HARD TRUTHS : A Name Better Than Sons & Daughters

When I first started my blog, I had the intention of sharing truths that I was reading and studying in the Bible. I wanted to be able to open up conversation about the topics that we tend to gloss over as Christians or the verses that we try to make fit into our cultural world view as opposed to letting the truths change our views. Although the focus of the blog has changed alot (Yay, God for showing me His plan and using me in this way :)), I still hope to be able to talk about the tough stuff!

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This past Mother’s Day had me really thinking about how our culture defines what it means to be a mother and what it means for those who are not yet mothers. My sister and I have talked extensively about how we feel that the day has become kind of an awkward holiday. In an attempt to include everyone, we make posts on social media about mothers and non-mothers alike. I think that the heart behind it is kind and sensitive, but subconsciously it shows how we feel about motherhood.

Doesn’t our need to include everyone in Mother’s Day make it seem like mothers are the cool clique? It’s like we feel sorry for those who haven’t joined yet, because we see that as the ultimate achievement and desire, and if you haven’t reached that, then you are lacking. Or maybe we are the ones feeling sorry for ourselves? Are we desiring children, so much so that we fail to see and value all that the Lord has promised to us?

When we really think about it though, we can’t really blame anyone. Our idolization of motherhood makes sense when you realize what society tells us about it.

  • “There is no greater love than that of a mother and child.”
  • “The most important job in the world is being a mom.”
  • “Motherhood is the highest calling.”
  • “When you become a mother you will understand ________ .”

But do these statements fall in line with what the Bible says?

“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison–your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)

“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers!’” (Matthew 12:48-49).

“Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,” Jesus said, “who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).

I’ll be honest, these are some harsh verses to read. But I think they sound so harsh because they are so counter to our culture. I love the way John Piper explained it when he said “Jesus is turning everything around. Yes, he loved his mother and his brothers. But those are all natural and temporary relationships. He did not come into the world to focus on that…. We need to reorder our world…” He also mentions that we need to see relationships as God sees them, that “marriage and family are temporary and secondary and the church is eternal and primary.”

Are there any parts of your world that you need to reorder? If Jesus didn’t come to focus only on that, then we shouldn’t either. We tend to let the world tell us that we are “less than” because we haven’t had a child and let the world convince us that we will be “better than” when we do have children. I pray that if I ever have children that I put them in the right place of significance in my life. I pray that I won’t get my validation from being a great mom on my good days and I won’t feel like a failure of a person on my bad days.

leaves 900Has the world made you feel like a dried up tree? I remember an awkward convo one time where a friend said she wanted to have all her babies before she turned 30 to prevent any special needs issues. Picture me over here in the corner counting on fingers, thinking “Nope, that is not going to happen for me.” At times, I would stress that I was getting old and my eggs were going to dry up. I wondered how I would feel if I couldn’t “be fruitful and multiply”. You start to feel like you may be missing out.  But that was silly thinking. God has shown me a few things.
1.) I know that with God all things are possible. If it is something He wants for my life then He is more than capable to bring it about. And if it is something that He doesn’t want, then I ultimately don’t want it. 2.) Having children is not the only way to “be fruitful and multiply.” We see so many times that when Jesus speaks, He speaks on a heavenly and spiritual level, while everyone He is speaking to is listening on an earthly physical level. I believe that the most important “multiplying” we can do is making disciples and bringing them into God’s family. 3.) I must look at children the way that the Lord does and put them in the right order of significance and importance in my life and view them in light of eternity. My desire for children should never be greater than my desire to serve the Lord and follow His plan. And my ultimate confidence should not come from birthing and raising a child.

It can be so easy to KNOW the truth, but not necessarily to live it out.  These verses in Isaiah tell us that the childless one (let’s just replace eunuch with childless, huh?) who pleases the Lord, will have blessings in Heaven that far outweigh the blessings of children on earth. He will have a legacy that will endure forever, not a family tree that will end with the earth. It seems like a pretty basic concept to get… Heaven stuff is better than earth stuff. But do our actions exemplify that we really believe that?

My desire with this post is to present the Word and let God use it to speak to and challenge you. Let the promises of God dictate how you view motherhood and every other thing we come across. Ask Him if it is possible that your view of motherhood is based on what the creation has been feeding you instead of the Creator. What I have been finding, the more I read the Bible, is that the things of God are radical and they will turn everything we know to be true from this world on it’s head.

So let’s chat. If you agree or disagree I want to hear from you!
Do you think our worldly view is skewed compared to the biblical view of motherhood?

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  • Natalie, this is so good. SO much truth and spoken with such grace and love. And I’m guilty of feeling SO much love for my kids that my relationship with the Father takes a back seat. I even said to my own mom one day that “being their mother is my life.” But it’s not all there is and it shouldn’t be the most important thing. I loved this post and I’m with you 100%. A priority check is good! xo

    • Erin, I’m so impressed with you! I can see how easy it must be to feel like that, especially with a new baby! I’m praying that I really let this truth take root in my heart now, because I know that when/if I have children it would be that much harder to reconcile!

  • Natalie, great post! I’m currently struggling with singleness at the moment, as all three of my closest friends are now married. And I’m okay with being single, but of course my sweet friends want me to find someone to share my joy with just as they have. You’re words are such an encouragement! Please keep writing :)

    • Kelly, I have so been there!
      I remember a particular season where my sister was especially “ready” for me to meet someone. Lol! I think the intentions are sweet and it is only because they really enjoy being married and maybe never had the opportunity to enjoy singleness the same way. If they did, they would probably just be encouraging you to embrace where you are and reap the fruits from this phase while you can ;)

  • I randomly came across your blog through your sister’s post. This isn’t even something I’m particularly anxious about, but I love your writing and it comforted my little heart. Just wanted to say, “GREAT JOB!” :)

  • Oh I love this!!!! I am 34 and single. Most of my friends are married with kids. It’s hard sometimes but I think society makes it a ton harder when they do refer to motherhood being the highest calling, etc… It’s just not true. Loving God and making Him known is the highest calling. That can be done through mothering but it is not exclusive to mothering. Everything here is temporary and secondary. I love that!

    Thank you for addressing hard truths!

    • I totally agree! I remember telling my sister that I was fine being single, but I wish everyone else was too ;) I wanted to move to a city where it was more socially acceptable and didn’t create such a discontent in my heart! But the truth was I didn’t need another home, I needed to be more filled with my true home (heaven) than I am with this world!

  • Having been without children for the first 10 years of my marriage, I can most definitely relate. I was never the sort of person who fantasized about marriage or having children, and felt called to the mission field abroad, thus believed I could be in his perfect will either way. I felt the Lord would give me a marriage and children if and when he wanted me to have them. However , the words of other well meaning people brought me low and constantly made me feel ” less- than”, or a person to be pitied. I had ( & have) a wonderful husband, am professionally successful in my psychiatric practice with a lot of fulfilling things going on in my life, yet there was many a Mother’s Day or Christmas play where I sat with tears running down my neck. People were always telling me to pray harder, or do one thing or another, which only made it worse. Although now, I am a mother of 2 precious teenagers my husband and I adopted from Korea as infants , your words were so refreshing to read and so true! Our Heavenly Father knows he didn’t form everyone the same , and why should we assume his plan is exactly the same for everyone? It’s also interesting that although I didn’t end up on a foreign field permanently, the Lord brought the mission field to me, through years of jobs with migrant workers, Native Americans, short term missions to Africa the Phillipines and Mexico and right here in my own family ! Following God and allowing him to decide what is best for us, supersedes any plans we could possibly make for ourselves. I am living proof! ” For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11! Thank you so much for sharing your insights on this topic, it was a message we all needed to hear. God bless you as you continue to serve him! Tamara Thompson

    • Tamara! This is amazing! I think that your life is such a beautiful picture of His plans being so different and so much more than our plans. He put missions abroad on your heart and fulfilled it in a such a different way than you expected :) That’s very cool.
      And i love what you said about how He forms us so differently so what He plans for us are different!

  • This is well titled. It is a hard truth. At first I read this and hated it! I disagreed with you completely. I am not a mother, but I am a wife. I didn’t know if I even wanted to be a mother, but some recent events in my life have really shown me that I do want children. So, upon further thought, I do agree that motherhood isn’t the end-all, be-all. I believe that there is more to life than just being a mother, but I still find this hard.

    • Yes, so hard! I definitely don’t write about it because I totally understand or live by these truths yet, but I do pray that they sink in and I can understand them. I’m glad you said you hated it at first. It’s so honest and true. I think that by being honest with how we view things, the Lord can come and speak to us about these same things and renew us with His truth!

  • This is a fabulous post! As a single woman with no children, it’s absolutely refreshing to follow a blog that shows the other aspect of life as a woman. We are not all in relationships, engaged, married or have children (and not worried about having any of those things any time soon) and we should not be ashamed or feel like our life is lacking in any way. This post is a great reminder to appreciate the season that we are currently in and where our true priorities should lie – regardless of what the world and/or popular culture might say otherwise. Thank you for this post!

    • Thank you, Rachel :)
      I love finding other ladies who are comfortable in this season! It’s such a great example to those who haven’t gotten there yet and those who are, but just feel alone in it !

  • “Heaven stuff is better than earth stuff. But do our actions exemplify that we really believe that?” I love that and this whole thing. Motherhood is sacred and beautiful and sometimes we make it or long for it like it’s a crown earned (even though our mamas really couldn’t look half bad in one or twenty ;)). As a fairly new adult and a single one at that, it’s been a huge treasure to—when I feel like I’m not racking up all the career/relational/general adulting?? items on the list—rest and “hang back” in the countless simple realizations of HOW beautiful He is, how loving. All the stuff we glaze over like AH gotcha, but sometimes find ourselves feeling like nobody’s got us. Soul-soothing to rest in His name over being anyone else’s beloved.

  • I love this! I’ve been married for almost 7 years and we have been trying without success to get pregnant for about 5 years. This verse has been dear to my heart and I don’t see it quoted often! Infertility has raised so many questions for me in regards to my faith and life and who I am. I questioned if I could be a godly woman without procreating, I’ve felt insecurities rise up every time one of my dear friends gets pregnant (again and again and again), I’ve drowned in the pit of self-pity, I’ve suffered the guilt of being the “one with the problem” and how unfair it seemed to my sweet loving husband. But I have also experienced joy in JESUS like I never have before in going through this desprate struggle. I agree with you, our culture tells women that kids are our identity. Sometimes I feel like the world looks at non-motherhood like it’s the end of the world if you don’t have kids (which is a terrifying hopeless attitude towards women who can’t concieve, because it’s already scary). As a believer I realized that my identity is not in babies, that they are not my hope or my victory (“some trust in ‘babies’ but we trust in the name of he Lord”) but JESUS is our identity, JESUS is our hope, JESUS is our victory. The biggest, coolest thing I’ve learned on this rugged journey is that like my body, desolate and unfruitful, this is where my heart was before JESUS! If we have repented and called on His name, by his grace through faith we’ve been saved from our sin and now we are free in Him to be as fruitful as he makes us (biologically if he wills, but most importantly spiritually fruitful!) Babies are a beautiful blessing and amazing joy. It’s a mission field that I have not yet been called to. It is he Lord who opens and closes the womb. Who are we to take any credit either way?

  • This post was so beautifully written while also bringing in both grace and truth. Thank you for sharing it! While I am not yet married (in a relationship) and have no children yet, I do see this as a huge issue in our culture-especially the Christian culture. I have always felt very off when women in bible studies or small groups can only talk about their children and could never really address the spiritual roots that they might have and never knew why it bothered me so much. But now, with the help of this blog post along with the book “Jesus Feminism” (HIGHLY recommend!), I am starting to see that the main issue at hand is our worth as women and where we find that worth. First and foremost, not only are we women of God but, more specifically, we are CHILDREN of God. And our worth and identity should never be found in our gender or said genders “highest callings”. I appreciate that this topic is getting more attention and I hope more people can see this post along with similar ones to fully comprehend that their worth is not found in their temporary titles on Earth.