When I was a new mom, I wanted to appear to everyone like I had my act together and knew what I was doing. But like any other new mom, I didn’t. One of the ways that I coped with the hypocrisy was by jumping on the bandwagons of other moms I admired. They were who I wanted to be, or at least who I wanted others to think I was. And honestly, by the grace of God, most of the bandwagons I jumped on turned out to be pretty good choices. But the state of my heart was another story. I was making motherhood about right performance instead of about a real process, and this led to none other than self-righteousness. Yuck. And that led to judging others. Double yuck.
Do you know what I mean by bandwagon? Merriam-webster.com defines it as “2: a popular party, faction, or cause that attracts growing support.” What’s funny is that with almost any issue, there are bandwagons traveling in opposite directions. For instance, rocking your baby to sleep versus laying them down awake. Breastfeeding versus formula. Homeschooling versus public or private education. Dating versus courting. And on and on it goes.
As a mom of 3 teens I can assure you, the debates never end. And I don’t think convictions are a bad thing…if it stems from an honest heart. Scripture even tells us that “each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” as it pertains to secondary issues in Scripture (Rom. 14:5). It becomes a problem, though, when we take secondary issues and make them primary ones. It almost always leads to legalism and division.
I also don’t think it’s a bad thing to lovingly share our opinions with each other…if it stems from a humble heart. But we need to give others the freedom to differ in theirs (Rom 15:7). As the Lord began to open my eyes on this, unfortunately through uncomfortable conflict with other Christians, as well as seeing the diversity in my own three children, I was convicted about the pride and control that was forming in my heart. The thing about bandwagons is that it’s hard to stay on them without throwing stones at the ones going in any other direction. And if God changes your mind on an issue, like he did on mine with a few, be prepared to have those stones thrown at you.
I’m writing this down as a reminder to myself and a loving encouragement to all of us as moms. Let’s jump off our bandwagons and run our own unique race within the guidelines of Scripture. Because not only are we maiming each other, we’re also tainting the world’s view of Christ.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2a
Just as no two individuals are the same, no two families are the same. God has a distinct purpose for each of us. As Christian moms, let’s run our own race: the one beside other moms, not against them…sharing and gleaning wisdom and insight with each other of course, but applying it in such a way that we are humble and honest before God and others. Our choices will be fleshed out in the context of community anyway, and that’s a beautiful thing when we are sharpening instead of sabotaging one another.
Looking back, it wasn’t the moms that had my same point of view on scheduling, schooling, disciplining or dating that profoundly impacted me…it was and still is the ones who love me no matter what, pour out wisdom & seek it in return. The moms that struggle alongside me with each hard choice. The ones that pray for me and freely ask for prayer too. We are the moms who know that much of life is messy and rarely black and white, and it only gets messier when we stand as critics instead of companions toward one another.
Lord, love deeply, genuinely and sacrificially through us, always in light of Your truth. Make us completely humble and gentle, willing to lay down our stones.
May the God who gives endurance & encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind & one voice you may glorify the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:5-7
Dallas, Texas · FaithColoredGlasses.com