How Parenting Is a Form of Worship
Mom guilt comes in so many forms! As a new mom, I was overwhelmed and trying to find balance in my new role, as I’m sure you experienced as well. One of the ways I really felt I was falling short was within my church. I had resigned as a volunteer for teaching once per month in the last few weeks of my pregnancy in preparation for my new baby and, although I was still involved with bible studies during this time as a participant, I wasn’t able to make it to church as often because I just couldn’t get out the door most days. Over time, my son had to nap during the time of our only weekly service and it was impossible to get there with him at all for a while. I was really beating myself up about this, and it wasn’t until I had a conversation with our Pastor that I got a new perspective: Parenting is a form of worship in itself.
Now, of course he didn’t mean that it was okay to stop going to church and being involved–those are very important parts of Christianity (Acts 2:42-49). What I have decided, after putting a lot of thought into this over the different seasons of motherhood so far, is that there are so many ways we bring honor to God by fulfilling the role He gave us. We don’t need to beat ourselves up for not having it all together and not being able to accomplish everything we have scheduled for ourselves. While we should still make our best effort to prioritize our church life, we can choose to honor God in the meantime and be aware of the fact that parenting is a form of worship as well.
What Does That Look Like?
Worshiping and honoring God through parenting takes many, many forms. There are so many ways that we are called as mothers and so many new “jobs” that we need to take on in caring for another human being and putting their needs above our own.
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? – Romans 6:16
Not to equate motherhood to slavery, but I can surely attest that it definitely is an offering of yourself. I believe that by offering ourselves completely to this new role, and dedicating our entire lives to fulfilling it, makes us slaves to obedience and brings glory to God. Children are a gift from God, and by making choices every day to protect and nourish that gift we are proving that parenting is a form of worship.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. – Romans 12:1
We are called to serve our families (1 Timothy 5:8). Not only our children, but our parents and grandparents as well. It brings God glory when we follow His commands. Motherhood presents a whole new aspect of serving. As I touched on above, we are truly offering our bodies as living sacrifices (especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding!). I feel that being obedient in this form of service with a grateful heart allows us to grow closer to God. We are serving God through serving our families in the role that He has called us to. We can choose to go through our day honoring and thanking Him for the blessings that come with motherhood, as well as caring for our children and families to the best of our ability (with His help, of course)!
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:16
Another way that parenting is a form of worship is through prayer. I don’t know about you, but since becoming a mom my prayer life has increased tenfold, at least! I am seeking direction from God now more than ever because I need His perfect guidance and direction. I have no idea what I’m doing or how to be a good mother without God’s help. I am compelled to talk to God more throughout the day because I have so many more questions that I ever had before–or at least that I realized. Motherhood has been a very humble experience, a huge reminder to submit to God’s will and commands. My role as a mom has allowed me to grow closer to God through prayer, for sure.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? – Matthew 6:26
We have basically no idea how some of the things that we do are going to affect our kids in the long run. Anything from long term physical health, to psychological health, to whether or not they will choose salvation can have us worried and filled with anxiety. Sometimes we just have to trust that God is going to be with them wherever they go (Joshua 1:9)! This means that if we have to leave our children with someone for the first time, or take them to their first doctor appointment, or figure out the best way to discipline–God will take care of them. Sometimes it isn’t in our control and all we can do is trust that God will provide for them just as He has graciously provided for us all this time. It can be challenging and scary at times, but it brings God honor when we submit in this way!
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). I don’t see a better opportunity to do this than as a parent! We have the primary responsibility of introducing our children to Christ and guiding them to obey His commands (if you are looking for more ways to do that, check out these 4 simple tips to include God in your child’s day). And I believe that we will be judged more strictly as the teachers for our children (James 3:1). Parenting is a form of worship in that it presents new obstacles and challenges to navigate with faithfulness, giving us the chance to bring glory to God when we overcome these struggles in His name.
Do You Believe Parenting Is a Form of Worship?
Sometimes the wisdom that God allows to come out of my mouth (or hands), is way more advanced than I am able to constantly follow in my own life. My prayer right now is that I can hold more steadfastly to God on this journey, and offer up all that I do for my son and my family as an act of worship to Him. That I do it with a joyful heart and don’t let resentment or bitterness creep their way in. It is almost as if I needed to hear this post more than I needed to share it. And I have that same prayer for you! You aren’t alone in this journey and you aren’t failing if you are struggling to find the perfect balance right now between church and family, or to be a better mother. God has your back, and so do I! I’d love to hear from you. Please email me, or better yet, hop over to our Facebook group, Uninvincible Moms: Stay at Home Mom Christian Community, to connect with not only me, but other Christian moms on this journey as well!