A few weeks ago, during praise and worship at church, we sang a song and in the lyrics was something like this: “God is asking, ‘Whom shall I send.” Will you answer “Lord send me.” I was worshipping the Lord and that turned into my prayer, “Lord, send me, I will go.” In my heart, I was sincere and I meant, I will go anywhere. I will do anything you call me to do. Be a foreign missionary (that’s what I always wanted to do), move across the country, whatever it takes.
I heard a still, small voice whispering in my spirit, “Yes, but will you stay?”
I knew exactly what the Lord meant. When we offer ourselves up to God and His will, we expect it to be great. And it is great. Living out God’s purpose for my life is the greatest thing there is. But, it’s not always great in the world’s eyes. Not always great in our society’s eyes.
You see, I know exactly what God has called me to do. He has called me to be a full-time wife/mother/homemaker.
I once had a working mother tell me that she works so that her sons will know what a “real” woman should look like, what a “strong” woman should look like. Ouch. The comment hurt, but really it’s a pretty good view of how our society as a whole views the difference between stay at home moms and working moms. Women who are full-time mothers are seen as less than in our society, and that can cause us to second-guess ourselves: Maybe they’re right, and my job isn’t valuable enough. Maybe I should always be striving to do more.
So, even though in myself I’m perfectly content as a stay at home mom, sometimes I want more. I want Him to call me to do something great, something that this world and society would recognize as having value. In the process, I forget that raising these two boys to follow Him and work for His kingdom is great.
I love the words of C.H. Spurgeon here:
Therefore be not discontented with your calling. Whatever God has made your position, or your work, abide in that, unless you are quite sure that He calls you to something else. Let your first care be to glorify God to the utmost of your power where you are. Fill your present sphere to His praise, and if He needs you in another He will show it you. This evening lay aside vexatious ambition, and embrace peaceful content.
Psalm 127:3-5 says that children are a heritage from the Lord. It goes on to say that they are “like arrows in the hand of a warrior.” I love this verse, because it really reminds me of the importance of raising my children to be on the right side of the battle.
There is a war going on, and there are only two sides. Jesus said, “He who is not with me, is against me.” (Matthew 12:30). My children are like mighty arrows in the hands of the warrior. But which warrior’s hands? Will they be like arrows in the hands of good or evil? I believe it’s my job to teach them. And, I don’t care what this consumer-drive, on-the-go, drive-thru society has to say about it.
I’m reminded of the story of Mary and Martha. According to our society, Martha would have been the more respected one. She was on the go, on the move, with a “real” tangible job. We live in a society that says we don’t need to waste time at the feet of Jesus. We need to fill every second with some real, tangible job or activity.
But, Jesus spoke differently. He said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (my emphasis).
The point is this: one thing is needed. Jesus. All we need is Jesus, and all we need to be fulfilled in this life is to follow God’s will for us. All the other fluff that society says we need, can fall by the wayside.
Please Note: I am NOT judging working moms. Instead, my goal is to encourage working mothers and stay at home mothers alike–only one thing is needed–follow God’s calling. If that’s to work, then work. If that’s to stay at home and raise your family, then do it “heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance, for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24). The point is that there is only ONE whose approval is needed.
Lord, help me not to trouble myself with the many things. Instead, help me focus on the ONE THING that really matters—serving you.