“There is NO WAY I’m ready to be a mom.”
“I don’t want to have kids for a long time.”
“I want to have babies! But first I’d like to travel the world and build up my career.”
“I want to wait at least another 10 years before even thinking about kids.”
If there is anything I’ve learned since becoming a mom while in college campus ministry, it is that nothing draws a crowd of college women quite like a baby. They gather to coo and giggle over my 9-month-old’s smiles, babbles, and tiny baby teeth. And when I then ask if they enjoy babies their response is typically a resounding “Yes, I love babies! But…” followed by responses like the ones above.
This is heartbreaking, but not necessarily surprising. Since becoming a mom, I have begun to more clearly see and realize that our world’s view of marriage, family, and parenthood is gravely distorted. Many of the students (Christians and non-Christians) I interact with on campus come from broken homes (the divorce rate in the U.S. is 50%). Many have never seen what Biblical marriage or Biblical parenthood even looks like:
- They have been told that children are a burden…it’s easier to just get a puppy instead (true conversation I’ve had!).
- They are encouraged to accomplish their career and travel dreams before considering bringing another human into the world.
- They are told to focus on the here and now, and that there will always be time to start a family in the future…but if not, science will find a way to make it happen.
- They believe that the benefits of motherhood could not possibly outweigh the hard work of motherhood.
These lies are real, persistent, enticing and numerous.
But what an incredible opportunity we have to be able to start conversations with those around us about what God’s Word actually says about children, motherhood, and family! What a blessing it is to fight for joy and live out God’s calling in our lives as mothers, and to shine a light into the dark world around us. When the college women giggle over and snuggle my little girl on campus, I love to share with them the joys of motherhood.
Children are a blessing.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him.”Psalm 127:3
“Her children rise up and call her blessed…”Proverbs 31:28
Since the beginning of time, God has been working through generations.
“One generation shall commend your works to another…”Psalm 145:4
“And in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed…”Genesis 22:18
“And His mercy is for those who fear Him from generation to generation.”Luke 1:50
God uses motherhood to sanctify.
I’m intentional to be honest and transparent when talking about motherhood with young women I meet. I share that motherhood is a joy, yet there are moments when mothers struggle to be patient with our little ones, or when we have to make sacrifices of our time. I share with them about spit up and diapers and our sleepless nights (all-nighters are less exciting when you’re not in college anymore), and have more than once had to hold and soothe my screaming baby in the campus cafeteria as everyone stares. But it is in those most challenging moments that the Lord is sanctifying us all and making us more like Him–more patient, more selfless, more confident of our identity in Him. It is when we are not spending time in God’s Word or in prayer that we are most likely to allow the lies the world whispers about motherhood to creep into our hearts. It is a daily fight to remember the truth and a daily prayer for God to give peace and joy in motherhood.
So now when I hear comments and responses like the ones mentioned in the beginning of this post, I am eager to joyfully share how caring for the little soul God has entrusted to me and and my husband is the most amazing privilege in the world. I share that motherhood is an incredible blessing that I wouldn’t trade for anything, and how thankful I am that the Lord has allowed us to have a baby (and prayerfully many more to come!). What a joy there is in the challenges and sweet moments of motherhood, and what an even greater joy there is to know the God of the universe personally and to be one of His children.