Friday, March 16, 2018

Guest Post: Rebekah Hargraves and The Mommy Wars


I am honored to feature a guest post by my friend, Rebekah Hargraves. She is a woman who exudes Jesus to the core of her being. She is someone who daily inspires me to follow Jesus harder because of her example. She was so kind to feature me on her podcast and blog before as well so it is about time I get my act together and introduce you to her! I know you will really enjoy getting to know her. Check her out more after this post. You will not be sorry you did! I have posted links below so you can find her. Listen to her podcast, super encouraging as well. She has an inspiring book for moms that I believe will be helpful for their walks with the Lord. I posted a review here.

This post is about something that we are both passionate about. Read it and let us know your thoughts on "The Mommy Wars". Have you struggled with this? How have you responded? What is your experience?

Here is Rebekah:

Seeing Other Moms as Image Bearers of God 

(And Thereby Ending the Mommy Wars!) 

As many of us have become all too familiar with, the mommy wars have infiltrated the church and begun to wreak havoc in countless ways, not the least of which being how we view our fellow mamas. Backbiting, name-calling, heated disagreements, unsolicited advice, know-it-all attitudes, and (at the very least!) a practice of inwardly looking down our noses at each other in judgmental ways have all become commonplace at times, even in the church. I've had friends leave churches because of these issues, mamas be told they aren't Christians as a result of their specific parenting choices, and seen friendships be stunted as a result. It's ridiculous, and it needs to stop. But what is the answer? How do we stop basing our opinion of what a "good" mom is on our own xyz expectations of what a mom should and should not do? The answer lies in the "Book of Beginnings" itself, Genesis.

 Made in the Image of God 

 Genesis 1:26, 27 makes it clear in no uncertain terms that God chose to, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; .... So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." This identity of being an image bearer of God extends to all people everywhere - regardless of background, age, ethnicity, belief system, lifestyle, personality, practice, or gender. All men and all women are image bearers of God. What this means then, is that they are worthy of respect and honor precisely because they have been made in His image. You don't have to agree with them, you don't have to approve of their lifestyle, you don't have to pattern your parenting choices after theirs, but you do have to honor and respect them. This is a non-negotiable practice for the child of God.

 What Should This Look Like? 

 In light of this true identity of everyone as being made in the image of God, how are we to treat one another then? How should we be treating our fellow mamas? Here are a few passages to get us started:

"Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;" ~Romans 12:10

 "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." ~Philippians 2:3-4

 "But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth." ~Colossians 3:8

 "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." ~Ephesians 4:1-3

 "But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there." ~James 3:14-16

 "Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another." ~Galatians 5:26

 This is what a Christian mama should look like; this is how she should act. And this is precisely why the blight that is the mommy wars has no place whatsoever in the church.

 Why is This Christ-Like Behavior So Important? 

 Why is it such a serious thing that the mommy wars have entered into even the church? Why is that something worth addressing in our day? Precisely because of how much this mommy-warring tarnishes our Christian witness, reflects poorly on the Lord and His work in our lives, and leads to others not seeing the point in following the Lord if professing Christians treat each other just as poorly as everyone else does. There is much at stake here, mamas - much that is of far more importance than whether or not other mamas breastfeed, sleep train, homeschool, or vaccinate.

 The Word says that what is at stake here is our ambassadorship of Christ and whether or not we are having and then reflecting the same mind that Christ had (see the rest of Philippians 2), whether or not we will reveal with our lives the way in which we are putting on the new man and living like Christ in us (see the rest of Colossians 3), whether or not we will preach the truth with our lives that "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:4-6). What is at stake is our ability to testify to the redeeming, sanctifying work of God in our hearts, for Christ said in John 13:34-35, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 Look to Christ! 

 Sometimes it feels so hard to treat others the way we would want to be treated, especially when we really disagree with the choices they are making. But the truth of the matter is that our calling as children of God is to treat fellow image bearers (that's everyone!) with the kind of respect, honor, love, and kindness that being made in God's image deserves. If you feel like you couldn't possibly love the fellow mama at your co-op, church, MOPS group, etc., then it is of utmost importance that you don't fix your eyes on that mama, but rather on Christ Himself. Be ever mindful of what Christ did for you and how He treated you when you were far less than lovable. Remember how He poured out His life for you when you were still in your trespasses and sins. Ponder on all you have been forgiven of. That is the key. In order to esteem others more highly than you do yourself, in order to stop the mommy wars mentality that resides in your heart, you are going to have to keep your eyes on Christ and love others through the love, hope, and strength you have been given by Him. There is hope, mama! Look to Christ, and be encouraged by all He will do in and through you.

~~~ Bio: Rebekah Hargraves is a wife, mama of two littles, blogger, podcaster, and author whose passion is to edify, equip, and encourage women in their journey of Biblical womanhood, particularly with an emphasis on the gospel and its implications for everyday life. Rebekah's first book, "Lies Moms Believe (And How the Gospel Refutes Them)" released last fall, and the "Lies Moms Believe" Companion Bible Study comes out March 30, 2018. You can find Rebekah on her website, Hargraves Home and Hearth, on Instagram, or on iTunes via her podcast.

Instagram: @rebekahhargraves
Facebook: Hargraves Home and Hearth 
Website: Hargraves Home and Hearth
                                     Twitter: @hhomeandhearth 

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