I am a spectator, watching the battle take place.
I am a fighter, allowing myself to get pulled into the fray.
I am a part of the mommy wars. You are too.
There is a part of me that wants to believe the so-called “mommy wars” are made up by those too highly sensitive to take criticism. And there is a degree of truth to that. Some people purposely look for reasons to get offended.
But more often than not, there is an unnecessary battle waging over the particulars what we all should be considering one of the greatest privileges and blessings: walking through motherhood together.
I’m talking to the Christian moms here, those of us who, despite being forgiven by a gracious Father for our multitude of failings, turn around and stab our fellow Christian mom in the back.
Instead of “encouraging one another” and “building each other up” as Scripture calls us to do, we claw and shred each other to pieces.
The tearing down….these aren’t trusted words from a friend that are needed when we truly are struggling over sin and need accountability. No, I’m not referring to “iron sharpening iron.”
I’m talking about the whispers, the eye-rolling, the temptation to find someone else who agrees with our criticisms so we can feel validated in our opinions.
It’s the taking of things that are not Scriptural absolutes, such as how we school our children, whether we co-sleep or sleep train, whether or not we treat our child’s sickness with natural remedies or OTC medications….and turning them into a standard to measure another’s mothering ability.
It’s even the times within the church when we are convinced that we are more holy and sanctified because we do or wear or say a certain thing (even if our hearts at times are far from God).
Maybe some of you are nodding your heads in agreement. Maybe some of you disagree and think you have the right to tear another mother down because of what you deem “bad choices.” (That’s between you and God.)
And there is a place for talking to your sister in Christ if she is living in willful disobedience to God. But those aren’t the kind of differences I’m talking about here. And besides, we’re already good at pointing out other people’s faults.
What we’re not so good at is loving them.
But when we’ve come under conviction that we are often participants in this quiet fight between women in the church, when we realize that our tongues “set on fire the course of nature” as James 3:6 warns us, it is then that God can begin to soften our hearts.
Friends, this is what another mom really needs from you right now: GRACE.
The same grace that is abundantly given to us in Christ, the grace that rescued us from death, the grace that we are not only saved by, but live by as well.
The mom that doesn’t feed her kids organic food? She doesn’t need you to tell her to make room in her grocery budget.
The mother that puts her children in a small town public school when you choose to homeschool yours? She doesn’t need you to talk behind her back to your other friends about five reasons you think her kids will fail.
The mom who became a Christian about a year ago and is struggling to let go of some of her old habits? She has no need of your presumptions.
She needs you to encourage her where you see her strengths and compliment her often.
She needs you to pray for her and over her and lift her up.
She needs to see love in your words and actions, not so that she’ll change and do things your way, but because you see her the way Jesus does.
Being united under the cross won’t come easily, nor will nurturing this unity be perfect in its execution, but it can be possible.
God can break through our different viewpoints on things like birthing, schooling and other choices that are personal convictions and bring us together so we can fulfill His exhortation to love one another and spur one another on as Christian women.
We can learn to support other Christian women who desire to live a godly life but, like all of us, fight against the old sin-nature every day and are scared to talk about it.
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29
By the grace of God, we can show others grace. Why wouldn’t we want to walk the road of motherhood with a sister in Christ, learning to share our struggles and trust that we will be met with encouragement instead of harsh condemnation? We can blame others for doing this to us in the past, and I most certainly have experienced unkindness, but we don’t have to live our lives that way.
You and I can ask the Holy Spirit to pull us back from a battle that only serves to give victory to the enemy…..so we can pick up our fellow wounded moms and fight for truth and grace instead.
Maybe you have a passion for seeing Christian women break down barriers and nurture meaningful friendship like I do! But sometimes it’s hard to find a practical way to actually make this happen.
I want to share a really unique resource with you. My friend Angie Tolpin has a vision for helping to heal the division and fighting among women in the church. This is a mindset I want to fully embrace, although my own heart needs to be worked on in this area. Sometimes I’m too sure of my own way and need to be reminded that I can still love and have fellowship with other women who don’t do things exactly the same way as I do.
Angie created a Bible study course called The Quiet Fight Among Women that seeks to address and confront these issues that run deep within the church, bringing them to light and offering solid, biblical advice on addressing divisions and healing hurts, to the glory of God.
I have taken the course myself, and I think it will make even more of an impact when studied as part of a Bible study or women’s group.
Angie has graciously offered an exclusive discount to my readers of 35% off the course price (use code PURPOSEFULFRIENDS during checkout). It can be used individually or with a group. I highly, highly recommend this study.
There are 9 video and audio units, printable downloads, discussion questions and more that point you straight back to the Word of God as the solution for this struggle in the church!
You can learn more about the course in this post and even download a free preview of The Quiet Fight right on Angie’s website. In such a volatile world that we are living in, it is more important now than ever that Christian women strive to encourage each other and learn how to model Biblical friendship to a lost and lonely world.
WANT TO SPEAK WITH GRACE TO YOUR KIDS INSTEAD OF YELLING?