You don’t have to look far today to find pictures of gloriously fit women boasting their 3 weeks postpartum six pack abs. Heck! They never even lost the six pack to begin with! They were there all the time, wrapping their unborn babe in a cocoon of toned muscle.
Meanwhile, back on planet earth and smack dab in the middle of what normal people call reality…..you find women plodding through Mommy exhaustion with less than toned abdominal muscles and less than optimal brain function.
Culturally today, the average woman is encouraged to get her body back as quickly as possible after birth. Instead of taking the time to rest and heal, she is told to get back to the gym. Instead of being helped with cooking, housework, and taking care of her other children, she is told to be superwoman and jump right back into life. Alone…and she’s gonna do it.
I propose 2 big reasons.
- We are driven by pride
We want to handle the much celebrated busyness of life, look hot doing it, and make it all look effortless. We count calories to shrink our waists so we can look like the girl our husbands married, even though we just had a baby. We buy into the propaganda that tells us a successful woman must resemble the latest trend. We might even go so far as to say we want to do it all by ourselves. Without help or support. Because we can handle it.
But when that is the goal of our lives, who are we really glorifying ?
2. We are focused on outward appearances
If we can look like we have it all together, then people won’t see the real person underneath the “self-sustained” mask who is scared to death that she is going to crack one day. Nobody needs to know we are one doughnut away from eating ourselves into a sugar coma. We think if we can just fake it ’til we make it, one day we’ll get “there”.
What, or where, is “there” for you? What does having it all together look like? Making enough money for a big impressive house? Fitting comfortably in size 4 ultra skinny jeans? Landing that promotion? Having the perfect number of kids? Having a blog that everyone wants to read?
(…Uh….I don’t know where that one came from…..)
Why are we trying to impress? Do obtaining these things satisfy us in the deepest way?
These are real issues that we face today. Who are we glorifying? Who are we trying to impress? Here are two thoughts to consider as we take a hard look at the condition of our hearts.
1. Loving Christ more than ourselves
If our hearts are chasing after the mask of self-reliance, hungering for “acceptance” that comes with a showcase life that is promised (in vain) by the world we live in, we are not truly loving Christ.
These things are so heavy. Too heavy to bear. We fall under the load, in our shame and our inadequacy. Our pride and stubbornness (our sin!) keep us from the only thing that can free us from our burdens.
Motherhood is meant to show us our need for Christ! It’s meant to shine a light on all those dark areas where we cling to our own strength.
2. We can’t get there on our own
“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29 (New Living Translation)
We don’t instinctually know how to lay down the heavy burdens we cling to. We must be taught by the One who is perfectly humble; perfectly gentle; perfectly able to give us the rest in Him that we so desperately need.
He teaches us through His Word; lovingly ministering to us in truth and grace.
“For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” Jonh 1:16 (ESV)
I pray today that we would draw, from HIS fullness, the grace that we need. Grace in our exhaustion. Grace in our inadequacies. Grace in our failings. Grace in our prideful pursuits.
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