Summary: Have you ever felt that to be the perfect mom, you have to look a certain way or dress a certain way. There's only one standard for motherhood, and that only to be found in the Word of God.
Family Fairytales: “Being a Mom Looks Like This”
Sunday Morning, May 8, 2011
Springhill Baptist Church
I’ve been looking forward to being here with you today, because I believe that this is the real deal. The things that we’re going to be talking about over the next few weeks are important—vitally important for the accomplishment of God’s work in the world today. I’ve shared with you before that I believe that there are at least two institutions in the world today that are ordained by God to accomplish His work here on planet earth, and one of those is the family.
The family is vitally important to what God is doing in the world today. The family is where values are shaped, where children are taught the things of God, where children are taught to follow God, and where we ought to be encouraging one another to be people of God.
But unfortunately, too often in Christian families, none of that is happening. And, while there may be a lot of reasons for that, ultimately what it boils down to is that many of us, as family members, have fallen for fairytales.
You know what I mean when I say fairytales, right? Stories, myths, concepts that, while they sound nice, while they make a good story, in reality they just don’t work. They’re no more real than the seven dwarfs.
So, over the next few weeks, we going be thinking together about, not seven dwarfs, but seven fairytales, seven lies that our culture feeds us as family members. And let’s keep in mind that all of us here are family members, even if your family is not what we think of as a “traditional family,” even if you live alone, you are part of a family—God’s family, if nothing else.
Now, today, of course, is Mother’s Day, and so I figure that’d be as good a place to start as any, because let’s face it, if you’re a mom you know this—there are no shortage of fairytales when it comes to being a mom.
For example, there are lots of ways that you think motherhood will look—until you get there yourself. You think motherhood will be easy—until you become that mother. You think your husband and your children will always appreciate the sacrifices you make—until you start making those sacrifices for real. You think your children will be perfect—until you have some of your own.
These are all motherhood myths that are common to the uninitiated—people who haven’t been there. But by and large, most of these myths fade away when confronted with the stark reality that is motherhood.
However, there is one myth, one assumption that I believe most moms make, concerning what it means to be a mom, one myth that hangs in there, and it’s a myth that many moms, unfortunately, will carry with them to their graves. It’s a myth that has to do with what Moms look like. In fact, I’d state it like this:
“Being a mom looks like this.”
Now, maybe you’re wondering, what’s “this”? What am I talking about when I say, “Being a mom looks like this.”
You see, I really believe that a lot of mothers, when they become mothers, make the assumption that being a mom, or at least being a good mom, has to look a certain way—like it’s a part that you must play or a mask that you must wear, and, if you don’t look this particular way, then you’re not the mom you should be.
For example, a generation ago, women everywhere thought that to be a Mom of any account, you had to look like June Cleaver—you know, perfect hair, perfect teeth, supper on the table just in time for Ward and the boys to roll in. Today, I think, many women have resisted that June Cleaver image in favor of one that’s more hip or relevant. Their ideal mom image is one that dresses like their kids and talks like their kids, and does everything with their kids.
Other women think that to be a good mom you have to be involved in every detail of your child’s life. You have to balance your schedule perfectly, getting kids to one event after another, and you have to have it all together all the time. You have to be perfect.
Still others assume that to be a good mom they have to look and act exactly like…their mom.
“Being a mom looks like this.”
But the problem is that, for most people, being a mom doesn’t look like any of those things. None of those images fit when it come to being a good mom. And when that happens, when you discover that, when those images fall apart, and when you, as a mom, fail to live up to those expectations that you’ve put on yourself…