Lies Stay-at-Home Moms Believe
Nearly four years ago, God shook my world through a six-pound ball of joy…my firstborn. Considering I was not “supposed” to have children, I was surprised, humbled, overwhelmed, and in complete awe that God would allow me the opportunity to carry and give birth to a daughter. The newborn season was a sweet season and one that I look back on with fond memories. However, motherhood also brought other emotions…fear, doubt, and insecurity, and lies. For the first time in my life, someone was completely dependent upon me for her every need. Would I be the mother she needed me to be to her? Would I be able to demonstrate God’s overwhelming love to her? Would I be able to raise this little girl to be a productive member of society who loves God and others?
Basically, I was asking what every mother asks: Am I good enough?
Am I good enough? In attacking a mother’s heart, Satan tends to begin with this question. If he can cast doubt into our minds and hearts, then the enemy can begin to replace God’s truth with his lies. Sadly, I have seasons where Satan’s fiery darts seem to constantly come against me. I just came out of one of those seasons, and it was overwhelming. Here are some lies I have listened to, and at times, believed.
God picked the wrong person to be my child’s mother. I do not think there is a mother who has not, at some point, thought and believed this lie. And, the enemy disguises it in many forms. Have you ever thought or said these phrases? “I am not good enough!” “Amy is a better mom than I am!” “If I was creative like Susan, then my children would have more fun!” “My daughter would be happier, smarter, more privileged if she was born into the Smith family!” Ladies, these thoughts are what Satan uses in order to discourage our hearts and weaken our resolve. Instead, listen to what God says about us. For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. (Ps 139:13-14 emphasis added) When we hear these verses, our thoughts immediately go to the amazing creation of a child, and it should. But, have you ever looked at these verses from God’s perspective of you? Out of all the women in the world, God chose you and He chose me to be the mother of our children. (This point is also true of adoptive mothers.) God has a plan for your children’s lives, and He wants to use you to bring it to fruition. It is not an accident that you are raising your child at this point in history. Therefore, we have a choice. We can either refuse to allow Satan to trap us with insecurity, or we can wallow in self-pity and defeat. Our children are counting on us to rise up, with all our talents, creativity, and even faults, and be the mom they think we are…Supermom!
If I stay home with my children, then I will become ineffective and unmarketable when/if I decide to go back to work. This lie is a difficult one to defeat because logic tells us that it is true. We live in a society that is constantly changing. Most professions require you to take continuing education classes just to stay up-to-date with the latest technology and advances. I understand this challenge. I birthed my two girls during the four years it took me to complete my doctoral work. This was certainly NOT my plan, but God’s ways are not my ways (Is 55:8-9). The day I walked across the stage, I knew God was calling back home…fulltime. I knew the high calling of a wife and mother, and I knew Scripture called women to place their first priority on their family. However, I struggled with “giving up” my goals and dreams. I kept having these thoughts. “How long do I have to stay home?” “If I turn down teaching/speaking invitations, will I ever get asked again?” “God would not have asked me to get a doctorate if He did not plan on me using it…NOW.” And I could continue with my excuses. But, James 4:13-17 has a sharp answer to this lie. Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So it is a sin for the person who knows to do what is good and doesn’t do it.
Ladies, we are only promised today. Consequently, we are only promised today, this very moment, with our children. God asks us to be obedient to His will regardless of the consequences. My children are still small, so I do not know what will happen when this season of childrearing is over. There are speaking events I have turned down, and I do not get to spend nearly the amount of time I would like writing and working on projects. Certain opportunities have come and gone, and, at times, it is difficult to pass them up. But, is it worth it? Absolutely! No amount of worldly accolades can replace the joy of daily watching my girls grow and develop. With each milestone my girls reach, there is unspeakable joy in knowing God used me to help them attain it.
Staying home with my children might squander my time, talents, and resources. Of course, we would never say that, so we use other excuses. “Working makes me a better mother.” “If I stayed home, I would become bored and complacent.” “What does a mother do all day?” Please do not hear me say that working outside the home is evil and sinful. Some mothers must work because of circumstances beyond their control. However, if your motive for working is to curb boredom, to find fulfillment, or to feel useful, then I want to encourage you that perhaps it is time to re-evaluate. Would you be willing to surrender your own desires for the sake of your family? Again, I realize that I don’t know your story, but is it possible that you’ve bought into this subtle lie that the enemy and our culture tells us?
Please know, that not long ago, I was in your shoes. I could not imagine the mundane task of taking care of a home and raising a family. The thought of it went against my flesh and personality, and I was appalled at the idea of sacrificing my dreams (or career) for the good of another.
To be honest with you, I still struggle with it.
I do find fulfillment in other work besides cooking dinner and refereeing my three-year and two-year old daughters’ arguments. But, once I began to align my heart with the truth of God’s word, God began to change me.
Psalm 127 was instrumental in that process. My girls are a “heritage, reward,” and a blessing from the Lord (vs. 3-5). It takes every bit of my time, talents, creativity, and resources to be the mother God has called me to be. I have a minor in counseling, and my days are filled with comforting and confronting my children. I have a doctorate in leadership, and I have two little students who I am training to be leaders in the world. Not one ounce of education or skill God has given me is wasted. Yes, I use those skills differently than before I had children. But, I am glad I have them. What talent or skill has God given you? How can you use that in your mothering?
These lies are only three in the arsenal of lies Satan has stored up for us. Motherhood is difficult and not for the fainthearted. My prayer is that you would find great joy and encouragement in knowing that God picked you, yes you, to be the mother of your precious children. We must stop listening to the enemy’s lies and start resting on the truth of God’s word. Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil (Eph 6:10-11). Ladies, let’s fight this battle together!