Monday, August 23, 2010

Is it Really All About Me?



"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd:
He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom,
and shall gently lead those who are with young."
Isaiah 40:11

I have to admit, these words didn't mean that much to me when I was a college girl singing the piece from Handel's Messiah. Beautiful song, poetic words--but sadly, nothing that really got my attention.

However, this prophecy of comfort quickly began to penetrate my heart after the birth of my third child. 

I was tired...

I felt like a lousy mother...

But perhaps the strongest feeling that I had was a deep sense that what I was doing was completely unappreciated. When it came to the constant demands of my family, I believed that I was giving myself completely to the task, but that my efforts were always coming up short.

(Okay, so maybe I still feel this way from time to time...okay, most of the time...)

I want to be a good mother. Doesn't anybody see how hard I'm trying?

Doesn't anybody notice what get's done around here? They sure seem to notice what doesn't get done!

What about me? When do my needs get met?

If I'm honest with myself, the troubles I have as a wife, mother, and homemaker have at least 90% to due with my own sin. My own selfish desires. My own self-righteous attitude and lack of dependence upon God.

If I want to start talking about me, that's the brutal truth of it.

Yet, what does our culture say to weary young mothers? Does it admonish us to die to ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Christ?

No, of course not. Rather, struggling ladies are regularly fed lines such as these...

You know, I could never stay home with my kids. I'd go crazy! Why don't you just put them in school and get a job?

Well, you made your own bed. I don't know why you guys had to have so many kids. Haven't you figured out how that happens yet?

You need to stop thinking about everybody else and start thinking about yourself for a change. I mean, if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! 

There it is again...it all comes back to personal peace and happiness, doesn't it?

Since when has following Christ been about the pursuit of personal peace and happiness? If that's what we're selling to the lost world around us, maybe that's why we have so many people walking around who claim to have had a conversion experience, who have subsequently walked away from Christianity!

It also seems to be what our world is selling young couples in regards to parenthood. 

The decisions about whether or not to have children, 

how many children to have, 

and how to raise and educate them, 

seem completely predicated upon what is most likely to make the adults happy.

As a timely example, I read this article in the Vancouver Sun this morning:


The author discusses overpopulation and the plight of "unwanted" children, but the number one reason to not have kids? Childless couples seem to be happier.

One commenter on the article wrote the following:

"My childfree choice has allowed me to experience the greatest freedom, independence, free time, sleep time, life success and happiness. I spend most of my time enjoying my life doing things that make me happy or will help me become happier; if I were not childfree, then I would be spending most of my time doing things that made me unhappy."

There it is again--"Me, Me, Me!" Me and my happiness.

Now, to be fair, the author of the article does not claim to think that all people should be childless. In fact, this article is merely one in a series of articles about the choice to have--or not have--children. But no matter which side of the aisle he's addressing, it's still all about what makes adults happy.

This is what secular humanism has given birth to in our culture--a society full of people who don't look past their own desires, pleasures and prosperity. 

"For people will be lovers of self..."
2 Timothy 3:2a

"Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things." 
Philippians 3:19


The sin of self-indulgence has given birth to a culture of death, where children are treated as a blight and a curse instead of a blessing.

"But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."
2 Timothy 3:14

Does the Bible have a different message for weary mothers? You'd better believe it.

"But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord."
Philippians 3:7-8

Is it worth dying to ourselves to serve Christ in our homes? Is it worth giving up aspirations of career and prosperity to instead give our lives to raising children who will serve Him? Is it worth all the sleepless nights and weary days to have, at the end of our days, a legacy of faithful sons and daughters who are changing the world for His glory?

Is it always fun? No.

Do I cry a lot? Um...Yeah.

Do I get to travel on a whim, go to the spa, or spend my money at the mall with the girls? You have to be kidding me.

But it's not all about me...and those who live as though it is all about them are kidding themselves.

"Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:27-28

By His Grace,

Tiana

8 comments:

Theresa said...

Stopping by from PW. Good post. Yes, society is telling us it is all about "me". You said it well...we are to serve others.
~Theresa
www.beingrefinedassilver.blogspot.com

Tiana said...

Thanks for visiting, Theresa! God Bless. :)Tiana

christa said...

Thank you for your posts, Tiana! You very often put into words things that have been on my mind! Your blog is one of my faves and I am always blessed and challenged. Thanks for your openness!

Free Agent Mommy said...

Tiana - You are right on. Goes hand in hand with the politically-incorrect idea that marriage isn't really about making us 'happy' - it's about conforming us to Christ. Hmmmm...

conversatioincaelis said...

Came over from Raising Homemakers. Thanks for your clear words - I think, I needed this post.
Greetings from Germany!

Jessica Winter said...

Wow Tiana! Thank you for your beautiful and refreshing post--I've often heard my mama say these same things too (she's a stay-at-home homeschooling mother also), so it was an encouragement to hear them from another woman. Were you in Women's choir or chorale during your time at Moody? (You mentioned singing Handel's Messiah in college) Thanks again and Jesus bless you and your family!

Tiana said...

Thanks Jessica! Yes, I did sing in the Women's Choir at Moody. :)

Mama Burke said...

Came over from the CoH and am glad I did. This post was very refreshing to read. So often I have the two voices in my head, the one that tells me to focus on myself, and the one that tells me to focus on Christ and my family. Sometimes I get so muddled trying to figure out what is the best way.

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I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.

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Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*

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