If you aren't, you should be.
I recently read a blog by a female evangelist who is successfully living in her calling, with a ministry that is ssooooo needed. I continued reading and learned that, according to her Amazon account, she had read 200 books on apologetics, theology, or faith in the past four years! Holy cow!! So what does Victoria do? She does the math. That is 50 books a year, about 4 books a month, nearly 1 book per week, and (depending on the length of each book), roughly 30-50 pages per day! Plus, I assume, her daily Bible reading, study, and prayer time. All the while growing three babies from toddlers to kids and blogging 3-5 times per month. Her name is Natasha Crain and you can see visit her wonderful ministry here (www.christianmomthoughts.com).
Now, while we can’t all be what seems to be super-mom (although, if you ask our children, that is what they would call us), we can fulfill our purpose through the calling that the Lord has placed in our lives at this time. Keeping in mind that the purpose of our existence is to glorify god and make Him famous, all callings are important. Simply put, one’s calling is the means by which God has a person glorify Him and spread His name. While our calling may change in life, our purpose is steadfast: to glorify God. In doing so, He will continue to spread throughout the world. (For more on this topic, check out this book.)
Miss Crain’s calling may seem more glamorous than yours or mine to the human eye, but to God its importance is exactly the same. And, if you are anywhere close to the same place in life as I am right now, that calling doesn’t look so glamourous. It looks like a two-year-old with a water hose and an unlimited supply of dirt, used eraser shavings all over the dining room table because that “b” is written as a “d” for the 29th time, scheduling another conference call with the science teacher because she insists on teaching your 8th grader that evolution is the only viable explanation for the origin of life, and Sunday morning mascara smeared across your face because “Satan just won’t leave your family alone on Sunday mornings!” which caused you to loose your temper with your husband, yell at the kids until they dragged themselves out of the house, and popped one (on account of your frustration, not their misbehavior) because they seemed to be taking a little too long getting inside the church (after all, you are already seven minutes late).
This messy, unglamorous calling on the lives of moms is just that: messy. And it doesn’t get easier. Soon the wishes of them getting the pee and poop in the potty and dressing themselves turns into pre-puberty attitudes. Then, before you know it, they are coming home from college…different. They introduce you to their transgender friend (which, by the way, they think is Biblically supported), they write a paper on the positive impact of the “New Atheist Movement” in your community, or get upset because you won’t financially support the LGBT Special Olympics taking place in your town (after all, you do have a special needs child…why would you not support this?).
These examples may seem extreme to you, but they are the culture in which we live. Many of your reading this live in “Bible-belt” areas (mainly the southeastern United States) so you consider yourself “safe” from our ever changing culture. Well, if that is you, let me pop your bubble. Literally, if I have to. You are not “safe” from the changing culture in which we live. What should shake you more than that is this: Your children are not safe from this culture. Let me tell you a story…
As a child I attended church weekly, went to VBS, said my prayers and tried to read my Bible. As a teenager I was actively involved in our youth group. I went on youth trips, worshipped, learned, and was at church every time the doors opened. I thought I was growing. I was competitive in two sports - soccer and pageantry (yes, that is a sport, but we can argue about that later). My parents were good examples. I had great teachers. I even attended Campus Crusades for Christ my first year of college. Somewhere along the way it seemed reasonable that, since God loves both homosexuals and heterosexuals, and since God is love, if two people love each other homosexuality should be OK. Likewise, God is God. I worship God as a Christian, other’s worship him as a Muslim, others as Mormons, and so forth. As long as we are all worshipping God and He is being glorified, that is enough, right? Then there was The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes which helped me live out the scripture that says if we ask and believe, then it will happen. So I started the motto, “See it! Believe it! Achieve it!” For pageantry this was very helpful.
Then came a problem in my mind. The problem was the Holy Spirit. He told me my thinking was incorrect, but I couldn’t tell you how it was wrong. I couldn’t grasp the truth behind why homosexuality was wrong (saying, “the Bible says so” just wasn’t enough for me). Learning how to articulate the truth and purpose of purity, as well as the difference in orientation and acting on that orientation corrected my thought process. Consider Eve: being tempted wasn’t the sin. Acting on that temptation is what destroyed the perfect union between God and humans (see Genesis 3).
Likewise, while I knew that Hindu’s didn’t worship the same god as Christians, I couldn’t figure out how the God of Christianity and the god of other religions was so different. He had to be the same one, worshipped in different ways. Again, saying, “Jesus said that He is the only way” wasn’t enough because other religions also believed in Jesus’s teachings. Learning about the facts and evidence behind the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, biblical and extra-biblical, changed everything.
The same is true with my former love of the Law of Attraction (as is defended in The Secret), which says that you will attract whatever you think. It made sense in my mind, but it’s anti-Gospel. Consider Jesus, who prayed for God to remove his forth-coming crucifixion (Luke 22:42). Had it stopped there we could all be dead. Literally. Dead in our sins. Dead forever. However, he prayed that His Father’s will be done, not His own human will. He was the ultimate servant-giver, rather than the selfish receiver. The Gospel teaches the first, the Law of Attraction teaches the last. These teachings do not work with the Gospel, they go directly against the Gospel.
I share this story with you not to scare you or make you anxious or worrisome about the future of your children. Rather, I share it to plead with you. I plead with you and God - for you, Mama - and for your children; that you would take the steps necessary to teach your children the truth behind the Gospel.
Bible stories are great. Well, Bible stories are a must! Sharing the Gospel is a even more of a must! But teaching your children the reasons why we can know with great certainty the Gospel is true changes their life forever.
This is pivotal because it doesn’t stop with your children. Teaching your children why they believe what they believe allows them to be a conduit of change. Rather than learning as a child and dismissing it as “superficial,” “unnecessary,” or “outdated” as they grow into young adults, the hope is that they will hang on to the facts they have learned. They will understand that it is OK to question, seek answers, and think intellectually about God. Furthermore, they will stand up to the facts when put in a compromising situation.
If your name is “Mama” this is your calling. You have been sent (Mark 6:7) to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). And you have been sent to do it NOW, right where you are. When you are completely dependent upon Jesus for the journey, He will provide exactly what you need (Mark 6:8), including the knowledge and boldness to prepare your children to take a stand for Truth in a world that is waiting to devour them like a pack of wolves. Mama, are you ready?"
Victoria Harris holds an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. Victoria is a lover of Jesus, a wife, biological mom of a preschooler and adoptive mom of a tween. She is a former Miss Florida Teen USA and Mrs. Florida United States. Follow her on twitter @VictoriaDHarris, Facebook at www.facebook.com/vdharris or instagram @VictoriaHarrisInsta.
Victoria is a wife, mom, ambassador of Jesus, and a lover of all things that involve learning.