Lately there has been a trend in the blogging world that I find quite disturbing. I’ve noticed article after article encouraging mothers to be “real,” while justifying all out complain-fests about one’s children. Not surprisingly, these articles are completely void of scripture references.
“It’s okay to not always enjoy being a mother.”
“It’s okay to want time to yourself away from your children.”
“It’s okay to not cherish your children at every moment.”
(I’m adding a link to an article titled, “10 Ways Living With a Toddler Is Like Being In Prison” that was shared by one of my Christian facebook friends. This article was shared a week after I originally posted this, and is an example of the problem.)
While I’m not arguing in the least that all mothers from time to time might feel this way, I am stating that it is not right to justify sinful behavior. Most often Christian ladies are the ones doing the justifying!
But is this behavior sinful? The above statements have primarily to do with selfishness and an absence of joy. Two things that are sinful…we must turn from them.
Some verses on selfishness…
Psalm 119:36 Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Proverbs 18:1 An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends; he defies all sound judgment.
Romans 2:8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
Romans 15:1-2 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
1 Corinthians 13:4-6 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Galatians 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Philippians 2:1-4 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
James 3:13-15 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.
James 3:16-17 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
My, that is a lot of verses about selfishness! When we complain about our children (especially publically) we are basically saying that we want things to be more comfortable for ourselves in some way, shape, or form. That is selfishness in a nutshell.
Some verses about joy…
James 1:2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all
circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
God’s will for us is to be joyful always. Can you complain and be joyful at the same time? Try it. I just did and it didn’t work out to well!
Do everything without complaining and arguing,
Giving thanks always for all things.
God’s Word clearly states that we should not complain, we should and give thanks for all things. Meaning, we should thank Him for sleepless nights, runny noses, bad attitudes, and messy bathrooms. This is a hard pill to swallow, but if God has brought us to a situation, we can be sure that He has a reason behind it that we might not understand. His purposes are being fulfilled in us, and we should be thankful for everything, always!
Mommas, when we are trying to keep it “real” online, we are actually showing off our lack of joy and selfishness. Just because it is suddenly cool to complain about our children doesn’t mean that we should. Shouldn’t we be encouraging other moms in the Lord, and not be giving them a free pass to sin? Our gracious Heavenly Father gave us this life…when we complain we are acting like we don’t believe that He works all things together for our good.
Believe me, I have tough days. Sometimes parenting is hard work! But shouldn’t we be encouraging our sisters in the Lord, instead of commiserating with them?
Read the follow up post here, titled “Joyful Mothering and the Real Factor.”
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