This post has been waiting its turn and today’s the day.
Perhaps you’re familiar with a very popular blog called, “The Better Mom.” I have read a dozen or so articles from the blog. Suffice it to say that I’ve read things I agree with and things I disagree with. The turmoil of reading the things I disagree with is enough for me not to read it regularly and I am not wanting to comment specifically on it.
But I do want to comment on this idea (which seems ever popular among Christian moms) that there is a formula to “better” and if we follow the three steps to finding a good attitude and take control of all the externals of our life, everything will sail along the way it’s supposed to.
I want to comment on it because it’s a flat out lie.
I can’t be The Better Mom, because I’m not better. I’m two things: I’m sinful and I’m redeemed. I’m broken and I’m healed. I’m dead and I’m alive. That’s it. Not better– as if I’m climbing my ladder toward good. All the needful things have been done for me. And what’s been done isn’t “better,” it’s The Best.
We so much want to be able to control things. If I eat this way, I’ll feel good all the time. If I read my Bible in the morning, I’ll never be grouchy with my kids. If I start training my kids at 1 month old how to sleep correctly, they’ll be great sleepers. If I have natural labor, my child will be healthy. If I’m always available to my husband, he’ll never look at porn. If I do do do, I will be be be.
That’s just backwards and untrue.
Here’s how it really is: Because of what He has done. He has done. He has done. I am His. I am His. I am His.
All of the sudden the three tips to a new attitude sound pretty small. Jesus bled and died to take away my sin. He was buried and three days later God made him alive again and not only have I died with him, I now live in him.
There’s my new attitude.
Life is filled with practicalities. We must DO things after all. We must eat something and therefore we must decide what it is we will eat. But if we think for one second that by putting the Gluten-Free Organic Whole Food Tofu in our mouth, or gutting out drug-free childbirth, or waking at 5am for devotions and free trade coffee puts stars on our holiness chart and somehow makes us a better mom, we’ve messed up the Gospel, big time.
It is for freedom that we have been set free. Must we submit again to our own yoke of slavery and law? Food and exercise and peculiar routines and habits do not commend us to God. Jesus commends us to God.
Better is never enough. Better is not good enough for God. But Jesus is Best. He is good enough for God. He is mine and I am His.
And with my life hidden with Christ in God, by His Spirit, a marvelous work happens that makes who I am forever: His daughter clothed in righteousness, match who I am right now: His daughter struggling against the remnants of sin (also clothed in righteousness). The Holy Spirit is aligning the two realities. It’s called sanctification.
Notice that I’m struggling against sin, not preferences. And what is sin? Sin is rebellion against God. Sin is not: eating donuts or surfing the web or fertilizing the lawn or having a bedtime at 9:00 o’clock. All of those things could be done by a sinful heart, which would make their action sinful, but they aren’t sin.
I could fertilize my grass because I want to look “better” than my neighbor. That’d be sin. Or I could fertilize my lawn because I love my neighbor and I don’t want to negatively impact his property values with my unsightly yard. Hearts are sinful, not fertilizer.
I guess that’s the long way of saying I’m not The Better Mom. But I am a redeemed mom. I am a needy, desperate, satisfied and loved mom. I am a sinner-saved-by-grace-alone-through-faith-alone-because-of-Christ-alone mom. And that’s way better than all my efforts to be a better mom.