There is a little unspoken secret that all mothers share and that is that we really don’t know what we are doing. Sure we read the books, follow certain methods, implement schedules and routines, but at the end of the day when we find a cog in our wheel of control we shrug our shoulders, hands in our laps and cry “Uncle!” Because the only certain thing that we do know is that we are called to this life of motherhood. We have children, so therefore we are called to them- to love them, nurture them, nourish them, and raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord.
Nehemiah had a calling too. God commissioned and compelled him for the task of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. He gave himself to this task, seeking the Lord through every step of the process. Though he wasn’t a mother, Nehemiah experienced what every mother will experience at some point in her ministry at home- opposition.
How are we opposed?
The world opposes us. The Christian mom is countercultural in how she instructs her children. Her manual is God’s Word, not pop psychology, marriage amendments, 3rd wave feminist ideology, or the blog of the day. She is building a wall. Her task is to raise a generation who know Christ and will make Him known.
Some in the church may oppose us. “You can’t work and raise a family!” or “So, you stay home all day. I couldn’t be with my kids all day. I would go crazy!” or “You let him cry it out? That is so cruel!” or “Co-sleeping? Well, that is a recipe for a visit to the psychiatrist’s office.” or “You mean to say that you spank your child?” or “That child is out of control because he is never spanked.” We have a “godly” plan for how we “know” God would have us raise our family and every family should follow suit. We distract each other with our “proven” methods (sidebar…none of us have a proven track record yet, so we have very little credit to go by) while discouraging each other on our common mission to raise the next generation for Christ.
When Nehemiah was opposed, he didn’t cower or hang his head in shame. He prayed. “Hear, O our God, for we are despised. (Nehemiah 4:4)” He didn’t stop there, though. After Nehemiah prayed he got back to work. “So we built the wall.”
Moms, let’s build the wall. When the enemy (our real enemy is the devil, and he will use whatever he can to discourage and distract us) comes in to keep us from the task at hand, then we must pray and then get back to work. I think about Jesus’ disciple Peter and how he was concerned about John and whether or not he would remain until Jesus’ return. Jesus said, “What is that to you? You follow me!” Instead of looking at the world, or other moms and what they are doing we must follow Jesus with how He has specifically engineered our calling. Some of us are teachers, some are business execs, some are involved in Multi-Level-Marketing, some of us are homeschoolers, some of us are single moms, and some of us are doing a host of other things, but the one universal thing that we all must do is like Nehemiah, “to have a mind to work.” Not worry. Not compare. Not compete. Work. The task is that great, and we do not have time to come down from our wall.
Nehemiah encouraged the workers on the wall, so let me encourage my fellow wall builder mamas. “Do not be afraid of them. (4:14)” Who is the “them” in your life? It may be a family member, a co-worker, a neighbor, or somebody else who is discouraging you from building your wall. How can we keep from fear? Nehemiah said, “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome…” He is greater than our fear and those who oppose us. If God has called you to this task of motherhood, He will enable you for it. Don’t let anyone or anything incite fear or doubt in your heart and mind. What we need is boldness and decisiveness to complete the task given to us. So, Nehemiah said, “Do not be afraid, remember the Lord, and finally, “fight for your brothers, your sons, your daugthers, your wives, and your homes.” We must fight for our homes, moms. In my previous post I mentioned how this battle we wage is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces in this present darkness (see Ephesians 6). When we look to the Lord, remembering His might and that He is for us- and oh Christian mom, how he is for us!- we are emboldend to fight, to pray deep, from the gut prayers, and to work. The work is great indeed, but mamas, “Our God will fight for us. (4:20).