How Jesus relates to the modern-day mom
Sometimes I wonder if Jesus understands what it’s like to be a modern-day mom.
I mean, it’s not like He had to attend the PTA meeting, pick up the kid, drive to gymnastics, make dinner, put away laundry, pay bills, build a marriage, and clean the kitchen.
I wonder if He understands this pace I’m living, a pace that leaves me feeling behind, hurried, and overwhelmed.
Did Jesus lead a life the modern-day mom can relate to?
In my mind, Jesus woke up in the morning, prayed in a beautiful garden, leisurely strolled to various towns, talked to a person or two, and preached in the mountains or a synagogue.
His life seemed so free of standing appointments, time-sensitive meetings, and nap/feeding schedules. And because He didn’t live by a planner, I write Him off. I don’t think He experienced any stress.
Jesus was busy and faced challenges, but He was never hurried or hassled.
I forget that 5,000 people asked Him what was for dinner with nothing in the pantry, that group after group tried to capture Him to either make Him king or stone Him, and that He had no personal time because of his 12 followers, and that He attended social events like weddings, ran a carpentry business, and was the first-born Son of a widow.
I forget these things, and then I wonder if the real issue is not that Jesus can’t relate (Hebrews 4:15), but if it’s something much deeper.
The real issue it that Jesus had clarity where I hold confusion.
He understood His identity, His mission, and His obedience—three areas where I’m a little fuzzy. Let’s begin finding clarity by digging into these three areas.
1. Are we clear about our identity?
In Matthew 3:16, God calls Jesus His beloved Son while proclaiming His pleasure. My identity as God’s daughter is chosen, forgiven, free, and loved. And yet, I have a tendency to shrug off this identity and settle for my ill-fitting titles like doer, problem-solver, wonder woman, and good mom.
When I take on an identity that isn’t meant for me, I’m always trying to prove myself. This causes me to do more and try harder. I forget that my true identity is that of “sheep.” When I’m distressed and confused, it’s because I’m a sheep who’s wandered from her shepherd. (Luke 15:4–7; Matthew 9:36)
When I understand my identity, I rest and relax in knowing that God’s got me in the palm of His hand. There’s no reason for me to feel behind.
2. Are we clear about our mission?
Jesus was laser focused on His mission to do His Father’s will. He came to:
- Seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10)
- Serve (Mark 10:45)
- Preach about God and testify to truth (Luke 4:43 and John 18:37)
- Provide an example of a holy life (1 Peter 2:21)
Umm… do we even know our mission? When I don’t know my mission, I chase the popular (a.k.a. exhausting) life that everyone else seems to be living.
For example, my mission is to ensure that our girls are academically and athletically spectacular, or at least involved in “well-rounded” activities. I jump from activity to activity, but I fail to understand how these activities fit into His big picture.
Matt Perman writes in What’s Best Next, “We feel unfulfilled when there is a gap between what is most important to us and what we are actually doing with our time.” (Full Disclosure: I’m an Amazon Affiliate, which means I earn a bit of commission on each sale. But don’t worry there’s no added cost to you!)
What is most important to you? What’s your life goal and purpose?
When I understand my mission, I live with purpose, intention, and hope, and there’s no need for me to feel hurried.
3. Are we clear about obedience?
Jesus knew that He was to obey His Father’s will. In John 5:30, Jesus says, “I can do nothing on My own initiative… because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” Jesus knew that, above all, He was to obey His Dad.
When I don’t know who to obey, I choose myself, doing what seems right to me and following my own agenda. I get caught up in busyness and accumulation of stuff while I completely ignore God’s call to Sabbath and loving my neighbor.
When I obey Him, I have clear instructions on what to do and how to act so there’s no need to feel overwhelmed.
So can Jesus actually relate to us?
My busyness, to-do’s, and list of “should’s” stem from my own misunderstanding of my position and purpose. The belief that Jesus can’t possibly understand the life of a 41-year-old mom of two girls is untrue.
Jesus can relate to pressure, to friendships gone south, to demands for His time, and to the stress of living around whiners and complainers. And yet, His life, pace, and priorities are all very different from mine.
Even though Jesus was busy, He was confident in His identity, clear on His mission and knew who to obey. Sometimes I wonder if Jesus understands what it’s like to be a modern-day mom. Now I know that He does.