I would like to thank Carole Sparks for this wonderful guest post today. As I read it I kept saying yes, I’ve done that. Please add your thoughts after you’ve read this great post.
Who Needs You More, Mom?
I’ve been a mother for over fifteen years. (Yes, we’re in that scary, almost-a-driver phase in our home. Prayers please!) I’ve been a Christ-follower for more than twice as long. God placed certain callings on my life, some specific to me (writing) and some of the more general sort (sharing Him with others). He also very clearly and distinctly called me to be a mother. Sometimes, those various callings collide and I’m left feeling hesitant, uncertain, guilty. Times such as these…
We’re moving again. The kids will have new schools again. We’ll get to know new neighbors and new local shops again. How can this be good for my children? Kids need stability and routine, and we’re about to toss them in the air. Again.
My ministry responsibilities pull me away when they’re at home. What about my responsibilities as a parent, my calling to be a mom? What if they need me while I’m out counseling someone else?
Does any of this sound familiar? I’ve thought…okay, said…all these things over the years. I’ve wondered who needs me more.
As a member of a family, our calling(s) aren’t individual propositions but rather part of a bigger picture that includes our spouse’s gifting and calling as well as responsibilities to extended family members. Immediate, unfiltered obedience to God can seem to take a toll on our family life…on our children. In fact, sometimes our ministry decisions appear detrimental to our children’s development. At the very least, they go against conventional parenting wisdom.
I was walking the narrow, cobbled streets of the ancient city where we lived and worked, and I was concerned…okay, worried…about my young children, whom I’d left at home with a local woman. God stopped me there in the middle of that pedestrian street. Literally. I stopped walking and just stood there for a minute while God pressed this fact into my heart—a fact you need to know, too. Don’t just know it with your brain but allow God to press it into your very soul:
God loves your children more than you love them.
God not only wants the best for your children, but He is actively pursuing it. He knows their future occupations and experiences. He knows what they need right now to move toward their own callings. He smiles on children, loves them, protects them. Even on the days when you should have stayed home but instead put the ministry ahead of your family, He filled in your gaps.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. -1 Peter 5:6-7
I don’t know how God has gifted or called you to serve Him. If you’re a mother, that’s a big, beautiful part of your calling—one to step up to, embrace, and fulfill to the best of your ability. But it’s probably not your only calling. When you wonder who needs you more, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His will for that moment. Let go of everything else and obey. (I know, easier said than done, but like most things, it gets easier with practice.) Next time, He may lead you the other way. Regardless, God loves your children and He loves the other people whom you serve. When He points you in one direction, He will take care of the others while you fulfill His will for today.
Moms, when it’s time to go to work or to other ministry, do you wonder if maybe your children need you more? Here’s some truth to help you through that dilemma. Via @JannWMartin and @Carole_Sparks. #IntentionalParenting (click to tweet)
Do you feel the pull of differing responsibilities? How has God led you to manage that tension? Jann and I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Need more? Check out Carole’s post: When Guilt Grounds Me.
Carole and her husband twice found themselves “walking Jesus” in coastal African cities—the second time with two small children. Now, they are watching God work in a southern US city (no coast, sadly) and helping others passionately follow Him. Connect with Carole through her website, http://carolesparks.com or her parenting blog, http://notaboutme1151parenting.wordpress.com.