These thoughts have been running around in my head for a while, and maybe running right on out of my mouth. Fortunately my husband, who is an incredible listener, feels almost as strongly as I do about the topic. I assure you this is rare and feel compelled to write about it and hopefully begin a dialogue.
Before you get all worked up, I’m not taking either side of the “mommy wars.” This post will not be telling you how you are a failure if you are a stay at home mom, and I won’t question whether you love your children if you are a working mother. However, this is a challenge to everyone who has chosen to raise children: Consider how you view your role as a parent.
I can’t tell you how many articles and books I have read, or how many conversations I have heard on the topic of motherhood as a calling. This is no surprise. Motherhood is a calling, and a serious one at that. I am passionate and purposeful about mothering Benjamin and Emily. I love being a mother. I work hard at it and, especially when I fail, I pray and seek wisdom for the areas in which I need to improve.
Webster defines calling as:
A strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work (such as religious work).
The work that a person does or should be doing.
With an understanding of calling why it is that motherhood is seen as a calling, yet fatherhood is more often seen as a responsibility or a duty?
Fatherhood, NOT just motherhood is a calling! If our culture continues to see motherhood as the primary impact on our children then we will miss out on the beautiful diversity that both roles bring to this significant vocation.
Men and women often begin families with an idyllic notion that children give us what we need to heal our brokenness. While they are adorable little bundles of cuteness at birth, they eventually start talking. This is when you realize that you actually have to begin some intense work—that is, spending your life loving, teaching, disciplining, and encouraging them to grow into men and women who love God and others.
If you didn’t know it before you had children you certainly know it now—children have opinions!
“I don’t want to go to bed.”
“Why do I have to shower every day?”
“I have to pick up WHAT out of the yard?”
“That’s not faaaaiiiir!”
This is the “moment of truth” when it becomes crucial that you embrace parenting as a calling. It’s either that or check yourself into a local mental hospital (this is a viable option). Be that as it may, I encourage you to take on the challenge. When you do God gives you the grace to begin to emotionally and spiritually impact the life of your child. This investment is one that has eternal consequences so let’s not limit ourselves by only allowing mothers the pleasure.
Fatherhood and Motherhood is a calling—let’s serve our calling well!
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9 NIV)
Do you consider parenting a calling? How can honoring this distinction change your perspective and help you live an extraordinary life?