*First published by Daughters of Delight
Being a mother to five children, I frequently find myself disheartened.
Between the arguments, the irritations, and the emotional breakdowns, I'm often left questioning my parenting abilities. Then, as I dive into the world of social media, I'm met with images of impeccable children, flawless mothers, and women who appear to have everything perfectly under control. This contrast makes me criticize myself. I wonder what I'm doing wrong compared to them, and why my five children seem to struggle with so many problems.
Today, I want to lift your spirits by dissecting two false impressions perpetuated by social media, and by exploring what the principles of biblical womanhood and biblical motherhood can teach us.
False Impression 01: Motherhood is a woman’s greatest calling
Motherhood is an amazing and holy calling, but it is not a woman’s greatest calling. Our greatest calling is the act of being conformed to Christ’s image.
A woman's calling extends far beyond her roles and responsibilities as a mother. She is a daughter of God, created with unique gifts, talents, and purpose. Conforming to Christ's image involves seeking to embody His love, compassion, grace, humility, and righteousness in every aspect of life.
As women, embracing our calling to be conformed to Christ's image empowers us to lead with wisdom, show kindness, and pursue godliness in every role we undertake—whether it be as a mother, wife, daughter, friend, or in any other capacity. Our identity as followers of Christ shapes and informs all other roles we fulfill.
My sister, motherhood is a blessed and significant part of many women's lives, but it is not the ultimate calling. Again, our greatest calling is to be transformed into Christ's likeness, allowing His character to guide our thoughts, actions, and interactions with others. According to Proverbs 31:26, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue" (ESV). This verse speaks of the virtuous woman's wisdom and kindness, which are characteristics that align with being conformed to Christ's image.
Through this transformation, we can fulfill our various roles with wisdom, kindness, and love, bringing glory to God in all that we do.
False Impression 02: Discipleship tools are the defining factor of motherhood
Discipleship Tools are not the defining factor of motherhood. In the pursuit of biblical womanhood in motherhood, it is essential to remember that motherhood goes beyond mere outward actions and appearances. We can easily get lost in various discipleship tools and external advice while forgetting that the heart is at the core of motherhood. Just as we can become fixated on the Proverb 31 woman's productivity and tasks rather than her pursuit of righteousness, we might also focus on doing motherhood "by the book" with flashcards and Bible readings, overlooking the significance of daily dependence on the Lord's guidance.
Drawing inspiration from two exemplary biblical mothers, Hannah (1 Samuel 1:1-2) and Jochebed (Exodus 2:1-10), we see that the essence of godly motherhood lies in surrendering and trusting God with our children. Their courage didn't stem from the strategies they used in parenting, the methods of discipline they employed, or the nutritional choices they made. Instead, it came from their willingness to release their children into God's sovereign hands, not just once but every day.
Jochebed's strength was found in letting go of her son Moses, allowing him to float down the river, symbolizing her surrender to God's plan for his life. This realization can be humbling for us as mothers because we might be inclined to think that we need to cling tighter and exert more control to protect our children. However, just like Jochebed, the true strength lies in our faith and prayer.
Hannah, too, displayed boldness when she vowed to give her son Samuel up to the Lord. This act of letting go, despite how difficult it must have been for her, demonstrated her trust in God's greater purpose. And in her obedience, God not only blessed her with more children but also worked in Samuel's life for a greater calling.
As mothers, we must choose to trust God in our child's life and recognize that He is working in ways we might not fully understand. The most courageous and powerful thing we can do is continually surrender to how God wants to work in our child's life, trusting that He is faithful and loving. Motherhood is a journey of faith and obedience, understanding that being conformed to Christ's image is our ultimate calling, and it is through this transformation that we can become the godly mothers our children need.
Biblical womanhood is not confined to societal roles or motherhood, but it transcends these aspects and centers on being conformed to Christ's image.
Motherhood is indeed a significant and honorable role, but it is not a woman's greatest calling. Rather, our primary calling is to be transformed into Christ's likeness, living lives of integrity, selflessness, and service.
As we continue in our journey of pursuing biblical womanhood, may we prioritize our relationship with God above all else and strive to be conformed to the image of Christ. Through this transformation, we can confidently navigate the challenges of motherhood and womanhood, living out our divine calling and bringing glory to God in every aspect of our lives!