The place where I most frequently hear the word “identity” in discussions with moms is in discussing their work. Usually, the comment is something along the lines of this:
I love my kids, but I love my job too. If I quit work to stay home with my kids, I would lose my identity.
As Christian women, we should never think that our identity is tied up with our job, whether it is outside the home or in it. As Emily mentioned Monday, we are adopted children of God the Father. That’s our identity. Thinking about it Biblically, “who we are, deep-down-inside,” is actually a pretty ugly picture. Deep down, we’re all sinners who have broken the law of God. There is nothing about who we really are that is redeeming, or something we would want to talk about.
The primary identity that the Bible is concerned with is whether you are in Christ or apart from Christ. In Galatians 3, Paul tell us that in Christ,
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And in Ephesians 2, we read,
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…
If the Bible is not concerned with identity the way we think of it today, what exactly should we be concerned with? Ephesians 2 continues a few sentences later with this:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
We should be concerned with the work God has given us to do. We have been created for good works.
What does that mean for moms? If you have children, the work that you have to do is there. The amount of physical and emotional attention that children need could keep us busy 24 hours a day. We do not need to go looking for good works–they will come and find us. We’ve spent a lot of time here talking about the need for mothers to stay home with their children, instead of letting somebody else raise them. This is part of the good work. I wish my babies had been born with a card that read, “I am your good work for the next eighteen years.”
Do moms have outside interests? Absolutely. Do they have skills and talents that they could be using well in the working world? Absolutely. But is there any work that is better or more important than your children? Absolutely not.
As moms, we should never talk about losing our identity to raise our children. Our identity is secure. What we should talk about is letting go of our dream jobs to stay home with our children, and the process of sanctification that that works within our souls.