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Legislators–and not the kind in Washington

Well, I have done it again. A mirror has been held up to my heart, and it is not pretty. The whole motherhood decision wheel is spinning, and I see how many shoulds and oughts and need tos run my heart divorced from the grace and love of my Father.
It is funny how mixed up we can get in our emotions. Our hearts and thoughts can become spider webs that we get caught in, and we are lost as to which way we were going in the first place. This week has been one of those weeks for me.
I am thankful for women all around me who have interjected prayers and truth…who have called out the areas that are false that I have believed and factored into my decisions.
There are some definite rights and wrongs in motherhood and life. That which does not line up with God’s character and his law which is explicitly told to us counts as a wrong. We all sin in our parenting and living. With that said, there are a lot of gray areas…these things are involved in the “how” we do things. We may do things perfectly (when one observes from the outside) with a bad heart or motive, and we may do things messily (when observed from the outside) with a purer motive. No one knows our true motive apart from God. The one thing we do know is He calls us to love Him with all of ourselves and, in turn, to love our neighbor as ourselves.
There may be specific things God calls you to do as a family that he calls you to obey that He asks another family to do another way with the same end to obey Him. Examples of this can include the type of schooling chosen for your children, the type of parenting (scheduled/attachment), the way you do your finances, the way you celebrate holidays, the kind of discipline system you have, the way you birth your children, etc, etc, etc.
The problem occurs when we assume that God has called everyone to the same act of obedience as us. In our humanity, we can take pride in our decisions and begin to legislate our choices on to others. We are good at putting others under a yoke of slavery with our expectations and laws. I am excellent, as a people pleaser, at taking on the laws of others as the should and the ought and the law of my life. The Lord shows me again and again that I long to be approved and worshipped. Yuck. I am also excellent at judging people based on my opinions and decisions as to how things are to be done questioning the purity of their motives while having a gross motive myself. Yuck. Again, there are real implications of right and wrong found in God’s word…I am not talking about these. I am talking about the gray areas of how we carry things out in order to follow God.
Measure, measure, measure. This is the black of my heart God revealed to me this morning. I’m doing better than x but poorer than y. I cannot believe y does things the way she does. I am not as good as x because I cannot do what she has accomplished. Divisive, huh? In the comparison, we lose the heart of loving Him and loving others. We forget the law of love and grace. We legislate a new law that is way more complicated and brings death to our spirits and to our families.
Colossians 3 says, “if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Seek– to go in search or quest of, to try to find/discover by searching
Set–to resolve/decide upon
The Lord graciously reminded me this morning of what He accomplished in Christ on my behalf…freedom from this way of death, freedom to think in Him on His truth, freedom from the yoke of slavery of public opinion, freedom to love others as they are and champion them to pursue the freedom in Christ.
In the mirror held up to my heart, I see the web of deceit of what I really think makes me worthy. He says that is false. I must choose to die to those thoughts and live to Him–His truth. I must choose to set my heart and affections on Him–beyond this earthly kingdom to an eternal Kingdom filled with His holiness, grace and love.
So, my question, how are you and I legislating a new law on others? What measuring stick are we holding up? Is it true or false? Does it seek to love others in Him or to elevate ourselves? I’m tired of reading the shoulds of mothers. I’m tired of me and others putting weight on things that should be weightless in the pursuit of the mind and heart of Christ.

Author:

40 year old Married Mom to 2 From Tennessee

One thought on “Legislators–and not the kind in Washington

  1. True words! I think this must be a struggle for nearly every mom. And it doesn’t get any easier – just wait til your friends’ kids are getting full ride scholarships to ivy league colleges 🙂 Having peace about the gray areas IS easier, though, and I rest in God’s calling for ME and realize that others are called differently. The longer I’m a mom the more I see how many mistakes I make, how many ways I fail my children and God. I have to throw myself on His grace hourly. I have long said that if there is anything good in my boys it will ALL be attributable to God and in spite of me! Love your heart, Jenn; thanks for putting it out there.

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