You are a theologian.
And I am too.
We may each be a good one, a subpar one, or a heretic, but we can’t get away from *having* a theology and bringing it to the table with each day of mothering.
Who matters most in our theology?
For many moms, the person who matters most in their theology is their kids.
And we (secretly) think that’s OK. Because, I mean, they are REALLY cute, and REALLY eternal, and REALLY important:
It’s sneaky, but it’s there, if you look for it:
- Junior’s potential golf scholarship matters more than Sunday worship. Advancing in the tournament consistently takes precedent over humbly coming before the Lord with a humble posture alongside the Body of Christ.
- Toddler time crowds out Mom’s Bible study time, and it never recovers.
- Teenage angst and drama is prioritized over Mom & Dad’s relationship, and Mekenna’s broken heart over her 16-year-old “boyfriend” monopolizes evenings… weeks… months of family life.
- The mom who once claimed biblical Christianity starts to shift on her position on homosexuality… because… what if it’s her kid who comes out as (gulp) “gay?”
It’s the last one I want to park on, because it’s increasingly common in our Christian culture.
Mama, is your theology centered on GOD?
Are you fixed on God’s Word or flexing to the world?
God’s Word is clear about homosexuality. We don’t have to wonder what He thinks about it.
- It’s against His early, clear design of human beings.
- His law spoke clearly against it.
- He destroyed peoples over it.
- Jesus reiterated the one-man-one-woman nature of marriage in His teachings.
- NT writings clearly call it out as one of many sins from which mankind must repent (agree with God about, and turn away from) in order to be saved.
So it’s not a question of what God’s Word says. Scripture is clear. What has changed is how people FEEL about what it says.
So let’s take the sex out of it, shall we?
Instead of assuming your child “comes out of the closet”, let’s say your child comes to you and says,
- “Mom, I’m a thief and proud of it and just going to own up to the fact and start living in a community of thieves. I’m actually about to start my round of robberies in advance of the holidays, and wanted to come by and ask you: what would you like for Christmas?”
- “Hey mom, you know how we’ve been breeding those teacup Terrier puppies? Lately I’ve realized that I really like using them for shooting practice. We’ve found that they make great live targets. Wanna come sometime and see how my skills have improved?”
- “Mom, it’s time I just admit it: I’m a drunk. I’ve saved up money for the last year or two and just bought a bar so I can live that way full-time, every night. I wondered if you’d come get hammered with me, or at least watch me get sloshed, tonight?”
There is no one on the planet who wants to honor Christ, and live as His disciple, who would say,
- “Well, I really love the look of those Le Creuset pots, so if you could hit up a kitchen store and snag me one of those, I’d be delighted to open it at Christmas time!”
- “Yup, I’ve got time tonight around 7. I’ll swing by and shoot off a couple puppies with you.”
- “Sure honey, that sounds awesome. Let me run by the liquor store and snag a bottle of vodka. We’ll make some drinks and celebrate your honest self-awareness together!”
in these scenarios.
And yet, we are to the point where famous, confessing Christian moms are advocating that we have that approach to homosexuality.
It is dangerous theology.
But it is a common mom theology that’s taking hold in our culture. No one thought this way 20, 50, 200, 500 years ago.
This is a new, dangerous theology. We need to recognize where it comes from.
We need to recognize what it sounds like in infancy.
At its root are beliefs like this:
- I don’t want to risk losing relationship with my most-highly-prized children.
- Love means complete support of all choices another human makes, no matter whether they are what God calls “good” or not.
- Who can say what is right for another person?
But the Christian mom with biblical theology thinks like this:
- I am willing to risk EVERYTHING in order to glorify God and rightly prize His Word. I am willing to risk all that I have (yes– according to Mark 10– even children) for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Love is a fierce commitment to the long-term GOOD of another human being, according to what God defines as “good.” I will love deeply and richly and yet I will not redefine love according to a cheaper version that says I have to celebrate things that God says are harmful and wicked for His creatures to participate in.
- I am not in a position to judge another human being.
- However, God IS the author and judge of all that is right, and I will trust His Word. I will rank His thoughts, ways, and judgments over my own feelings and desires, and over the feelings and beliefs of people I deeply love. Even when I don’t understand, or wish there was another way, I will submit myself to Him and trust that He only, always, does what is right.
Our theology matters.
Our theology matters now, when we’re wiping poopy-diaper-bottoms, working through sibling conflicts, or training a child in how to do dishes. Our theology matters amidst math lessons and messy rooms and rolled eyes and raised voices.
And our theology will matter later, when our adult child comes to us, in whatever state they come.
And yes, the thought of that stings because OH, How precious they are to us!
And yes, we should love them, when they come, in whatever state they come to us.
And we do love them now.
Lavishly. Dearly. Deeply. This is without question.
What a great example we see in that sweet prodigal daddy who lovingly gave what he could, knowing it wouldn’t ultimately satisfy his proud son, and then waited with his eyes on the horizon, hoping for that son to return.
But no, we can not equivocate about sin when God has spoken clearly.
Mama, decide your theology now. Get clear about it. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Kneel before the Lord God your Maker, and declare His ways right– HIS judgments sure– HIS Word solid and without error.
Decide NOW how you will respond… do not wait for your feelings and risk changing your trajectory according to an empathetic “mama heart.”
- Will you place your child ahead of your God?
- In doing so, realize: your child becomes your god.
- Will you place your culture ahead of your God?
- In doing so, realize: your culture becomes your god.
- Will you place your compassion ahead of your God?
- In doing so, realize: your “compassion” becomes your god.
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or hold to the one and despise the other.
Let’s acknowledge with open eyes that the Bible is not solely-unitive but that it also divides good from evil.
And let’s be women who cling to Christ and His precious Word above all else.
Have you already encountered how theology falls smack-dab into this world of mothering?
What fears and desires vie for control of your heart?
I’d love to hear any/all thoughts you have on this as you strive to honor the Lord with your theology and take on His view of the world.
3 thoughts on “Every Mom is a Theologian”
Nice to have you back blogging and I appreciate what you’re saying about not letting our theology shift under pressure from culture/when is ‘our’ kids. I just wanted to offer a little feedback on how you describe your particular case study of ‘homosexuality’ and I hope it comes across the way it’s meant (the written form can be annoyingly impersonal!). Just to be clear I agree with you on biblical principles for sex/marriage etc. What made me uncomfortable was how in your blog you seem to equate homosexual acts with same sex attraction in a way that condemns them both equally and puts feelings of same sex attraction in the same category as stealing and wanting to shoot puppies. The Bible is clear in its condemnation of homosexual acts but I think we need to be more nuanced in the distinction between same sex attraction and subsequent choosing to act based on those feelings and not based on what God clearly states as the safe and good boundaries for sexual activity. Should one of my kiddos wrestle with this struggle when they’re older I hope to be able to encourage them to trust God in his loving boundaries but also to not feel condemned for something within themselves that they can’t control. (I also would hope that they would feel excited for the plans God has for their lives if, without a
change in their same sex attraction, the route of marriage/children will be ruled out for them-what other things may He be calling them to??!)
I really appreciate the work of Ed shaw and Sam Allberry on this issue and would highly recommend Ed’s book ‘the plausibility problem’ and their website https://www.livingout.org/
I really hope the church can be a place where people can be honest about these kinds of struggles while we all wrestle together with the fact that, in different ways, we’re all sexually broken and need God’s help in this area.
Hope you and your precious brood are all doing well.
Much love from the UK
This morning I read 1 Peter 3:13-18. It is similar to what you’re saying here: hold to what is good, even if you suffer for it. I too have been seeing this trend in popular Christian influencers, the throwing off of what God says is evil and calling it good.
In regards to the list of sins you mentioned (stealing, murder, drunkenness): I think that they would argue that murder and stealing are harmful (and therefore should be avoided) but sexuality is a part of who one is. It’s really hard for them to separate these desires from who they are as people and our culture is telling them they’re defined by their feelings. So then if a Christian is not theologically sound, grounded in truth, it does look unloving to them to call sin out for what it is. Like, how can they call it sin when this is the person’s very identity.
Sorry this is terribly rambly. It would be much easier to chat about this over coffee 🙂 It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately too.
Yes, yes, yes. A hundred times. It is so disheartening to watch Christians – ordinary believers as well as leaders – caving on this issue. It’s very disappointing to watch. I honestly would have thought that American Christians were stronger than this.
Here is an article that you might enjoy – the point of it is that we can’t be willing to hold Christian beliefs only on the points that are cozy and popular. The points that are the battleground are our test of fidelity.
There are multitudes of voices willing to lead us astray if we want to go that way, and it certainly is the easier path. But you are right – it is only the building of a false god.