In an effort to reject and refute feminism’s common lies and misconceptions which are pervading our culture and to simultaneously encourage mothers in their endeavors to successfully raise their children, conservative Christianity has sought to proclaim from the rooftops the sacredness and importance of motherhood, the reality that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”, and that the work done by a mother at home with her children is of eternal significance. I appreciate and wholeheartedly uphold these proclamations and regularly write about the beauty of motherhood and its grand implications on a regular basis. However, we as conservative Christians make a grave mistake when we refer to motherhood as “a woman’s highest calling”. Motherhood is not, in fact, a woman’s highest calling, as important and beautiful and as impactful as it is. When we mistakenly refer to it as such, we embrace the same misunderstanding held by the chauvinists of the world and reduce the whole purpose of womanhood down to the bearing and rearing of children and, in so doing, inadvertently take our eyes off the Lord and His design for us as His followers. Before you think me a feministic heretic, allow me to explain. 😉
Man’s Chief End
One of the questions and answers contained in many Christian catechisms is as follows:
What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
We, of course, take this wording to refer to both men and women and it is in this question and answer wherein we find precisely what a woman’s true highest calling in life is. Though this question and answer are not expressly found in the Scriptures, several passages of Scripture confirm them to be true:
“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31
“Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” ~Isaiah 43:7
“You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
All nations whom You have made
Shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
12 I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And I will glorify Your name forevermore.
Give Your strength to Your servant,
And save the son of Your maidservant.”
~Psalm 86:2, 4, 9, 11-12, 16
“Also your people shall all be righteous;
They shall inherit the land forever,
The branch of My planting,
The work of My hands,
That I may be glorified.” ~Isaiah 60:21
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” ~1 Corinthians 6:20
You see, [clickToTweet tweet=”Our highest calling as Christian women is to glorify God with our lives. ” quote=”Our highest calling as Christian women is to glorify God with our lives. “] This is the ultimate purpose for which we were created. Here are other passages to consider when it comes to our true highest calling in life:
“18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” ~2 Corinthians 5:18-20
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,” ~Ephesians 6:10-18
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” ~2 Timothy 2:15
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” ~1 Peter 2:9
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” ~Matthew 28:18-20
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” ~1 Peter 3:15
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 5:13-16
“Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,” ~Philippians 2:14-15
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” ~Mark 16:15
You see, our highest calling as Christ-followers is to glorify the Lord in all we say, think, and do, and this is played out in our roles of pointing others to Him and evangelizing the world around us, being ambassadors for Christ in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation in desperate need of Him, being a picture of His love and grace to others, and faithfully living out the Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:18-20.
Why is it important to understand this and to draw a line between the myth that motherhood is a woman’s highest calling and the truth that to be an ambassador for Christ actually is? The answer is two-fold.
- When we say that motherhood is a woman’s highest calling, we are saying that all the childless women out there are less-than, are not living up to the purpose God has for their lives, and are of little use for His Kingdom, for they are apparently not living out the highest calling for a woman’s life.
This is a tragic mistake, not to mention a very hurtful concept for women everywhere who may be barren, single, etc. To reduce a woman’s importance down to whether or not she is bearing and rearing children is a vicious error and detrimental to the advancement of the Kingdom of God! Women, who were created to be nurturing and caring in a special and unique way not possessed by men, carry with them great influence in reaching the lost and have a special ability to have an amazing impact on the world around them. Women are far more likely to gravitate towards showing love and grace than men typically are, and in so doing, can be powerful witnesses for Christ. We should not underestimate this reality, but instead embrace and celebrate it! All women, whether mothers or not, are of great importance in the Kingdom of God and capable of much good work for that Kingdom.
2. When we say that motherhood is a woman’s highest calling, we make motherhood into the be-all, end-all and an end in and of itself. The whole purpose for motherhood and its very foundation are then lost, actually depriving it of its very importance.
Without meaning to, when we claim motherhood as being a woman’s highest calling, we inadvertently separate motherhood from its whole purpose. If we do not first understand our high calling and primary role to be that of ambassadors for Christ, we as moms will loose sight of why motherhood is even important and we will loose our vision for that daily work of mothering. For, if we do not first view motherhood as an outworking of our calling to spread God’s truth and make disciples , then what is it all for? What’s the point of having children? Merely to entertain ourselves and bring us joy and fun memories? Why go through the pain of childbearing? Why deal with the inconveniences, the frustrations, the difficulties oftentimes associated with being a mom? If, however, we understand the role of motherhood in God’s redemptive history, it is then and only then that motherhood obtains its full level of importance. In Genesis 3:15, we see the ultimate purpose of motherhood when God is rebuking the serpent in the Garden of Eden: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Likewise, 1 Timothy 2:15 says, “Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” It is through motherhood that God chose to send His Son, the Savior into the world. Motherhood then becomes invaluable and of great importance! And while there was only one mother of God and the rest of us moms are no Mary, motherhood nevertheless continues to be extremely important in our day, as well, for it is through motherhood and the bearing of children that the Lord continues His influence and impact in the world from one generation to the next. Christian mothers are about the work of raising Christian disciples who will then, in turn, go into all the world and impact it for Christ. This work is indeed super important! But rather than being a woman’s highest calling, motherhood is rather a special and unique outworking of a woman’s highest calling – that of being a glorifying ambassador for Christ- in the lives of those women who have been blessed with children.
May we keep first things first, therefore. May we go throughout our days as Christian women -whether married or single, mothers or childless, reveling in our highest calling of glorifying God and spreading His truth. And, if we happen to be mothers, may we embrace this important calling and special role with all we are, understanding it to be our own special and unique way of fulfilling the Great Commission right where we are, in this very season of our lives. May we women keep our eyes fixed on Christ and in do doing, fulfill our highest calling each day of our lives.
God bless you, ladies!
Until next week,
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