At the Dangerous Women conference held by the Femina Girls, Rachel Jankovic spoke to mothers. The way I’ve summarized the notes might make it sound bossy and all “you, you, you,” but that wasn’t the tone at all — just the tone I used in writing it to myself. She was funny, but the humor didn’t make it into my notes much — is that telling? Oh dear.
I do highly recommend the audio.
Dangerous Woman as Mother
Mothers are a strategic target to build or destroy culture. We are easily discouraged in the day of small things and we spend too much time fussing with each other and with our children over petty things.
The mothers are the glue that connects the father to the children. You create the atmosphere and opportunities for your children to be fathered as well as nurtured. Mothers turn the husband’s intangible or less tangible (provision, vision, love) into real, tangible connection (dinner on the table, food in the fridge, clean clothes in the drawers, time to talk).
Your home is not where you have retreated, you are strategically placed. Making a home is making a dangerous family, not a warm and cozy feel-good neutral zone. You make the atmosphere, the environment FOR people, not for its own sake.
Mothers Make Fellowship
Your role is facilitating fellowship. You aren’t making food because they need to eat, but because they need to sit around a table and be part of a people. You are giving your children their identity. So your home is one of the primary forces for cultural change, not through knowledge or lectures, but through table fellowship and identity-giving love. How you live preaches the gospel or lies about the gospel.
Fellowship is the central aspect of the home. It’s easy to allow yourself a little attitude because you’re doing the work, but that forgets that the real work is fellowship.
It’s easy to see children as an obstacle to your work, but they are the work and the point. Your attitude makes or breaks fellowship in the home. Don’t let anything disrupt fellowship in your home; that’s your job.
Your children look to you to find out who they are and where they belong. They are vacuums for love, and affection gives identity. When you break fellowship with your children, you are breaking them and their identity, tearing them down.
Hospitality should always be extended to your own first, and not outward if it means fellowship is broken during clean up time an hour before. Your love, contentment, and happiness makes your children loyal and feel like they belong.
Your happiness shines, and it will annoy and threaten some people, but it bestows life and love to your children. If the life you give is external and unhappy, they will defect, be disaffected.
Churches are like families in a big scale, and the same problems that happen there can happen in the home.
- They can be consumed with new growth while neglecting other stages.
- The leadership can be hypocritical leadership.
- They can be consumed with either all squishy grace or all hard law
- They might be teaching people they wish were there instead of the ones that actually are (not paying attention)
- They can emphasize congregants tithing & serving rather than on their own feeding and equipping the flock.
Church is about unifying diverse people, binding them in fellowship, and it’s something only God can do. Churches and families and people are supposed to look radically different from one another, yet be unified together; do not compare and judge other’s homes — worry about your own.