Confronting the Culture (by Lisa Anderson)
God’s truth confronting the culture . . .
God’s MO…the Enemy’s MO
On April 29, 2016, a CAT scan revealed a brain tumor in my left frontal parietal lobe. Seven hours of surgery a month later removed a golf-ball sized tumor resulting in me having a partially shaved head and a not-so-lovely nine-inch scar. Even though the doctors said it was benign, our whole family endured an emotional month between diagnosis and surgery processing the fact that I was to undergo a major high-risk surgery. That process drew us all together. When facing the possibility of death, it became apparent that the most important thing in life was family and a few close friends. Nothing much else mattered.
Another incident in my life resulted in the same conclusion. At age 42 I went into cardiac arrest (sudden death caused by ventricular fibrillation.) Fortunately, I had woken up in the night with chest pain, and we had already called 911. As the EMTs were loading me into the ambulance, my heart stopped. Two shocks with the defibrillator paddles did not restart my heart. In a last-ditch attempt to save my life, a fireman gave me a hard chest-thump. My heart started beating again. When I woke up in the ambulance vomiting (my body was reacting to everything that had just happened), the first unthinking words that kept coming out of my mouth to the EMT were, “I have eight children. I have a seven-month old.” Once again, in the face of death, life’s priorities became clear. I was declaring that our children were the most important things in my life.
We live in a world focused on “self.” Self-fulfillment, self-improvement, self-actualization, self-gratification—these are phrases describing the current focus of society around us.
That philosophy has also crept into the church-world. It is common to talk about “my destiny” and “my calling.” Not that that is bad, but all the focus on self can negatively affect our view of motherhood. Children can easily be viewed as a major obstacle to personal fulfillment—even spiritual fulfillment. Feminists firmly believe this. Betty Friedan, an influential feminist from the 1970s, stated this: “In order for women to take their rightful place in the world, they need abortion and childcare.” In other words, “Get rid of the children. They will hinder my personal fulfillment.” That is the enemy’s modus operandi.
What is God’s MO? Did you ever wonder why God included so many genealogies in the Bible? Page after page lists the names of fathers and their sons. And over and over again in Scripture, God calls Himself the father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is God’s way of telling us that our children are part of His MO in the earth. Life is not all about us! God’s purposes in the earth involve us, our children, and our grandchildren. The enemy is fully aware of the worth and value of our children. That is why he works so hard to eliminate them or get us to thrust them aside in our own self-pursuit. That thinking influenced the disciples. They tried to push away the children. In contrast, Jesus welcomed them and declared that they were what the Kingdom was all about.
Dear mother, your life laid down for your children is valuable in the plans and purposes of God in the earth. You are cooperating with His MO. You are focusing on what is truly important in life. Your reward will be great. In “losing your life” as you mother your children, you will most likely “find it,” as I have.
Affirming the work of your hands,
Briefly share an experience of your own that reminded you of what is most important in life.
Share your thoughts on the world’s emphasis on self-fulfillment in light of Scripture.
In what ways has motherhood felt like an obstacle to your dreams and destiny?
Explain how the understanding of children being God’s MO in the earth can give you greater vision for your job as a mother.
Pray that God’s truth will silence the lies of the world that say you are wasting your time, abilities, and education by being a mother and homemaker.
Pray that you will value your children and the work of your hands as a mother and homemaker to the same degree that God values them.
Pray for wisdom in walking out your dreams and goals in the light of your present call to motherhood.