As a pastor’s wife and podcast host, I talk to moms every day.
One of the most common phrases I hear is, “I have completely let myself go.”
It is most often said with a hint of sadness, regret, embarrassment, and shame. I get it! I gained 60 pounds with my third child and I remember those feelings well. This is when my obsession with sweatpants and leggings developed. #muffintopmomma
But believe it or not, “letting ourselves go” is not a bad thing; in fact, the world needs more women who are willing to “let themselves go!”
Am I encouraging obesity and gluttony?
No. I am celebrating the incredible sacrifice that is required for a woman to bring LIFE into this world. I am not merely speaking of the scars, pain, blood, and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g that is childbearing.
Being a mom isn’t for the faint of heart; it requires DAILY stretching, scars, pain, and the minute-by-minute sacrifice of self.
Every. Single. Day . . . we are given the opportunity to “let ourselves go” for our children’s wellbeing and ultimately the glory of God.We give of our time, resources, dreams, and energy. We give up our comforts, personal hygiene, the remote control, peace, quiet, sleep, and in some ways — our freedom.
Strong women are willing to get “nasty” in order to love others.
What is involved in this nastiness?
Doing things that inconvenience us.
Doing the small things.
Doing the unseen things.
Doing things that are hard and unpopular.
Doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.
Loving the unlovable (which often means getting our hands dirty).
Protecting the helpless and hurting.
Christ is the true example of how loving, requires dying…let go of self.
“Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look out not only for his own interest, but also for the interest of others. Make your attitude that of Christ Jesus, who existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a slave taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming OBEDIENT to the point of death – even to DEATH on a cross.” Philippians 2
What does this LOVE look like? It looks like the Lord Jesus Christ.
There must be great sacrifice involved. There is a willingness to be interrupted. There is a letting go of SELF. There is obedience.
There is death and then . . . there is LIFE.
There is no LIFE apart from death.
Jesus said, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25
So mamas, please be encouraged today: when you lay down your life, body, time, and comfort for others, you are reflecting the greatest love known to man!
Children who have parents that sit down and listen when they are talking are reminded of a heavenly Father who is always available.
Children whose parents enforce rules and discipline are reminded of a God that loves them enough to set boundaries (Hebrews 12).
Children whose parents apologize for sinning against them are reminded that mommy and daddy need a savior too! Also, they can see that …Blessed are the poor in spirit, meek and those who mourn over their sin.
Children whose parents have let themselves go, learn of a Savior who gave it all!
Also, know that there is a season for everything!
You will shower again. You will exercise again. You will sleep again . . . well, maybe. LOL.
It is a good aspiration to care for our bodies by eating healthy and physical exercise BUT let’s do so without feeling guilty that we look a little tattered. Our bodies have been sacrificed on behalf of another! That’s why there’s no shame in letting ourselves go.
This article originally appeared at AnnieLeigh.com, published with permission.