ETA: DISCLAIMER: Nathan read and approved this post, but even so, since writing it I have been unsettled that it may negatively reflect on him or put our marriage in a more hostile light than it in fact is. I originally titled it “In the Trenches of Motherhood” and wrote it accordingly, but then considered that this may reach some who are not mothers but whose struggles were different and changed it to “reach” a broader audience.
There. I feel so much better now. 🙂
It may seem extreme to use battle terminology in the context of marriage and motherhood…unless you’re a wife and mother. 😉
There are days, and weeks, and dare I confess? months that go by where this whole calling seems like one great big battleground that I am woefully inequipped to fight on.
Oh, I have wounded, for sure–have plunged with a great battlecry and with sword wailing into the thick of it–have laid my blows and received them, too, but without victory.
Because the enemy has not been identified, much less injured, by this indiscriminate skirmishing.
If I could see through the smoke of my own perceived defenses across the field at this enemy, that causes so much damage and disrupts the peace of the home, what would be found? What would this enemy look like?
Would it be my “trouble” child?
My “whiney” child?
Would it be an image of bickering, disobedience, or my messy house?
Would it be my husband or his decisions?
Would it, could it possibly be this man, this home, this family that the Lord Himself has given me?
No, no, no, and a thousand times NO.
They may be the ones I have battled with, but they are not the enemy, which is why the engagement always seems so fruitless.
What would I see if I could be given a glimpse of the foe?
My own spirit.
That hasty, proud, selfish, unquiet, unmeek part of me that gets offended, irritated, and vexed when things are not going according to my order.
I’m sure that satan gets involved too, but my self-absorption makes his job very easy.
He doesn’t really need to get into the fray because I do a good job all on my own of opposing the offenders when my autonomy is threatened.
Don’t get me wrong, children need to learn obedience and to get along with each other, to respect and to help their parents and one another.
Husbands should love, honour, and cherish their wives (as wives should love, honour, and obey their husbands)
But you know? When they are not doing these things they do not become the enemy.
They are simply losing the fight against their own enemy: their own spirit, their own self-will.
We are given by the Lord Himself to our children as mothers, to aid them in this battle, to our husbands as a help, to pray for and support them in the same, as they also are given to us for headship, protection, and help.
Too often, I have lost this focus, have spent all my energies in trying to correct exteriors and frustration that it never stays correct, rather than remembering that my children are very unskilled in this whole self-denial thing that I myself am far from perfect in as well.
So we come back again to grace. To give as we have been given.
We are in these trenches together, they and I, you and I. We’re on the same side, y’all!
The best part of all? The Lord God is in here with us, and thanks be to Him “Which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Oh! It is not just a hope, a sure confidence of things to come, it is a present grace! He gives it, gives it now–today!–this moment.
The love of the Lord to invite us to this!
“And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will hear thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Psalm 50:15
Here is victory.