One of the highest callings any woman will ever be given by God is to be a mother. This job can be creatively titled many ways such as chief operation director, head chef, chauffeur, event coordinator, etc. No matter how you put it, being a mom can be a tough job and is a full-time job (plus some) in its own right.
Many moms are also given another type of work by the Lord, a job that is outside of the mother role. When God adds the extra responsibility of work outside of the home to the work that is in the home, the task can seem daunting. Various reasons may necessitate this role, but the key is in Proverbs 16:3, “Commit thy work unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
Each mom who has committed her way to God and has followed the path He has for her must learn how to balance all of the responsibilities, in and out of the home, in a way that brings glory to God. I have found that far easier to write than to live out each day, but God has given me the task of both being a mom to three and working full-time, so it’s a struggle I face daily. I know I am where God wants me to be in these roles so I know He gives the grace I need now and will need each moment. That key in Proverbs 16:3 that I must remember is committing my work to God and having my thoughts firmly set on Him.
Providing Balance not Bedlam
Finding the right balance seems to be a struggle for many Christian moms. After all, the Proverbs 31 mother is often our model—the perfect wife, a praise-worthy mother. She works into the night for the home yet has time during the day to take care of family and carry on business affairs, help the poor, and make her own clothes. All of this while supporting a husband who is well-known and respected. Tired yet?
In a recent post in social media, a friend and colleague, Michelle Radford, asked women what some of the “challenges, questions, struggles, and transitions women face in connection to work, calling, and vocation” were for them. In passionate responses, woman after woman relayed guilt, fears and struggles all mixed with joy in their callings. I could never presume to understand each individual situation of a working mom, but I could instantly relate to the emotions that were portrayed through their words. The balance we all need in order to magnify God correctly starts with right priorities.
Priorities Set in Place
A normal priority for someone who is unsaved—and too often also someone who claims Christ—is, “What is most important to me?” or “What will make me happy?” The word me should be our first clue these are the wrong questions. Rather, I should be asking, “What is most important to God?” and “What can I do to further God’s plan?” My personal relationship with God must be my highest priority—above my family and above my job. When I am close to Him, though, He will direct me in the next right decision and occupation—family, job, church ministry, etc.
Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.”
I Corinthians 15:58 encourages, “Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”
When our desire is to follow God’s plan for us, and we are not pushing outside of the bounds God has given, our God-given labors will be full of peace and joy (with some stress because of earthly weaknesses) because we have put the plans of our life into the perfect Planner’s hands.
Perfection Set Aside
A secular expert on time management, Edwin Bliss, once wrote, “The pursuit of excellence is gratifying and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is frustrating, neurotic, and a terrible waste of time.”
Many women, including myself too often, spend too much time trying to perfect all parts of our life. Excellence for the Lord is necessary, commendable, appropriate, but also easily misused in a woman’s pursuit of earthly perfection in her own eyes and in the eyes of others. God does tell us to do our work “heartily” (Col. 3:23), “with thy might” (Eccl. 9:10), so as “not to be ashamed” (2 Tim. 2:15), yet His commands to us also include our humility (James 4:6), “casting all your care upon him” (1 Pet. 5:7), and being “still, and know that [He] is God” (Ps. 46:10).
Organizing and delegating are two power tools women have to learn to wield well in order to maintain a home, a job and sanity. I find that these can make or break the tone I exude. I am no superwoman, and the Proverbs 31 mother can seem a daunting order when I consider the schedule she kept and the bar she raised. Proverbs 31:30 reminds me of the answer to how she accomplished so much, though. “A woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”
My position before God is the most important position I can ever have. I want my children to know that, no matter what vocation I may have. My “perfect” home must be based on the ideal God has created for me and my work for Him.