You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5
We humans sure do love our labels, don’t we? We like to categorize and organize things and people into little boxes. Some of those labels go without saying: male, female, short tall, freckles, etc.
The labels that can be most damaging are the ones we put upon ourselves and often others. I can only speak as a woman (I don’t know if men do this to the extent we women do) and as a mother but here are a few that provoke intense feelings: breastfeeding, formula feeding, stay-at-home mom, homemaker, home schooler, work-out-of-home mom, pro-life, and pro-choice, just to name a few. Those are the ones that seem to get us women duking it out and it can get really heated and ugly, really quickly.
Out of that whole list, there is only one that really gets to the core of my heart because it deals with actual life and death. The rest of those, just don’t seem all that important in the grand scheme of life.
I have my own preferences and in the “mom circles” there are ones that I will be asked my opinion on but really, they are just that. Labels. They don’t make me who I am. They do not define me or my life. They don’t make me better than anyone else and I am not so certain that when I stand before the Lord someday, that He is going to ask me about those things. Maybe He will. I can be humble enough to say that I really don’t know.
Do I believe my children benefit from me staying home with them? Absolutely. Do I think that is the only way to raise children successfully? No, I honestly don’t. I don’t believe we are all called upon to do things the exact same way.
I really hate the invisible lines we draw in the sand as women. How we can use our Christian faith to put ourselves or our personal beliefs above another or up on a pedestal that can sometimes become an idol. We sometimes believe that because we are doing the right thing, we are superior as mothers, wives, and women. Perhaps we may even think we have it all figured out. When we start feeling and acting this way, we alienate other believers and non-believers.
If we ever start to think that we’ve got the upper hand on this thing called; womanhood, motherhood, and life, then we risk the dangers of being too blind to see the plank in our own eye.
It’s human nature to want to be right. As mothers, we want to have confidence that we are doing a good job. I know that I don’t set out to make wrong choices for my family and my children but because I am a broken sinner, I do make mistakes. Sometimes colossal mistakes. Infractions that could forever label me. But Christ washed me clean as snow and I am set free from those disgusting labels. Set free and allowed to try again. And again. And again.
I am laying down my labels at the foot of the cross. I no longer care to be categorized by labels. I no longer care if I am “in” or an outsider. I no longer carry the heavy burdens of labels; homemaker, SAHM, short, fat, pro-life, ex-homeschooler, victim, freckle faced, and all the rest. The only label that defines me now, the only one that truly matters. HIS. His girl. That’s who I AM.
Do you have labels to leave at the cross? Have you tried to lay them down, only to find you go back and burden yourself again? Christ died to set you free. Let that be enough for you. When we label others, we limit who they are.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32
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