Monday, June 15, 2015

Mom-ing Through Faith: On Comparison

"I've wasted a lot of my life. I grew up with a sickening chase to win people's approval that I could not ever catch. And so I have given most of my life to the cause of being liked. God was never enough for me." 

- from Jennie Allen's Restless: Because You Were Made For More.

Anybody out there able to relate to this? If you could see me right now, you would see me sheepishly raising my hand. I wanted to kick off this Mom-ing Through Faith series with a topic I think ALL mommas out there can relate to: the dangerous game of comparison.

A few other lines from the Restless book that are along the same lines (hard to admit but, for me at least, absolutely true): 

"Comparison is often why our important roles shrink to seem so insignificant. Comparison robs us of the joy of obedience."

"Most of us would love to make a name for ourselves, and we spend a lot of our energy trying and trying, but at the same time trying not to look like we are trying."

"We have hijacked the game, measuring worth with a scale that God did not create...doing things for the applause of others is where we muddy our purpose."

I'm not sure when or how or why, but for some reason, there seems as though there is a competitive edge to mommahood. Has it always been this way? Has there always been this pressure to be the best? Have mommas always felt the need to show just how great of a job we're doing to the rest of the world? Do other mommas feel less than when they perceive other mommas are doing a "better" job at mommahood than them? 

Are you guilty of this? 

I am.

One of my favorite sermons I have ever heard was by the most influential pastor of my life, Andy Stanley. During this sermon in particular, he talked about our constant need for "ER." As in, we all have this desire to be smartER, richER, thinnER, basically bettER, than everyone around us. But. As Andy so wisely stated,

"There is no win in comparison."

Because what then? Then comes the EST. The desire to be smartEST, richEST, thinnEST, basically the BEST, compared to everyone around us. 

And what then? Does this make us feel fulfilled? Maybe. Maybe momentarily. Maybe superficially. But you know what? I bet it's pretty lonely and exhausting and non-fulfilling constantly trying to be the best. And what's more, as mommas, it's hard to support one another if we're constantly trying to beat each other. 

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10.

So. Let's end the chase. Let's end the chase of trying to be bettER, or the bEST, and instead try to just be. Let's be supportive, let's be insightful, let's be self-aware, let's be loving, let's be what God designed us to be. 

And right now, right this very second, let's be a little brave. Let's be kind to one another and show each other that we mommas are in this thing together.

So, here's our "assignment for the week," if you're game: Under the link for this post on Facebook, tag a momma friend and tell her something you admire about her. It may feel a little silly, but you just may make her day. 

And then, if you're really feeling brave, contact three other mommas this week--text them, call them, email them, tell them in person--and tell them something really great about themselves. Maybe you are amazed by their patience with their children, their work-life balance, the love and support they give to their husband, their dedication to their friendships, their enduring faith. Whatever it may be, tell them. Let's see how many mommas we can postively impact with this simple but meaningful gesture. 

So. Rather than constantly compete with one another, let's start this series off by lifting each other up. Who's in? 

See you next week! 


  1. I love this!! Kudos Lindsay!

  2. So excited about this!! What a great idea! Not on facebook but I'll be telling my mama friends the great things they do!!