Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Complaining Mothers and Blog-Theology



I received this note the other day from a reader:

Thank you...Seems there has been a trend recently in blogs I’ve read of talking about how hard parenting is and they aren’t precious a lot and it’s ok to want to escape…I know that is not God’s will for me...

I really appreciate her thoughts because this is something I also see as a weakness in the blogosphere.  In an effort to avoid pretense, we share too much ugliness.  In an effort to "be real" (honestly, sometimes I get so weary of that phrase) and try to identify with others, we neglect to speak or write truth.

I understand that it is a balance because it's correct to strive for humility and transparency. I too have failed at it many times, I'm sure.  But according to the unspoken rules of the blogosphere, if you have nothing bad or "real" to say, it's not going to be received. At all costs, you must not appear to "have it all together."

No one has it all together.

But friends, if someone in the virtual world is making you feel better about your sin, you need to find another blog to read.

It is sin to perpetually stay in a place of motherhood where you are joyless.
It is not a sin to fail and ask the Lord's forgiveness and help to do better.

It is a sin to remain in a place of anxiety and frustration and cast blame on others for it (like your children for instance, or the fact that you have no mentor).
It is not a sin to take negative thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ.

It is not right for a blogger to refer to  her website as a Titus 2 encouragement, if she is not encouraging you to love your children, but merely complain about them.

Motherhood is a beautiful gift of God.  Messy at times.  Noisy often. But sometimes we act as though we are martyrs, giving up something grand for a life of abysmal slavery.

Be discerning.  A mark of Christian maturity is discernment.  But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14

And you can't have discernment if all you have is blog-theology.  Yeah, I just made up that word.  It means you are internalizing a steady diet of blog posts and nothing else.

The Lord has given us the precious job of training up little hearts for His glory.  What a privilege and honor.  How dare we complain?



22 comments:

  1. Ohhhhhhhhhh ....... spot on! I appreciate and receive these words. Well said. And truthfully told. Thank you, Bambi! You are so right. I wish more would stop listening to those complaining and realize the beautiful JOY there is in the calling of being a Mother!

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  2. So true, Gillian! (And thank you also for the sweet email last week :)

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  3. Oh, thank you for putting my thoughts into words. Yes, that phrase "be real"--and if we do not post how awful we are--we are not real? Yes, we are all sinners, but we need to allow Christ to grow us and change us, not be happy in our sin, and not growing more like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We need to be encouraging each other to do what is right, to follow the Lord and His Word, and His leading, not wallowing in our sin and making excuses for it.

    Thanks for the post.

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  4. Well said! I appreciate your honesty.

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  5. I love this post! In order to be salt and light us Christians need to be fun! Even on days when we don't feel like it we should always put a smile on our face so our attitudes can reflect Jesus. Thanks for the reminder.

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  6. Love this blog. I had just written some of the same things regarding lack of joy in motherhood or being a wife and homemaker.
    As an older woman I grieve at the lack of joy. I never sacrificed for my children----they and keeping our home and serving my husband is all I ever wanted to do since I was a little girl playing "house"!
    Now, as an empty-nester---well, except for the eleven grandchildren we have been blessed with, I miss the days when they were little.
    Thank you for what you said. It IS the tendency today to just share the problems, complaints. Yes, we need to be real but if "real" is always bad, then, something's wrong. Our answer as for everything is in Christ. We should feel joy, even in the trials which will come, we have joy in Christ and in this high calling we are blessed with.
    Sincerely,
    Kathi of
    Home Making in Hard Times

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  7. "Yes, we need to be real but if "real" is always bad, then, something's wrong.."

    Great point!

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  8. I absolutely adore this blog. I read it as part of my "Mommy College," as I call it. (:

    I was pondering this post as I was trying to fall asleep last night and thought, "What's so wrong with choosing to focus primarily on the grace of God in life, instead of choosing to primarily dwell on the struggles and consequences of sin?"

    I mean, we have so very much to rejoice about! We've been delivered from sin and death and have the assurance of victory. Complaining has no place in that equation.

    This is my favourte part:
    "Motherhood is a beautiful gift of God. Messy at times. Noisy often. But sometimes we act as though we are martyrs, giving up something grand for a life of abysmal slavery."

    Yes, yes, yes! How do we expect the world to change its mind about the importance and joy of motherhood if so many of the Christian mothers act like victims?

    I'm not yet married, so I'm really just "thinking ahead" here. I know this can also be practically applied to my place as a stay-at-home daughter.

    Lots to think about and pray about. Thank you so much for this blog. I'm constantly challenged and encouraged by it!

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  9. Shelby,

    (I love your name because it's my oldest daughter's name as well :) She too is a young woman who, like you, ponders deeply. It's so encouraging to know that The Lord is raising up a new generation of discerning women who will sift their actions AND their own hearts through the words of scripture!

    Thank you so much for that comment. Love the "Mommy College" idea :)

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  11. I have no children, and may not ever due to infertility, but I still enjoy reading blogs for women. I have noticed all the articles that talk about motherhood in a negative sense. One wrote, "I want to kill the next person who tells me to enjoy every moment." Mostly I read about how moms are exhausted, live in messy houses, have disobedient kids, and spouses who delay cooming home from work because they don't want to be in chaos. I've read about how expensive kids are, how you can't work away from home and still be a good mother, yet being at home with the kids all day is awful. At the end of the articles, the author usually gives me one sentence about how they really do love their kids.

    I find myself thinking perhaps infertility isn't so bad after all. Sure, there's the emptiness of the extra bedroom that we have because when we bought our house we assumed we would fill it with a child. There's the emptiness I feel when I look at my china, recipe books, and my grandmother's photos, and realize I have no one- not even a niece- to pass these treasures along to. I will never know if the kids would inherit my husband's curly hair. But hey, every Saturday night is date night, I never have to call a sitter, my house is pretty clean, and I have a fulfilling job. I don't hate life, and I'm pretty well rested.

    These articles have left me confused. Do I still want kids? Are the twinges of longing easier to bear than actually having kids to raise? I don't know any more.

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  12. Thank you so much for posting this! In my personal life it's an exhortation. Though I don't complain about motherhood because my children are actual miracles for me, I do fall into anxiety and depression because of some health issues I've been struggling with. I take this word of encouragement today, I repent, and I don't want to live with my head down every day. I want to smile and LIVE because Jesus is ALIVE and He lives in me! I must reflect that! Thank you so much again for this post. God bless~

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  13. Excellent! Thank you so much for your wisdom, Bambi. This was a very needed post for many, including myself. :)

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  14. I'm with that anonymous commenter, wholeheartedly. I've read two or three different, very viral posts that said that same thing: Don't tell me to enjoy this because it sucks and I don't want to hear it right now.

    Maybe these moms aren't as ungrateful as they sound, but I can't help but see the faces of the sweet ladies who say that to me when I read these posts. Really? They're giving you good advice, and they're doing it because they miss their little ones, and all you've got is snark for them? So what if you're tired? Look at those baby faces! Enjoy them!

    I pray the anonymous commenter falls pregnant really soon, so she can show those mamas how to be grateful for what they've been given. :-)

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  15. Thank you! I have felt this way about blogs for a long time. There was one I had read for a while that always left me feeling not quite right...she obviously loved her family and all that, but the whole "real" thing was like a flag she waved around...like "I'm real, and that's why it's okay for me to do X, Y and Z"- things that when I came to Christ, I left behind (not judging- just saying, and that's probably why I was uncomfortable with it). As believers, we are *supposed* to look different. Thanks again for saying so! :)

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  16. I, too, saw that viral post about what a pain it is to have children, and why not let's all just admit it already. It sickened me truthfully.
    This kind of thing will be even more prevalent in the last days though. Disobedient children and unloving parents. I suppose we should not be surprised.
    It is disheartening though, when Christians fall prey to such thinking. I had several Christian friends share it on Facebook, and I wanted to slap them up side the head.
    All we can do though is continue to share the truth, the Truth, and pray for our fellow moms.

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  17. "Knock them upside the head." LOL!!!

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  18. As soon as I saw your great post (via Cindy at Get-along-Home) the exhortation to be "giving thanks always for all things" sprang to mind. An attitude of gratitude to God is a powerful and ongoing antidote to the "poor me's" that we all indulge in sometimes.
    You may not be able to make yourself feel joy - but you CAN always give thanks - and the joy will follow.
    As an 'older woman' I well remember how I had to start each and every one of my child-rearing days with fervent prayers for "more patience, more wisdom, more strength, please Lord". And of course He supplies exactly what you need in your struggles to be a good Mum (or Mom if you speak American :-) )
    Sorry about the sermonette - thankfulness has been on my heart lately...and it was great to read your post, and many of the comments too.

    We all need to keep on thanking the Lord for all our MANY blessings, - including the noisy, messy, exhausting ones.

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  19. Bambi,
    I love this post for so many reasons...
    The Bible always points us to repentance away from sin, toward the cross, to dying to ourselves. It encourages us to spur one another on...not pull each other down so we can all wallow together in the snare of sin.
    Boasting in our weaknesses so that Christ's power rests on us and so that His name is glorified is NOT the same as boasting about our sinful attitudes or actions. I think some well-meaning Christians have gotten this confused. I likely have been guilty of this myself.

    Yes, we all sin. Yes, we all have "mess" in our lives, but rather than boast about our SIN, let's encourage each other onward & upward and boast only in the LORD.

    But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

    Paul never boasted about himself sinning. He spoke of his weaknesses, yes, but that is not the same thing as delighting in his sin or "keeping it real" so we'd all realize oh yes...we're sinners, too. I'm so glad I'm not alone in my sin. I feel much better now." The truth is that it's the law of God that shows us we are sinners when the Holy Spirit calls us.

    Rather than tear each other down and encourage others to feel comfortable in their sin, let's edify each other in Christian love and humility and point to the cross where forgiveness and grace is found.

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  20. Terrific wisdom. God is using you in great ways. Thanks for being brave and bold in stating truth. And, it is a great reminder for me too! God bless you. Janine

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