Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Highest Calling

One day last year at work, the women were all sitting around in the teacher’s lounge having a discussion. One commented, “I love teaching. I very much find my identity in it. Don’t you think it is the highest calling?” Then I responded, “No, I think being a wife and mom is.” Everyone applauded my “deep insight.” Of course they all applauded because they are all wives and mothers!

Since I was about 16 years old, I remember esteeming wives and mothers as the highest calling on the planet. In fact, if I am honest, I have been preoccupied with wanting to be a wife and mother. This opinion, however, is not held by me alone. I believe we live in a society that perpetuates this belief. Unfortunately, the church also does not always (in general) affirm single women in the season they are in.

What are the implications of this misguided thought?

Well, because I thought wifehood & motherhood were the highest callings, I have spent many years discontent (which is a sin). I honestly believed up until about a month ago that being a wife and a mother was the litmus test for becoming a woman. Therefore, I did not consider myself to have reached complete womanhood because I do not yet have those two things: a husband and children. In essence, I believed myself to be incomplete as a woman.

That led me to this question: What makes a woman complete? We are bombarded by the world to believe that money, men, children, a thin figure, a professional career are what make us complete. By the way, I’ve tried all of those excluding children and still felt discontent! I think the better question to ask is this one: What makes anyone complete? Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” What makes us one and complete is our identity and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Now, I am glad God created me as a woman, and I do believe there are distinctions in genders; however, what I am arguing is that it is a dangerous thing to find your identity and wholeness alone in your gender or in a role. God does not encourage us to mature solely in womanhood or manhood, but to mature primarily in Christlikeness.

There it is…the highest calling! The highest calling for any woman, single, married, divorced, or widowed is to pursue Christ, not wifehood or motherhood. Echoing the words of Hebrews 6:1, let us all, “leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.”

May God bless you as you pursue the highest calling.