Galatians 5 For the Stressed Out Mom

Almost every mom these days is a stressed out mom, struggling under the weight of comparison. Here’s what the Bible has to say about that.

Can I say something to all us mommas, something God has been speaking to my heart?

I have been reading in Galatians 5 for a study I am doing. I read it, and it’s like I can hear it written just for us moms on this very real struggle of comparison and the weight of expectation we live under.

Would it be okay if I take my liberties with this passage that was written to the church of Galatia in the first century and write it to us, in our time and just for us moms?

For in Christ Jesus neither is homeschooling nor public schooling nor private Christian schooling anything…

Neither is Walmart nor Target nor Whole Foods. Neither are cloth diapers nor disposables. Neither gluten free, paleo, whole food, nor McDonald’s drive thru.  Neither breastfeeding nor bottle-feeding. Neither all-natural home birth, planned c-section, nor begging for the epidural the very second you enter the hospital.

Neither is minivan, jalopy sedan, nor hybrid SUV.  Neither is a streamlined chore system nor a pile of laundry sitting on the couch for 3 days. Neither is birthing a child every eighteen months nor stopping after one.

But the only thing that is anything is faith working through love.

Sisters, you were called to FREEDOM. Freedom to prepare bento boxes for school lunches or not. Freedom to adhere to baby-wise or to just wing it. But, sisters, do not turn your freedom into an opportunity to think yourself better than anyone else. THROUGH LOVE SERVE ONE ANOTHER. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you compare, judge, gossip, and try to find yourself a morally superior high ground that is better than one of your sisters, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

But I say, walk in the Spirit…

Motherhood is this vulnerable place. No matter whether you chose to ride into motherhood on the premise that it couldn’t be too hard or whether you read no less than twenty-three books on parenting before you pushed that first baby into the world at some point you will feel clueless.

Even if book-learning and the sage advice of experienced moms could give us a leg-up on this parenting gig, there are things like colic, illnesses in a babe who can’t tell us where it hurts, terrific two’s, even more terrific three’s, mean kids at school, and preteen hormone surges that all level the playing field. And if none of the aforementioned scenarios leave you stumped, there are always those awkward moments, like when your daughter calmly and matter-of-factly announces to company that mom and dad shower together. (?!)

Friends, we all find ourselves feeling clueless, our shortcomings laid bare, and so very vulnerable in this thing called motherhood.

{And don’t we hate that?}

I think in all the beyond-our-control variables of parenting, in all the mistakes we just know we are making, in all the guilt we feel for all things we never get around to…

Our lives shout at us:  “You aren’t enough! You need to do better! You need to try harder!” We miss the grace we have been freely given and the invitation to walk arm in arm with the Savior.

Our finite minds seriously miss the eternal view God has of our lives, our kids’ lives, and the way He is beyond able to use it ALL and work it ALL out for His Glory.

We struggle to accept God’s love for us.

We try to do motherhood by law, instead of grace.

We compare ourselves. We play judge. We treat the intelligence and talents of our kids as a competition and as a measure of our worth as parents. We think we have some kind of place to look at another mom’s life and determine whether she’s right or wrong, better or worse. Sometimes in our zeal for whatever passion we have stumbled into, we assume it must be best for everyone.

We look at a mom glowing in her talents, walking in her call, and read her personal excitement as a personal attack on the way we are living life.

We feel like we are somehow less of a mother for bottle feeding when we get up in the middle of the night AND make a bottle. We feel like we are somehow missing our badge of honor because narrow hips required a c-section AND a month of recovery with a newborn. We look at our mess of a home and feel like a failure AFTER a day of errands, wiping bottoms, picking up toys, and feeding… and feeding… and feeding again.

{Could we stop that?}

I have a feeling the heart of all this originates in the same reason Paul penned Galatians and addressed the Jewish Christians who were preaching circumcision and the Gentiles who were choking on the hard demand.

It’s fear. And it’s pride.

It’s Grace-negating. And it’s freedom-squelching.

Momma, outside of love, there is no law to motherhood. There are only callings and talents and tools.

Follow God’s call for you and your family wherever He leads. Shine in the God-given talents you were given (cooking, organizing, music, teaching, exploring, crafting…) And use the tools that are best for the making of your home and the raising of the precious kids God placed in your care–whether that’s baby-wise, homeopathic remedies, or chore charts.

The only thing that is anything is faith working through love.

So, rather than compare and judge and think we know a sister’s life from the fleeting glimpses of her Instagram account, let’s hold each other up. Let’s pray for each other. Let’s serve one another.

Even in our differences.

ESPECIALLY in our differences.

We are all moms. We all love so big. We are all tilling the fallow ground of a child’s heart: both soft and rocky and full of strong-willed defiance. We are carrying the gospel to an unreached people group—our kids. It’s important work. And, oh sisters, how we need each other’s encouragement. And truly we need a little less zeal for methods and fads and a whole lot more room for grace. 

THROUGH LOVE SERVE ONE ANOTHER. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

From one momma to another, I am standing here encouraging you, sister, to let His Grace wash over all your failings, to follow Christ where He leads, to shine in your talents, and to be a YOU kind of momma.

Maybe we could talk about this here? What is the one thing that is hardest to you about motherhood? What is one of the most hurtful comments you have ever heard from another mom? What is one of the most life-giving statements you have ever heard from a fellow mom?

By Grace,

Amanda Conquers

Amanda Conquers
Amanda Conquers is a cop's wife, mom to 3 kids, and a cheerleader for weary women. Most days, she wants to hide in her closet with her secret stash of chocolate because she feels like she's not quite enough. But Amanda lives holding on to the hope that in spite of all her failings, God grace is sufficient for her and she shall be called an overcomer yet. You can find her writing her broken stories on her blog, instagram and facebook.

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