I have been seeing the term ‘Missional Mom’ around about the place recently, and I followed a link this afternoon to a podcast on the Verge Network, which is an organisation that encourages mission and evangelism.
The podcast is an interview with the author of a book of the same name.
I must say at the outset that I haven’t read the book. Nor do I intend at this stage to part with my hard-earned cash to get a copy. (If somebody would like to send me a copy to review, I will happily oblige, however.)
The central argument seems to be that Christian moms (mums for British readers) should not be ‘just’ moms; they should love Jesus more than their children (and apparently they should also love their husbands more than their children; hm, is this Biblical, or an American cultural bias, I wonder?), that they should not make idols of their children, with the implication that being ‘nothing but a mother’ is to do just that.
I think this needs answering.
Certainly, I can agree that we should love Jesus ‘more than these’.
Certainly, I can agree that we should not make idols of our children.
But it does not follow that a mother who has set aside the rest of life and career to give her all to being a mother has made an idol of her children. It does not follow that she loves Jesus any less than missionary moms or moms who are out at work in the Christian or secular workplace.
‘Missional Mom’ could so easily be used as a(nother) stick to beat stay-at-home mothers with.
I am very conscious of the ‘mommy wars’, and they really help no-one – not the women, not the children, not the family and not the faith.
We all follow the path we believe to be the right one, or the one we must follow, or the only one we can afford to follow, we do the best we can. We shouldn’t need to constantly defend our position, and we certainly shouldn’t attack mothers who are following a different path to our own.
But the fact remains that motherhood is a high calling, and one that should not be dismissed or taken lightly, nor delegated carelessly. It is a mission field in itself, every bit as valid as the mission field of other people’s children or indeed any other.
The idea that a stay-at-home mother, ministering to her children’s needs and training them up in the faith, is somehow deficient and lacking in ministry must be rejected. There is no greater mission.
I am already a Missional Mom.