Missionary Mommy Wars {A Life Overseas}

by Jonathan

I just want to come out and say it; I’m not a mommy. Shoot, I’m not even a woman. (OK, those were some of the weirdest sentences I’ve ever written.) But despite my obvious shortcomings, I’m still writing this article. Here’s why:

I look around and see young moms and experienced moms who are serving cross-culturally, and they’re under siege. I see them, battle-weary and bleary-eyed, burdened by expectations that would crush the strongest. I see them wrangle toddlers and tonal languages. I watch them brave open-air markets with raw meat hanging on hooks and open-air homes with neighbors peering in through windows.

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A814AB Section of barbed wire. Image shot 2003. Exact date unknown.

3 thoughts on “Missionary Mommy Wars {A Life Overseas}

  1. Pingback: Missionary Mommy Wars | There Is Yet Hope |

  2. Except for the learning the foreign language/culture barrier part (unless a Southern Belle transplanted in the North counts), I can identify with all of what you just wrote, even though I’m right here in the U.S.A. Small church of 40 attendees, Pastor hubby drives a forklift 40 hours a week and does his best to stay on top of the ministry. No grandparents or aunts or uncles living nearby, I work 2 part time jobs and homeschool our 5 kiddos. But it’s the way we PW’s (maybe it’s just me?) are watched and expected to do so many tasks within the church as well as family, all the while hearing “Wow, how do you find time to do it all?” that gets me down. I want to reply, ” We wouldn’t have to if other’s would be willing to invest more of their personal time and effort into the lives of others and the ministry now and then” but I don’t. My husband is amazing and amazingly supportive and regardless of all else and criticism puts us (our family) 2nd only to Christ. He also encourages me to spend time with true friends that will encourage me in the work of the Lord. And that is how we do it. Yup, I’m insecure on my own. I’m not sure if we do all we do well, but we do it through Strength and Grace not our own.

    • Thanks for the comment, Rebecca. Indeed, you and yours have a lot on your plate! Yikes! I do think there is a shift going on (at least in the part of the States where we come from) that allows the “pastor’s wife” a bit more latitude, and grace. I heard one pastor defend his wife this way, “Hey, you hired me, not her. If you want her to work like a full time employee, perhaps you could pay her like a full time employee.” I think he said it kindly, but he still got his point across. : ) When we were working in youth ministry Stateside, a mom was complaining that Elizabeth, who was busy with three small children, wasn’t doing as much as she used to. I stopped dead in my tracks and said, “She’s raising my children. She’s busy.” To this day, I’m not really sure how that response was taken…

      Anyways, blessings to you guys as you wrestle with the work/life/ministry balance, asking what it is God wants you to do. Oh, and by the way, Happy Monday! — Jonathan T.

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