For those of us in the stay-at-home-mom camp, there is a tendency to derive our worth from our mothering skills. We seek value and validation in how well we raise the children God has entrusted to us. We have even calculated a salary exceeding $100,000 based on a 94 hour work week for ourselves. Then, we spend a lot of time and energy trying to prove we’re worth it, too.
I know I fell into that trap when I stopped earning a pay check. I started looking to my mothering as a measure of my worth. I’ll admit I even thought maybe if I’m a good enough mother, nobody will think I ought to be out there bringing home the bacon, too. And, If I’m really honest, I began measuring my mothering the minute I gave birth to our oldest son.
Mothering is MESSY
There just seems to be something about becoming a mother that makes us want to prove ourselves.
Meet milestones ahead of schedule. Read the best books. Make my own baby food. Pack healthy lunches. Go organic. Free-Range. Pesticide-free. Non-GMO. The right toys, friends, and teams. Homeschool. Montessori. Public. Then it is AP Classes. College credit in high school. Early graduation. Proper lessons for prodigal artists and musicians. Enough independence, but not too much or too soon. And on and on and on.
There are a million ways to MESS up mothering. Believe me, I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes already. Like my youngest son’s baseball practice I missed this week, the collection of snacks masquerading as lunch as we approach the end of the school year, and the fact that my boys are watching TV while I type.
I know it’s Mother’s Day weekend and I promise I’m not trying to put a damper on your celebration, but if our worth isn’t established by our income, it cannot be determined by our mothering either.
Yes, being a mother is both a beautiful blessing and a gargantuan responsibility, but it isn’t a measure of our worth in God’s eyes.
It can’t be. Not every woman is blessed with babies. And God doesn’t play favorites. We are all valuable in His eyes. Children are a far too unpredictable currency on which to calculate our worth. Sometimes amazing parents have kids who let them down. And then there are kids who’s achievements surpass those of their parents by a mile. Kids will embarrass us. They will let us down. They may even turn their backs on us. But none of those is a measure of our eternal worth. Nowhere in Scripture does it say we are worth more to God if we are good moms.
Fearing God is worth more the mothering well.
In fact, the enviable “Proverbs 31 Woman” is praised for her fear of God above all her other accomplishments as a mother.
There are no perfect parents, except our Father in heaven.
Even Mary lost Jesus for a couple of days.
So, let’s stop being so hard on ourselves (and each other). Mothering is not the measure of our worth. Yes, we should aim to do it to God’s glory because He has entrusted the next generation to our care. Yes, His Word declares children to be a blessing. Yes, we are to train them up in the way they should go.
But our worth to God does not depend on how well we mother those He loans to us.
Let’s celebrate the mothering wins and let go of the losses with an understanding that neither has the power to add or detract from our eternal worth.
Mothering well is not the full measure of our worth.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an amazing mom, a bad mom, or never get to be a mom – you’re still worth dying for!
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Thought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul Survival, Monday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Woman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday.