Identity Trumps Motherhood: Sermon Recap
In Genesis we see that God created mankind and put his glory on display. We have the privilege of declaring the beauty of the created order with our lives.
As a church were believe in complementarianism, but maybe not the way you think of it. Complementarianism describes the complementary roles, purpose and vision men and women have. Men and women are created equal. Motherhood is one of the roles God gives women, although it is but one role.
The entire race fell, both genders. This messed up manhood, womanhood and personhood. Our current culture is based on false premises, so our robust pursuit of scriptural perspective in important.
Who you are is more related to how God sees you than how anyone else sees you, including yourself. Motherhood is a huge calling, a great calling, but identity trumps motherhood. There’s nothing greater you have done or can do than motherhood. And yet it doesn’t define who you are.
Created to co-rule
In Genesis 1:27-28 we read: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’”
Leadership is not a masculine trait, and submission is not a feminine responsibility. Note the framing of this statement: speaking of a man’s character vs. a woman’s work. Our culture says Scripture’s view of women is obsolete, the repressive values of a patriarchal culture that makes women subservient to men. But Scripture is not the problem in its picture of women and their value. Yes, there are passages that depict the cultural inequities of their times, but the whole of Scripture has a far different view.
In the Old Testament, the partnership between husband and wife is beautifully depicted in the Song of Solomon. The wisdom literature shows both parents equal in their role of teaching their children. Who can question the value and achievements of the Proverbs 31 wife? In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul makes clear the distinctive roles of men and women, but he frames his discussion in terms of mutual submission based on our identity in Christ. Motherhood is not biblically descriptive of the zenith of your life.
Motherhood, Identity and Worth
When we think of mothers in the Bible, who do we think of first? Mary, Jesus’ mother. In Luke 1:26-30 we see that Mary “found favor with God.” Mary’s spiritual life was cultivated with God before motherhood came into the picture. She found favor with God before motherhood. Don’t think your value rests solely in your role as a mother. Motherhood is a huge issue, but it’s not where you find your worth.
Motherhood is a lifelong loyalty. You are preparing your children for usefulness to God, not your own pleasure. In the end, Mary stood at the cross, nearly alone, looking at her son hanging there. She recognized that all the prophecies had come true. She realized Jesus was not only her son, but her Savior.
Learn to Ponder
Mary learned to ponder things. When Jesus’ birth was announced by an angel, and when shepherds came to see him in the manger, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
Motherhood passes quickly. Ask yourself the question, “What am I to ponder?” What did Mary think when people referred to her son illegitimate? Or to him as being possessed by a demon or crazy? Don’t ponder the failures and disappointments. Ponder the promises God gives you about your children. Faithfulness is lifelong loyalty to God.
Yet motherhood is your highest calling. Our children are a heritage and assignment from God. You may be looking back on your parenting years. And our culture tends to dismiss the value of people as they age. But God has observed your parenting and says, “Blessed are you, who have cared for and raised these children.
Life Beyond Motherhood
There is life and ministry beyond motherhood. In Thessalonians, Paul describes the care of the church in terms of motherhood. Mary was in the upper room in Acts 14 with the disciples. She watched the fire of the Spirit fall upon them all. She too spoke in tongues, prophesying about her son. There is ministry involved in what you’re doing raising your children. You are caring for the church.
In Proverbs 31, beginning at verse 10, we see the woman of noble character has given her life to the plans and purposes of God. She is worth more than jewels, and one day her children will call her blessed. She works hard, provides for her family, buys property from her own earnings, clothes her children in rich fabric, speaks with wisdom and watches over her household.
Mothers, you are at work serving God by serving your children. You are honoring God as you speak wisdom and kindness. You are building the church. You are honoring God because you fear the Lord.
Motherhood is a great and noble calling, a huge job as a child of God. But it is not your identity. And women who are not moms, your identity is not based on what you’re not doing—being a mother—but on who you are in Christ.