I write this post at the risk of becoming the world’s first male mommy blogger (even that combination of words makes me feel uncomfortable). But, at the encouragement of my wife, as well as my friend and fellow author Trillia Newbell, I’m going to write one more post. Deep breath…feeling secure in my manhood…here goes.
Moms, you really need to stop giving a rip what other people think about you.
I know that it’s tough. You go on Facebook and see comments like, “Any mom who bottle feeds her baby must be devil spawn!” Or, you’re in the moms and infants room at church, and someone says, “I just can’t see how any godly, loving parent could send their children to public school.” Or someone includes you on an email that includes a rather shakily researched article about how all processed food absolutely causes cancer. The email concludes by saying, “We can’t stand for this any longer!” You happen to be eating a bowl of Lucky Charms as you read the article.
When you read these things and hear these comments, my guess is that you’re tempted to think, I’m an absolutely terrible mother! And everyone knows it! Everyone knows that I bottle feed my kids, send them to public school, and regularly feed them Lunchables! And God is probably displeased with me too, because I’m not loving my kids enough. You can feel the opinions of others breathing down your neck. You start making plans. Only organic from here on out. Homeschool, or unschool, or private school…or military school. No more television. Ever. Unless it’s an educational documentary on PBS, and even that is questionable. Awww shoot, you already vaccinated your kids! Is there a way to unvaccinate them?
Stop. Okay? Just stop. Finish your Lucky Charms, eat a big bowl of gluten, then come back and finish this article.
Now please understand, this is not an article in favor of or against schooling, vaccinations, organic food, bottle feeding, breastfeeding, television or anything else. This is an article AGAINST sinful fear of man and being overly concerned with what others think about you.
Moms, your security and identity are not found in a particular practice of parenting. Your security and identity are found in Jesus Christ. If you have trusted in Christ as Savior, you are joined to Christ. If you are joined to Christ, that means that God wholeheartedly, unabashedly, without reservation approves of you. He delights in you. You are his daughter. He sings over you. You can rest in that. It doesn’t matter what other moms think of you. It doesn’t matter if they don’t like the fact that you feed your kids bologna sandwiches for lunch. You have all the approval you need in God, through Christ.
Your job as a mom is to first and foremost, love God with all your heart. Run hard after him. Pursue holiness and godliness. Read the Bible and pray your heart out. Your second job is to love others. If you’re married, worry more about pleasing your husband than pleasing other moms (husbands should do the same, but that’s for another post). If you and your husband come to the conviction that you should feed your children organic food, great! If the two of you realize that you can’t go hard core organic for cost reasons, that’s also great! Whatever you do, don’t let the fear of what others think guide your actions.
When it comes to your kids, your main job description is to raise them up in the ways of the Lord. It would be better to feed your kids Lucky Charms than to spend hours researching a particular subject and neglect this primary duty. Focus on raising your kids to love Jesus. If you come to the conviction that you should send your kids to private school, that’s fine. But don’t do it out of fear of what others think. Let your thinking be shaped by God’s word, not the words of others.
Remember, the fear of man is a snare (Proverbs 29:25). It will actually snare you as you seek to be a mom. So rest in Christ. In Christ, God approves of you. Completely. 100%. Not 99.9%, 100%. Obey God’s word, pursue holiness, love your spouse, love your kids, and hold the rest loosely. If people don’t approve, who cares?
The next time you’re tempted to worry what others think about you, remember that you are secure in God, and that’s all that matters.
This post was written by Stephen Altrogge and can be found on his blog, here.