Friday, February 5, 2010

Mama's Got a Fake I.D.

Part 1 Identify the Current Issue

This study works best if you have read the book Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. , by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira.

Whether on Oprah, in magazines, or at a local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group, you’ll hear a similar theme from today’s moms (and you know this if you are one!): they wrestle with a sense of having lost who they are in the mix of love and responsibility that comes with being a mom. As much as they love their kids and they love being moms, this loss of identity leaves many women feeling lonely, anonymous, and frustrated. This particularly frustrates Christian moms, who feel the additional sting of wondering what God has in store for them now that they are moms—especially if their gifts don’t match their new mom role. While they may once have felt solid in their God-given gifts and purpose, motherhood can reduce many women to feeling unable to do anything right—or well—and wondering if God didn’t make a mistake in the way he gifted them, or even by giving them children.

While churches do a great job of supporting the mom role in general, many moms feel they don’t do a good job supporting women who deal with these issues. In fact, Rivadeneira contends that many Christians push the idea that once you become a mom, God’s only use for you is to raise godly kids and help out in the church nursery. In the beginning of chapter 4 (“Why God Cares About Who You Are”), Rivadeneira writes that this is the reason why “being a mom who wants to be used by God in a wide variety of ways can feel so selfish even when we know it’s not. But because there are so many well-meaning Christians who really do think moms should be happy to invest everything they have in their children, I think we moms need to explore the will of God for women whom he has blessed with children. God cares about us as people, not just as mothers” (p. 53).

Discussion Starters:

[Q] In what ways have you felt a loss of identity in your role as a mom? Where or when do you feel this most acutely?

[Q] How has your sense of purpose or giftedness changed since you became a mom? Do
you now feel that God expects something different from you, or that he wants you to
“shelve” some of your gifts and abilities for a while?

[Q] What’s been your experience at church regarding your role as mom versus you as a more well-rounded woman? Are you made to feel selfish, as Rivadeneira writes, for wanting to be used by God in a variety of ways and not just in your mom role?

©2009 Christianity Today International

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