Women: What are your goals in life? To be comfortable? To be happy? To make sure your children are happy and comfortable? To do what is expected of you? To follow the “norm” in the circles you grew up by finding a nice man who grew up similar to you; get married; your husband works hard so you can buy a house preferably close to your parents or siblings; have some kids; after a few years thanks to your husband’s long hours and hard work buy a bigger house or remodel the one you’re in so you’re more comfortable and it looks pretty? All the while telling ourselves that we’re doing okay – that we’re raising good kids, we go to Church, have a hard-working husband, and for the most part, we are happy?
I belong to a number of online communities, one of which is a group of women from all over the world with our commonalities being we are all moms, and we attend the same church denomination. Most of the questions are typical mom or wife related: “We’re redoing our kitchen. Which tile do you like better?” or “Any recommendations for a good book for our next Bible study session?” Or one of my least favourite “This is a picture of my son’s rash. What do you think it is?” (Seriously, not a fan of those rash questions but I guess they’re better than the baby poop questions…)
Recently I conducted a survey of 100 women from our group and the results while not shocking, still took me by surprise. “How do you rank your roles in life?” Christian first won with 57%. Which should be a good thing, right? But that also means that almost half of the women believed that their primary role in life was as mother or wife.
Where are we going wrong where almost half of the women in our churches believe that their PRIMARY and FIRST role on this earth is as mother or wife? NOT daughter of the One True King? We know the commandments and we know that our God is a jealous God – we hear it off the pulpit each week. So why do we think that God will be okay with coming last in our lives instead of first?
Another surprising result was the question about personal devotions. The top response to “How often do you read your Bible?” was over 58% won with those who read the Bible in church on Sunday + around the mealtime table with their families at home + attend a women’s Bible study group.
Only 11% answered that they also conduct personal devotions.
11%. 11% take the time to read the Bible on their own daily, try to ponder it, pray on it, and apply it to their daily lives.
And trust me, I get it. When I had my priorities messed up, it was because I didn’t know my Bible and my God the way He wanted me to. Sure, I went to church on Sundays and participated in weekly women’s study groups. But I never grasped the Word of God until I held it and studied it on a daily basis on my own. Meditated on it. Researched it. Became so entrenched in it, that I had to share and talk about it with anyone who would listen.
Once we as women start doing this, EVERYTHING will change. Your view of God will change and He will become first in your life. You will know God in a way that will leave you wondering how you survived up to this point without this depth in your relationship. Your marriage will change. Your role as mother will change. The grace of God will seep into every aspect of your daily living as you spend time with your Creator and no longer take Him for granted.
You may argue with me that you get your “fill” of God through sermons twice on Sunday, family readings at the table and participating in a weekly women’s Bible study group. These are all necessary parts of growing in Christ. But how can we say we have a personal relationship with Him if we are not meeting Him daily? That would be like saying you have a best friend that you talk about with others, hear other people talk about, have read a lot of books about – but never talk directly to. Never sit face to face and tell this person your thoughts, worries, and ask this person for help. Never sit and listen to that person give the advice and love that we desperately need in order for a relationship to even exist in the first place.
Francis Chan says, “God literally determines whether or not you take another breath. “He himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25). Could anything be more important than meeting with the One who decides if you live through this day? Could anything be better? How can we not make time to be with the Maker of time?” (Francis Chan – Desiring God)
Another question on the survey was about goals in life. Many had answers such as “To be a godly wife and mother first…” and “To lead my children to God…” Women, how are we going to do this when we don’t know our God the way He wants us to? When we are not studying Him and growing in Him daily? When we are not teaching our children how to know God and have a relationship with Him and by leading as an example?
On an airplane, we are warned that if there is an emergency, we need to put on our oxygen mask before helping our kids or others who need us. Ladies, it’s time to put on our oxygen masks. How are we going to lead our little ones to put God first if we aren’t putting Him first?
So where are going wrong? Why do so many women in our churches strive for “content” and “comfortable” living? Why aren’t we as women spending more time in our Bibles and having meaningful, heartfelt talks with God? Why do we think it is okay to put God so far down on our list of priorities, when He should be the priority?
It’s time to throw off the excuses of “life is busy” and “I don’t get enough sleep”. Your Father is waiting to reveal Himself to You. Why are we making Him wait?
If you don’t know where to start (like I was a few years ago), ask a friend who you trust and you know does regular devotions, or do some research. When I didn’t know where to start, I first used a daily devotional, and then moved onto the “SOAP” method. Don’t start out with goals like “I’m going to read the entire Bible this year” or “I’ll read a chapter a day.” Start small. But make it count. Live in it. Breathe it in. Ask questions to those you trust if you don’t understand what you’re reading. But dive in.
He’s waiting for you.