Matthew 16:24-26 KJV
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
As I studied these familiar verses, I was thinking about the different ways Christ calls people to "lose their lives."
In some instances, He calls people to literally give their physical lives for being His follower. We call these people martyrs and admire their faithfulness, strength, and commitment.
In other instances, He calls people to give up the comforts of this world and go and be missionaries to remote villages or in violent countries. We admire these missionaries for their selflessness and care for others.
There are many other "smaller" ways He calls people to "lose" their lives, but one that sticks out to me right now is parenthood.
We recently announced to family and friends that we are expecting our 12th child (not counting the two who are already with Jesus). Of course, the comments aren't new to us, but they have started again.
We are crazy.
Better us than them.
Aren't we smart enough to know what causes that?
What about my health?
We can't possibly have enough to provide for all those children! (Of course, everyone's definition of provide is different. They are thinking of fancy vacations, college, cars for each child, etc.).
As parents, we are called to give up comforts of this world. We experience violence among our own people. Sometimes parents give up their physical lives for their children. However, unless it is done in some grand way (like saving a drowning child or saving a child from a fire), it is looked down upon. Why is it that losing this life, as the world sees it, for our own children is not seen as following God's commands? Why do we esteem sharing the gospel with other people groups worthy while sharing the gospel with our own children is wrong?
I am not bringing this up to try to gain pity. Nor am I seeking approval. I am bringing this up to encourage other mothers that although it may not seem you are doing great things for God, you are! you are denying yourself and "losing" your life for your children. When you are selfless, you are showing Christ's love to those around you. Be of good courage! Raising children is just as much a mission field as going to the remote villages of Africa or the land of Iraq.