A Woman's Identity on Mother's Day
“Hi, my name is Liz. Wife of Jeremy and mother to 4 kids.” Isn’t that how most of us introduce ourselves? Not that it is necessarily wrong, but often times our identity is so tied to our marital or parenting status that we forget who we are apart from these titles.
I’m burdened that we often over emphasize marriage and family to the point of making them an idol to the neglect of our joy and identity in Christ. This can produce spiritually shallow wives and moms. It can also distort our understanding of singleness and marriage as we can communicate that singles are not complete until they reach marriage or parenthood.
At the same time I’m burdened that we can also swing in the other direction and undermine the value of the high calling of being a wife and mom. We often believe real ministry is “out there” and not within our homes. We think children are a distraction or hindrance to real needs. We might neglect the home and relationships in it to chase after some other endeavor.
For all believers, our identity at the most basic and fundamental level is that we are in Christ! This must take precedence as we seek to understand and fulfill the calling of being a wife and mom.
What freedom it brings to my soul to know I am found in Christ and am counted righteous because of His atoning work on the cross in my place! My worth and value is not based on my role or how well I fulfilled them today (thank God)!
When my eyes are not fixed on Christ, I begin to measure my value and worth by my roles and relationships. This either leaves me puffed up with sinful pride or beating myself up for how I’m failing. Both are self-centered and displeasing to God. Our eyes are either fixed on Christ and living for God’s glory or fixed on self, circumstances, and comparison to others.
I will never rightly understand or live out my role if I’m not first resting in the reality that I belong to Christ and am first and foremost a daughter of God, bought with the precious blood of God’s only begotten son!
Does this mean that I should devalue the role of wife and mom? By no means! The Lord has been gracious to remind me often of the high calling of being a wife and mom!
I appreciate Gloria Furman’s statement in her recent book The Pastor’s Wife, “But for the sake of God’s glory in the church, there is a specific ministry clearly worth a minster’s wife’s efforts, thoughtfulness, and prayers—a wife’s ministry to her husband and family.”
There is much freedom and grace for my everyday when I rightly understand my calling as a wife and a mom in the home. The home is the primary place I work out my salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). This is the primary place I see my need for Christ as I’m confronted with my sinful heart. This is the primary place I practice the “one anothers” in Scripture. This is the primary place I lay my life down to serve my neighbor—everyday!
If you are a husband, father, or pastor, may I encourage you to encourage your wives and the women you’re around to primarily walk with God? Remind them often who they are in Christ as a child of God. Then remind them often of the value of their ministry in the home as they love their husband and children. The encouragement is scarce and your words will go a long ways!
If you are a wife or mother reading this, may I encourage you to find your identity in Christ alone? Beware of idolizing your role as a wife or mom. At the same time have a humble confidence in God’s call on your life as a wife and mom. Love your husband, children, and home unto the Lord for His glory with your eyes fixed on Christ!
Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.” So we must ask ourselves: Are my everyday choices actively building up or tearing down my home? There is no middle ground.