What combination comes to mind when you imagine the perfect mom?
If you’re like me, it might look a little like
- the spiritual life of Beth Moore or Jen Wilkin…
- the homemaking talents of June Cleaver…
- the business-sense and personality of Joanna Gaines…
- the affection and guidance from my own mother…
- mixed together with the choice bits from the countless moms (and mom bloggers) I’ve encountered in my life.
Even by admitting that, I see that even in my insecurities, that I know that each mom has her strengths and weaknesses, and comparing myself to their separate highlight reels is not only unfair to them, it’s unfair to me.
I’ve read lots of solutions to this mom-comparison game… but recently, I’ve began to wonder…
Could it be that we feel pressure to be the perfect mom because we are placing more value on our children than we are on Christ?
Are we making Christian motherhood an idol?
When Christian Motherhood Becomes An Idol
What is an idol?
Have you noticed? The human race is not okay.
Everyone feels it and has a response to it.
This feeling of inadequacy is because we deeply know that we are not whole without God. We are made for His glory and made to be in union with Him through prayer as well as communion with Him through His Word. That’s where we are happiest and where we belong!
But when we worship the creation instead of the Creator, that is idolatry.
Idolatry tries to fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts with God’s creation instead of Him.
This isn’t just a problem for new Christians or people who are struggling in their faith. John Calvin, a famous theologian, was quoted as saying that the human heart is an idol factory.
In our moments of need, we don’t always clearly see idolatry for what it is, and we try to fix our God-shaped hole on our own. With idols.
We can’t find contentment in man-made things. Even if they come from our own wombs.
We aren’t satisfied with our children as the gods of our lives… yet we try.
Our souls are made for relationship and affection with God, but we try to place that need on our children. We seek affirmation and compliments from others on the behavior and talents of our children, even when they are only toddlers. We make our children into idols.
And when those same talented and affirmed toddlers get older, we rush and run them to every extracurricular activity in hopes for more affirmation and compliments.
We aren’t meant to live this way… and it’s all because of misplaced priorities.
The Right Motives
Moms, your children are not trophies to be molded, polished, and shown to the world… (idols…) they are souls that are in need of physical, emotional, and most importantly, spiritual nourishment.
“Jesus taught that providing shelter for the shelterless, food for the hungry, and clothing for the naked are sacred acts. They’re also the hallmark activities of mothering. When we do them from the right motive for those in our homes, it’s as if we’ve done them for Christ Himself (Matt. 25:31-45).”
We shouldn’t look at our children as an opportunity to glorify ourselves, but rather as an opportunity to glorify God.
Like any good thing in life, we can take it and decide that it is the primary purpose of our lives, when it just… isn’t.
Children aren’t meant to be gods, and they know it
When you place your kids as an idol of your life, it won’t only hurt you… it will hurt them.
Worshiping your children will place pressure on them to give YOU something; to fulfill a need in your heart that they cannot fill.
Your children should have a high place in the rankings of your heart, but not the number one, or even number two position.
I wrote more about this here: 9 Lies Satan Whispers To You About Your Motherhood
There’s only one thing that cannot be an idol
“For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.”
The most effective treatment for any idol in our heart is a change in pedestal position. We must take our children from the number one ‘heart spot’ that rules our lives, our thoughts, and our actions. Not just once, but every time we feel it happening.
But you can’t remove an idol – any idol – without replacing it with another.
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
This is where most Christians get off-track, they try to sanctify themselves with good works instead of fully relying on Christ for HIS work on the cross.
Listen mamas… you have to replace your motherhood idol with the only thing that can’t be an idol… the One True God.
You must fear God more than you fear people.
You must love God more than you love your kids.
“Jesus must become more beautiful to your imagination, more attractive to your heart, than your idol. That is what will replace your counterfeit gods. If you uproot the idol and fail to “plant” the love of Christ in its place, the idol will grow back.”
When Christian Motherhood Becomes An Idol, remember…
There is no such thing as a perfect mom, because you can’t be perfect. Only Christ can.
You aren’t primarily a Christian mother, you are primarily an Ambassador for the Most High God.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
-2 Corinthians 5:20 NLT
Preach to yourself daily, “come back to God, oh wild heart!”
Saturate your heart with God’s Word. Live and breathe it. Post it in your home. Memorize it and recite it throughout your day.
You’ll see the Gospel applying to your life in new and fresh ways every time you do.
And when you see the Gospel freshly every day, the more your kids will see it. The more it will drown out the idols in your heart.
And that beauty will overflow into your children’s hearts and lead them to Christ as they seek His heart for the same fresh grace.
What about you?
When Christian Motherhood Becomes An Idol
Do you agree with John Calvin that “the human heart is an idol factory”? Are we able to shut down this factory? (Or at least slow down the production belts?)
If so, how?
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