Mother's Day Devotional | Day 4: You Are Not "Enough" . . . but Jesus Is.
A Great and Godly Gift
Women and Mothers
Enough, Day 4
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” - (Psalm 139:13-14a)
First off, I want to be straight forward with you: today, I’m basically a thief. Stealing, stealing, stealing. I’m a man, writing to women, about being mom’s and being women. I’m so afraid of man-splaining to you that I’m just going to steal from a brilliant, godly theologian and teacher. Her name is Jen Wilkin. Even if it weren’t the topic of biblical femininity and motherhood, she’d be able to give me a theological beat-down with half her brain tied behind her back. At the end of today’s devotional, there will be a link to an article from Jen that I’m leaning heavily on...er...stealing from.
“Girl, you are enough. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are smart enough, tough enough, wise enough, pretty enough. When the chips are down, get up, wash your face, and get back to being an awesome mommy with a side hustle in beauty products and 10k Instagram followers.”
I’ve heard, along with many of you, Psalm 139:13-14 given to women with that message. Women and mothers who are tired, exhausted, used up, recovering from abuse or rejection, and facing very real limitations in their spiritual, career, and relational lives. Truly, you do need a word from God--something that carries the true power to transform you and give you hope and peace and ongoing life. To heal you. To stir your soul. To provide a real sense of someone who will love you, no matter what.
If being a woman or mom is foreign to me, I’m betting being a lead pastor is foreign to you. I want you to know we actually have something in common--that requirement we can never meet, but feel daily expected to, nonetheless: I’m supposed to be enough. People depend on me. I need to make people happy. I need to be attractive and attract someone. I have accomplishments to accomplish. I can’t afford to be a basket-case, lose my cool, or cry right now.
So, we grope around for some message of self-esteem to wrap ourselves in: no, I am enough. God made me and he don’t make no junk. I can accomplish. I can win. Regardless of what they said when they mocked or rejected me, I know who I am. I’m fearfully and wonderfully made. I am enough. I’ve tried that on myself, sisters. As a pastor, it doesn’t work. I doubt it’s working out well for you as a woman or mom.
The best work and decisions you make for yourself and your family will never be protected and airtight against criticism, questioning, second-guessing, or one-upping. Do I or do I not tell my kids the truth about Santa? Do I or do I not homeschool the kids? Vaccinate or not? Breastfeed or not? Did I have kids too early, or too late? Is there something wrong with me that I want to get married so badly...or that I don’t feel the urge to get married at all?
Please hear me: you will not find the hope, security, worth, peace, beauty, and love you so desperately need by trying to believe that you are enough. You are not enough.
But Jesus is.
Believe the gospel, dear sisters. Because you are not enough, Jesus came to be enough in your place. The humiliation, the penalty for not being pretty enough, wise enough, brave enough, savvy enough, successful enough...the shame that comes with rejection from men, other women, and the world...he bears all that up and takes the darkness for you. Psalm 139 isn’t a psalm about how glorious and wonderful we are, being made by God. The whole thing is written by David, feeling happily small in the presence of the greatness and awesomeness of God--receiving love and affirmation from him. Today, whether you feel fearsomeness or failure, know that you are loved, approved of, justified, and honored by the one that matters most.
If we can truly get a fix on this in our hearts...way down deep, where it can’t be disturbed or shaken loose...that we aren’t enough...then Satan, the deceiving serpent has his tongue removed and he can’t whisper lies in your ear anymore. His weapon of shame and guilt are disarmed. Your frailty is outted and God’s love for you bears you up.
Here’s the link to Jen Wilkin’s article: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/women-trade-self-worth-for-awe-and-wonder