We can all fall into the trap of thinking that others have it easier or do things better or are more “normal” or holy than we are. I call this the Comparison Trap.
It’s not healthy or helpful, but it is terribly commonplace. It’s especially prolific because the powers that be know they can control us more easily if we are peer-dependent. We buy more and work harder if we put the opinions of others as what defines us.
When it comes to motherhood, comparison can cause us to become toxic to the very people we most want to love and care for. Our pressure to conform to some romanticized picture of what a mother should look like, act like, and have.
Social media can feed this obsession. We watch the videos and see the photographs of lives we wish we could live up to. Despite the admissions by content creators that their lives are not perfect, our dissatisfaction with our own circumstances causes us to build an unrealistic vision of how things could be if only…
It doesn’t matter what it is, there are numerous fads for every age. In times past it may have been loads of different things, and I am so tempted to point out some of the current ones, but I don’t want to call out moms who are precious and have no intention of pressuring anyone (so I won’t).
Instead, I will tell you about my own dear daughter. She doesn’t live on a homestead in America, she doesn’t even live in America at all–she lives in South Korea. Her loving husband works long hours to provide for her, so she lives in a very large, modern apartment, with all the newest amenities. She really doesn’t want for anything. She even gets to stay at home and be the homemaker she’s always wanted to be.
She attends an international church with people from all over the world; some from Scandinavia, South America, even Africa. The women are homemakers, but not necessarily in the cultural context we are used to. They decorate differently, they cook differently, and not one of them resembles the trends we are used to in America, but they are all doing it unto Jesus, and He is pleased.
They are all learning to be content in a culture which is foreign to them. They are learning to eat Korean-style, to travel Korean-style, to speak in Korean even when it is difficult. And their thankfulness in the situation speaks loudest of their trust in a God who provides in every situation.
Contentment. This is the remedy for comparison.
Now godliness with contentment is great gain.1 Timothy 6:6
We made a multi-state move a few years ago. In-between houses we lived in hotels–all eight of us at the time. It was a simplification and a cleansing. Our old house had been built for our family of 17, with six bedrooms, four bathrooms, and three living areas. Our master bed/bath combo itself was 500 square feet! The dwelling we moved into had just two bathrooms, and the master bath was only big enough for a single sink and dinky shower. But after living in hotel rooms for a few weeks, it seemed like a mansion.
I know this is God’s house for us–He showed that very clearly in the miraculous way we found it. He looked deeply and gave me a place that filled the deep desires of my heart.
And I am so content here. No, it’s not trendy, and we still decorate in “late Salvation Army” style, but it’s cozy and clean and the peace of God is evident.
The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.Proverbs 10:22
If you are interested in watching or listening to more on this subject, you can check out my podcast/video at the links below:
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