“every family will have a different flavor–a different recipe that, when cultivated and fine-tuned will be their own unique blend of a Family Culture. I fear that many women, in attempts to find the perfect formula or right rules of what is takes to make a great family, are subject to destroying the unique aroma and flavor their family was designed to enjoy. Trying to copy someone else’s ways or preferences or exact practices just thwarts and denies the unique design, flavor, essence that will make your own family happy, robust and productive and can produce a tasteless mess.” –Sally Clarkson
Over these years God has been so good to show me that there is NO formula! You know, I think that was His plan all along… To show us that living up to that perfect standard was impossible, to keep us close and to keep us seeking Him. He was the ONLY Perfect One who lived this life perfectly in our place, died in our place and rose again. May we rest in that truth! When we go to bed at night, we don’t need to believe the lies that we should do _______ because so and so does. Or we would be a better wife/mom if we would just do _______. We can know that as we behold Him daily in every decision as we take it to scripture and make sure it is in concordance with His word, He is changing us from one degree of glory to the next.
2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
He is also lovingly equipping us for every good work He calls us to according to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 which says…
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
May we faithfully encourage and nourish one another in the Word of God and in the good news of the gospel. May we support and love one another along our journeys as we all seek to live this out well and honor our King. What FREEDOM to obey and love one another well.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!