I was having a really bad day. I had let my imagination run wild and it took me to a dark place. It took me to a place of doubt. I questioned everything. I doubted my husband’s love for me, my abilities to meet his needs. I questioned whether I was doing the right thing in my parenting decisions of that morning. I felt like a failure and I began to ask myself the age old question: Am I enough?
The Message of Society
The society around us has a 100 different opinions on 100 different topics. We read one article on the pros of private school, then see one on the dangers of it in the same search result list. We go to our mom groups on facebook and see a heated debate on vaccinations. We hear interviews of happily married couples who do things differently than us and start to wonder if we should change something in our own marriage. In short, the world around us is full of excess information. And that is where the “enough” question comes from.
But we, as a society, have recognized this issue and have created a solution: self-affirmation. “You are enough”. The message of “Work hard and believe in yourself” floods the media. And in an effort to rid ourselves of these doubts, we accept the message and believe it to be true. Now we feel better about ourselves and can go on with our day.
The Lie of Self-Sufficiency
I’m realizing that as a Christian in today’s world, I must be counter-cultural. This is not surprising since we have been told that the world will hate us and to be in the world but not of it. But what’s amazing to me is that so many good Christians have adopted the “you are enough” mentality. I don’t blame them. It is very comforting to hear that I am the perfect mother for my boys. It’s so encouraging to hear that I am enough. But it’s a lie.
You Can’t be Enough
In my own strength, I can do nothing. Left to my own devices I would hurt everyone I love. If I were to follow my heart as the world suggests, I would be doomed. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our heart is deceitful. Paul informs us in Romans 3 that “there is none who does good, no not one.”
But praise God we are not doomed forever. “My grace is sufficient for you for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
I truly believe we need to feel like failures. We need to feel like we aren’t enough. Only then can we realize our need. Paul writes that the Law was written to be our school master, to show us our inadequacy. Without it we would know just how short of the standard we fall.The Law tells us that we can never be enough. We can never keep the whole thing. Is this depressing news? YES! But without knowing how desperate we really are, we will never understand how amazing the Good News is!
The Good News is that Christ is enough. He lived a perfect life. He never responded sinfully even toward people who hated him. He never acted out of greed or selfishness. He never spoke a sinful word or thought a sinful thought. Yes, Jesus was perfect. And by His grace, when He left this earth, He promised to send a Helper, the Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide us.
Through Christ Who Strengthens Me
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 14:26 ESV
“He will bring to remembrance all that I have said to you.” Only through His power can we remember the truths of Scripture. Only by the grace of God do we have the strength to fulfill our roles as wives and mothers. Only with God, will we ever be enough.