by Priya Samuel
This catchy title on a secular magazine article caught my attention: “Motherhood Can Be Boring.” The writer said the task of motherhood was boring and under-challenging.
I must confess that my feelings are no different from this writer even though I have never articulated them aloud. My feelings of boredom and meaninglessness come and go.
On a related topic (but not written in response to the aforementioned article), see this post on a robust biblical theology of motherhood: Why Motherhood Is Not Boring.
Merriam-Webster defines boredom as “the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest.” Here, “weary” means “having one’s patience, interest or pleasure exhausted.”
It’s as though you get to the end of the day and find yourself doing that same thing again, almost in a comatose fashion. Bored to death—like a zombie mom drunk on mundane cocktail.
Well, we moms are not bored because we have nothing to do, but because we lack joy in the million things that we do every single moment of the day.
Now why is that? What is it that steals our joy?
I’d like to offer four reasons for why we struggle with boredom:
1 – We struggle to love and obey God.
I see examples of this when I stop delighting in Jesus and seek pleasure from my accomplishments like how I got “me time” today or took a meal for a new mother and encouraged her in her new role (how ironic!).
When our hearts seek joy apart from God and his word then this shows how we struggle to love and obey God. Then parenting becomes burdensome and boring and not an obedience overflowing from my love for Jesus.
It is not the obedience of faith that joyfully rests in God:
- “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
- “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps. 16:11).
Let’s confess to God our lack of joy and pursue him in prayer as we obey his word. Bored moms are still loved by God.
2 – We struggle to love our children.
I lament that I don’t get to do anything exciting and different on the weekends like everybody else. I’m frustrated that my mundane is not exciting and fulfilling. I’m bitter until I get a break from my boring routine.
Motherhood gets depressing and boring when it’s all about me!
Titus 2 tells us that we need to be taught how to love our children, husbands and be good homemakers precisely because it doesn’t come naturally to us. We’re sinners by nature who naturally love ourselves above all else.
Praise God for making a way for us through his Son Jesus Christ! Jesus’ substitutionary death on the cross for us not only grants us forgiveness of our sins when we repent and believe in him, but grants for us new desires to love God and thereby love God and our neighbor.
When I love God, I will love my children sacrificially, putting aside self by the power of his Spirit working in me. Thus, my motherhood will be filled with the joy of the Lord even during those difficult times of disciplining my children for the same sin a hundredth time.
3 – We struggle to remember that our children are a blessing and reward from God.
I see how this is true for me when I spend loads of time helping my son with his schoolwork and I don’t get the results I feel like I deserve. I see it in how I feel when I don’t get praised for meeting a domestic deadline – like finishing the cooking before my toddler is up from his nap. I see it in how I feel when my children don’t rise up and call me blessed.
When my motivation is to be blessed and rewarded by others then caring for my children’s needs—like changing diapers, reading to them, playing games—becomes a drudgery.
I forget the goodness of God as he has bestowed us with children as blessings to steward and diligently nurture. I forget that God is using me as a means to bless my children and cause them to grow in wisdom and stature.
When our commitment to the role of motherhood starts to languish, let’s remind ourselves that it is a privilege and joy to be used by God to nurture our children.
4 – We struggle to remember the gospel of grace.
I see this in my life when I forget the gospel of grace and I have no joy in my own salvation. Then I lay aside biblical values and godly pursuits. I undermine the depravity of my kids and their great need of grace for salvation. I forget that gospel and I resolve to merely address their behavioral issues. I forget and underestimate the power of the gospel in my children’s lives when I do not persevere in joyfully proclaiming the Good News to them.
Jean Flemming, in her book A Mother’s Heart, says:
“No one who takes Christ’s last words (The Great Commission) seriously need ever feel bored or under challenged.”
When boredom dawns on us, let us put on the armor of God and fight for joy to the praise of his glorious name!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Priya is from Hyderabad and is trained in physiotherapy. Her husband Anand is a pastor at United Christian Church of Dubai. They have three boys with soul-searching brown eyes (Rohan, Aryan and Daven). Priya’s morning always starts with a cup of tea with evaporated milk and 5 tsp of sugar. She loves to search the Old Testament Scriptures to see how they point to Jesus.