If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it.
- Rachel Jankovic
For over a year now, my family has gone without any form of cable or satellite television. We do have a DVD player and too many movies that have been watched more times than I’m capable of counting. Although I can quote the majority of the movies line for line, being “TV-free,” so to speak, has been a good choice for our family.
But, from time to time, I do feel behind on what’s going on in the world since we don’t have TV to keep us informed. Sometimes that’s a good thing; other times, not so much.
So I was pleasantly surprised to learn today (almost eight months after the fact) that Viacom’s Nick Jr. cancelled it’s adult programming known as NickMom. The block of programming aired on the preschool network and targeted young mothers with shows that ranged in format from reality TV to stand-up comedy, all in an effort to provide comical relief for overworked mothers. The shows were crude, crass, and sexually explicit, as was the tagline for the programming: “NickMom: MotherFunny.” The content made light of marriage and motherhood and implied that children are worth nothing more than the punchline to a joke.
After an almost three-year stint, NickMom came to an end in September 2015 due to controversy, criticism, and low ratings. As a mom of a toddler and a soon-to-be kindergartener, that comes as good news. I’m encouraged, and I’m thankful that perhaps the culture does hold a higher regard for motherhood than I first thought.
But the pessimist in me can’t help but ask: Although the programming is gone, does the mindset that motherhood is bothersome and inconvenient still dominate our culture? And does it exist at times within my own heart … within your own heart?
If I’m honest, I have to answer with an embarrassing “yes.” At least that’s what my actions and reactions reveal at times. But deep down I know that my children are a gift, not a nuisance. Caring for them is a joy, not an inconvenience. I treasure the opportunity to be their mommy.
I am also human. I’m a sinner. I get frazzled. My flesh rears its ugly head, especially as I battle the Terrible Twos day in and day out. I get tired, sometimes exhausted. Occasionally, I want time to myself. And, yes, often I completely fail when it comes to being a godly mother. These are not excuses, just raw confessions.
That is why I seek repentance and pray for grace to keep a biblical perspective of motherhood.
“Motherhood is not a hobby; it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.”
These are words of wisdom I gleaned from an article titled “Motherhood is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)” written by Rachel Jankovic.
I encourage you to read it. It’s convicting and challenging, a stark contrast to the way our culture views motherhood.
For example, Jankovic encourages mothers to: “Live the gospel in the things that no one sees. Sacrifice for your children in places that only they will know about. Put their value ahead of yours. … If you tell them the gospel, but live to yourself, they will never believe it. Give your life for theirs every day, joyfully. Lay down pettiness. Lay down fussiness. Lay down resentment about the dishes, about the laundry, about how no one knows how hard you work. Stop clinging to yourself, and cling to the cross.”
I’m not there yet, but I long to be. And only by the grace of God will I ever be.