Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Motherhood, a.k.a. Christian Bootcamp

So I was noticing the interesting way in which motherhood kind of forces you to follow Jesus' admonition to “die to yourself.” Ever since becoming a mom, and especially since Baby began talking and becoming more mobile, I've noticed that dying for my own needs in order to live for another is basically the job description of motherhood. Once that baby is born, and if I hope to have any sense of having been a good mother, I must officially and unofficially put that child's needs and-- to some extent-- desires before my own needs and desires. I see examples of this every day in my own and others moms' lives, whether it's forgetting to eat lunch or breakfast because we're too busy getting our kids fed and ready for the day, picking up a bunch of toys that we didn't get out because they pose a tripping hazard, or eating vegetables we are loathe to eat because we want our children to follow suit. Okay those are some sparse examples, and I'm sure you can think of better ones... 

But the fact remains: motherhood is a little akin to Christian boot camp. What if (and not to promote a trend of condescending Christians or anything) we all behaved toward other people-- believers or otherwise-- the way we behave toward our own children? What if we forgot to eat or went hungry because we were ensuring that our local homeless had a full belly and good nutrition? What if instead of moving to safer or cleaner neighborhoods and setting up camp behind well-guarded community fences, we were out there cleaning up litter, helping repair houses and whatnot, and actually doing something about the health and safety hazards that are common in so many less well-to-do neighborhoods? What if we actually lived out some of the hard truths in scripture (such as actively loving our gay/liberal/sinful/annoying/different neighbor in deed as well as words) as an example to a non-believing world and other Christians?

I wonder what the world would be like if we looked on the world as our children... not in a tyrannical or helicopter-parenting sort of way, but with the ardent love and self-sacrificing devotion that comes with being a true mother (or father!)...

What is something you've done or seen a mom/dad do for their kids that could be applied as a way of “dying to self” to serve others and Christ?


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