Motherhood put me in a spiritually lethargic mindset.
Yes, I needed times of rest as I took care of my newborn. After all, I was seeing hours of the night I’d never seen before. Quickly, however, my need for rest became an excuse to avoid hard things. Although I needed fellowship, I wanted to face the hardships of motherhood at home where I felt safe. I also didn’t desire to evangelize as much or invite others into my home (into the mess I had learned to embrace).
I began to see my home as a comfortable cottage where I could retreat from many of the hard things God calls his people to do. I didn’t have the determination to muscle through times of fellowship and hospitality and evangelism and service or anything else — even if those things were for the good of my soul and the glory of God.
Lethargic by Default
I notice a similar tendency among professing Christian women today. It’s not only moms. Some Christian women avoid hardship altogether. They aren’t getting uncomfortable for the kingdom of God or taking risks for the sake of Christ’s name in the world. Instead, they are clinging more to the things of this world. I see it all over social media. I hear it in conversation.
Some women take on trends of the world that bring temporary satisfaction, such as Plexus and skimpy rompers. Others live a retired life of shopping and endless primping to secure their long-gone youthfulness. It’s difficult to live differently than the world. It’s easy to seek comfort and go along with others in their pursuit of earthly pleasure. That’s why so many do.
This was me for a season. I became idle, apathetic, and lazy. I had little interest or motivation to pursue the things of God outside of my personal Bible study in my cozy nook. I became spiritually lethargic with more interest in worldly comforts than a determination to live a life most pleasing to God — one that involves getting uncomfortable.
Every person struggles with this. It’s our default tendency. We wake up in the morning in our lethargic and selfish mindset until we seek God and his help. There’s a reason the Scriptures tell us to set our minds on things above and not on the things of earth (Colossians 3:2).
Loved, Saved, Raised
Moving away from this natural tendency requires an active and continual seeking, but God is the one who works it in us. In Romans 12:2, Paul calls us to “be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” We don’t transform ourselves; God transforms us and renews our mind when we set it on him and his word. He helps us to discern what is good and acceptable in how we live. He keeps us from conforming to the world and enables us to conform more into the image of Christ.
When we are hoping in the one who saved us when we weren’t good enough, when we couldn’t fully obey him, and when we were still sinners, it doesn’t make sense to live like the world. It makes sense to live with a fierce and joyful determination for the one who saved us when we didn’t deserve it — for the one who made us alive together with Christ, raised us up with Christ, and prepared good works for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:4–10).
We follow the course of this world until Christ delivers us from it. When he does, we no longer sit in bondage to our sin. Instead, we die to our sin and stand alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:5). When he rose from the dead, God raised us up with him and seated us in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). This is our hope — we get Christ! And the Holy Spirit is our guarantee to inherit this promise one day (Ephesians 1:13–14). When our hope in God consumes our minds, we live radically and with vigor for his mission, his glory, and his worship.
Uncomfortable for the Kingdom
John Piper says, “The deepest root of Christian womanhood is hope in God,” and “this hope in God yields fearlessness.” This doesn’t mean God calls every woman to pack it up and move to a hostile country — although every woman should be willing to accept such a call. It does mean every woman must get uncomfortable for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are a few ideas for how every woman can do this:
- Seek God every morning (Psalm 5:3).
- Look for one person to share the gospel with every time you go to the grocery store (2 Corinthians 5:20).
- Build new relationships for the sake of the kingdom each time you go to the park with your kids (1 Corinthians 9:23).
- Become a foster parent or adopt an orphan (James 1:27).
- Be hospitable without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9).
- Welcome fellowship in difficult seasons (Hebrews 10:24–25).
- Pray and engage women at a local abortion clinic (Micah 6:8).
- Go to the nations (Romans 15:20).
- Adorn yourself with good works — not immodest or expensive trends (1 Timothy 2:9–10, 4:7–8).
- Take time to disciple and discipline your children with grace and love (Titus 2:3–5, Hebrews 12:5–11).
Christian women, we have nothing to fear and ultimately nothing to lose. We will inherit our glorious hope. We will get Christ. He will reward us for our good works. Let’s not be conformed to the world in its apathy toward the things of God. Let’s live like we have the greatest hope to offer the world. Let’s get uncomfortable by hoping in God and not in what the world offers. Let’s take risks for the sake of the gospel to the glory of God.