Mommy vs. Missionary? Is that even a real choice? Do we have to pick one or the other? If I pick mommy is my “life’s work” relegated to crock pot meals, car pools, and candles? If I pick missionary is it at the expense of my family?These are ideas I am flushing out in my own mind lately.
Here are my thoughts:
1) When I say “missionary”, I don’t mean overseas missionary. I mean living here and serving. I have friends who are overseas missionaries- raising kids (lots of kids) in third world countries without heat, all sleeping in one room with coats on. I have friends who have no sinks in their house and have to ladle every drop of water they use (toilets, baths, dishes) from a cistern. Are they less of a mommy because their kids are experiencing these hard things while their parents are serving the kingdom? Are they less of a mom, or just a mom in a lot harder place? They are still doing the same things I am doing -teaching reading, cooking meals, loving their husbands and kids. But they are also literally living out this verse:
MATTHEW 28:19 (NKJV) 19 GO THEREFORE AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL THE NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND OF THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT,
2) If I am not called to the actual mission field (wait…..I am pretty sure my neighborhood is also a mission field, but I’m referring to the “another country” mission field), then do I get to take a pass on serving and a pass on preaching the Good News? If my missionary friends are still moms, then can’t I and shouldn’t I be serving here where I am placed with my whole heart and with my kids right beside me as I do it? Just like they are? Would I tell my husband, “Don’t worry about sharing the Good News of Jesus- you have a job! You can do that when your retired.” That’s crazy! So, why do we mommies think our “job” exempts us from serving, telling, and loving in the name of our Great Father!
1 PETER 5:2 (ESV) SHEPHERD THE FLOCK OF GOD THAT IS AMONG YOU, EXERCISING OVERSIGHT, NOT UNDER COMPULSION, BUT WILLINGLY, AS GOD WOULD HAVE YOU; NOT FOR SHAMEFUL GAIN, BUT EAGERLY;
3) I love being a stay-at-home mom- it was all I ever wanted to be. I love making homemade muffins, teaching my girls to sew, and snuggling on the couch with a ton of kids while we read in the evenings. The thing is, I would want to be that whether I was a believer or not. So I can’t say I am serving “the kingdom”, because I am a mom. There are lots of amazing moms who are not believers. They are mommies, but not missionaries. I am a follower of Jesus first, and a mommy second. I want my Jesus banner to fly higher in my lIfe than my mommy banner. Is that going to hurt my kids? I don’t think so. I think it will show that them that I will forsake all others for Christ. Isn’t that what we are called to do?
MATTHEW 10:37-39 (NKJV) 37 HE WHO LOVES FATHER OR MOTHER MORE THAN ME IS NOT WORTHY OF ME. AND HE WHO LOVES SON OR DAUGHTER MORE THAN ME IS NOT WORTHY OF ME. 38 AND HE WHO DOES NOT TAKE HIS CROSS AND FOLLOW AFTER ME IS NOT WORTHY OF ME. 39 HE WHO FINDS HIS LIFE WILL LOSE IT, AND HE WHO LOSES HIS LIFE FOR MY SAKE WILL FIND IT.
Wow! So there it is! Jesus’ own words. So what do I need to do in my life to be able to serve more and to give my all, yet still be a good wife and mom? Because despite all I have said here today, I know that those are roles God has given me. “Mommy” is a job title that I treasure and I love making meals and going to the park with my kids. But are there other things that I am lumping into my mommy job that are not actually necessary, that are not obligatory to being a mom? Am I adding “rules” like the Pharisees did to the law?
I look at my missionary friends and the stories of missionaries I read, and I see some common factors:
1) Simple, small houses.
2) Not many extra activities. There kids are not in sports- they don’t really have them in the bush. Nor do they have a gym, so the moms are not working out all the time or training for a marathon.
3) Simple dress. Clothing isn’t a hobby, just necessary to cover you.
4) Plain wholesome meals. Not gourmet or fancy, just healthy.
5) Not much (if any) “me time”.
6) No t.v. and limited Internet.
Okay, that list really cuts me to the bone. That is my life I just listed. I do all of those things and really enjoy them as part of my life. But I realize these are the things that are keeping me from living as a missionary here. It’s not cooking, teaching math, or cleaning that are taking up my extra time, it’s all the other stuff. If I cut out the earthly, materialistic things, I could give more financially and physically to the kingdom. And if I just did the things that were actually required of me as a mom (not all the extra stuff I like to add to the role) I would have a lot more to give to Him.
In the words of C.T. Studd, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last