Should we give up our dreams to have children?
Before I had children, I had a lot of dreams. Dreams of traveling, and dreams filled with all sorts of fun.
I also had dreams of making a difference in the world. But those dreams usually involved becoming a missionary, or working in an orphanage. I didn’t understand at the time that becoming a mother could have the same sort of difference-making effect that I was after.
We are often told that before we have children, we should work to achieve all of our dreams apart from motherhood. This was not the path I chose. I became a mother at the age of 19, effectively leaving my dreams behind to instead create new ones involving my children and the legacy that they perhaps would leave one day.
I was reminded of this yesterday. My oldest son was told by someone that I was “smart,” and if I hadn’t had children I would be a CEO at a large company.
Ha! I don’t know how smart I am, but I have plenty of “management” experience thanks to having nine little ones.
Not only did I choose motherhood instead of having a career, I decided to lay my dreams down to pour my life into theirs.
I believe I absolutely made the right choice.
I may never travel to a foreign country again, or chase another pre-motherhood dream. Not only is this okay, it is beautiful.
Despite our inclinations, we are not called to be selfish creatures, but to serve our families well. If we look to Scripture, we can see that this pattern is spoken of time and time again.
Therefore if there is any encouragement in Messiah, if there is any comfort of love, if there is any fellowship of the Ruach (Spirit), if there is any mercy and compassion, then make my joy complete by being of the same mind, having the same love, united in spirit, with one purpose. Do nothing out of selfishness or conceit, but with humility consider others as more important than yourselves, looking out not only for your own interests but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves, which also was in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).
Philippians 2:1-5 TLV
As a mother, I am called to be humble, and consider my children to be more important than myself.
I am called to do nothing out of selfishness.
I am called to lay my life (and dreams) down for them, as our Messiah did for us.
I’ve realized that so many of the dreams of my youth were selfish, and in a way, smaller, than the plans the Lord has laid out for me.
Instead of traveling to another country for a month, the Lord wanted me to bear children in His image.
Instead of managing a company, the Lord used my body to bring forth children to raise for Him.
Is there really any comparison?
In the quoted verse above, we are told to not only “look to our own interests, but to those of others.” Some may take this to mean that chasing dreams falls into the “looking to our own interests” category. I’d like to suggest that the interests we should concern ourselves with are food, shelter, and clothing. We must never take Scripture out of context to fulfill our own motives.
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, So we cannot take anything out of it. But having food and clothing, with these things we shall be content.
1 Timothy 6:6-8 TLV
Ah, we are to be content, knowing that His plans are good, and motherhood is pretty amazing.
What a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. Let’s walk in it, ladies.