Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Mommy Wars and the Church

 By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy Of: Sharon McCutcheon

 "You must not add anything to what I command you or take anything away from it, so that you may keep the commands of the Lord your God I am giving you." ~Deuteronomy 4:2

"Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him." ~James 1:5

I have written at length on my own personal blog about the problem of the mommy wars. After a year like the one we have just had, where suddenly so many mamas are now being forced to homeschool when they never planned to before, I have seen the mommy wars rear up again. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful for us to take a few weeks to address this topic together on Woman 2 Woman Ministries, as well.

The dreaded mommy wars...they are those frustrating back-and-forth arguments over what the "right" way is to feed, educate, or train children. Far from being mere inconveniences or even just attacks on our unity in the body, the mommy wars are actually causing us to forget the truths and implications of the gospel. Let's rise up, Church, remembering the freeing truths of God's Word as we shed the world's confining standards.

I’ll never forget the first time I realized just how much the mommy wars were wrecking my own understanding of the gospel and negatively impacting my witness as a believer. This moment came when I noticed how the mommy wars were causing me to raise man-made standards up to the level of Scripture. What I had to finally understand was that not one of today’s hotly-debated parenting topics (i.e., sleep schedules, feeding choices, vaccination, or schooling options) is covered in Scripture in the form of a direct command or admonition from God. And yet I was often wasting time debating those very topics! At other times I just silently judged other mamas who were doing things differently than I. 

Why was that? Well, to be honest, I believe Satan was working overtime to distract me from what is most important: focusing on what the Bible actually does have to say about what biblical mothering truly is. The sad reality is that I had been too busy focusing on who does or does not vaccinate that I had failed to focus on what the Bible does specifically tell me to do as a mom—love my children (Titus 2:4), train them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6), and seek to be a blessing to my family (Proverbs 31:27-28). Our gracious Lord does not leave us in the dark as to what makes a good mom. And yet I, in essence, acted as if He does when I focused on my own standards to the negligence of His. 

I no longer want to base my opinion of who is a good mother on whether or not she agrees with me on non-Scriptural, secondary issues. Instead, I want to remember what is of far more importance as a mom: becoming a student of the actual Word and seeking God’s wisdom for our lives (James 1:5). 

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