I have to give Satan his props. He is tricky and bold. Look back at the story of Adam and Eve. As far as we can tell, the only rule they had was that they were not to eat or even touch the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (apples aren’t mentioned anywhere!). God wanted to make sure they understood, so He added a warning, “Or you will die.”
Now I don’t know about you, but when my mother taught me not to drink drain cleaner and added, “Because you could die”, I took her very seriously. In fact to this day, I am not even tempted to drink drain cleaner. Yet, for Adam and Eve something didn’t click.
I think there is something we can’t pick up on easily in the story. I am not sure what the serpent looked like or what he sounded like, but there was something in the way he said his temptation that convinced them they wouldn’t really die and would even get benefits from disobeying God.
I am officially declaring the end of the war between working moms and stay-at-home moms. Not because I don’t have an opinion, but because I think this trumped up, media fueled war is distracting all mothers from the real enemy. Our enemy is not other moms. Our enemy is Satan. I know even many Christians question the existence of Satan, but I assure you he is real and active in our world. Reading the headlines can validate that very quickly.
So how does Satan attack mothers? Surely, he is too busy with other things to worry about than how mothers parent their children? Actually, I think parents may be Satan’s number one target. You see, children are the most vulnerable individuals in any society. Anyone in education will tell you, how a child is parented and educated in the early years will effect everything the child does for the rest of his life. If Satan can convince us to parent poorly, he has made winning the next generation away from God much easier for himself.
One of my teachers is the only person on the earth who believes I have any potential.” “I wish someone had taken the time to sit down with me and explain what would happen if I got pregnant as a teen.” “I wish I had a Mom and Dad who cared about me.” “I wish my parents had helped me figure out what I was meant to do instead of how I could help them financially.” “I wish my mom would help me figure this stuff out.””I wish adults really understood the truth about what we need.”
I heard these comments from young people in their teens and twenty’s over the last week. My daughter and I had the privilege to drop in on a conference that broke my heart. As I talked with university researchers, business leaders, community activists and educators, I became more and more depressed. (I promise you their insights will scare you to death.) When you boiled down the conference to its essence it was this, “Only a very small handful of people in this country are parenting their children. And many of those who aren’t parenting their children, honestly believe they are wonderful parents.”
Have you ever been antsy? (I believe the official medical term is “ants in the pants”.) It’s that feeling where there must be something more. Something more you should be doing, maybe something really important. Something that makes a lasting impact on God’s Kingdom. Surely God didn’t mean for you to use your talents changing diapers and wiping runny noses. Or did He?
Enter The Ministry of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson. Ms. Clarkson does a wonderful job of gently walking you down the path of discovering what it is God has really called you to as a mother. She has developed a systematic way of examining the idea of mothers as ministers. Not a paid minister in a church, but as possibly the most important minister your children will ever have.
As a former career woman, turned stay-at-home mom, I get upset when I hear mothers say staying home with their children is not fulfilling and doesn’t allow them to use their gifts. Women in management often mention the frustration of only being able to use their leadership skills at the local PTA. I am not going to debate the pros and cons of mothers working. I will say that whether you work outside the home or not, mothers are leading a project that requires the most creativity, business savvy and leadership skills possible. The critical leadership role God has given you is to lead your children to Him.
Mothers (and fathers) need to hone and develop their leadership skills, perhaps even more than the most famous CEO. Why? Because we are attempting to lead our children to follow God all the days of their lives. Whether or not we can successfully lead our children, may mean the difference not only in their lives but also in their eternities.