by John Patridge
I recently saw a movie entitled Bad Moms. The main character, Amy Mitchell, is a mother of two with a fulltime job and a lazy husband. Amy is over-worked, overwhelmed and tired of being perfect. She attends every PTA meeting and every sporting event all while trying to get her children to eat healthy. Most of the things Amy does, she does to impress other moms she doesn’t even like. So one day, Amy decides to give up. She will no longer be the perfect parent. Obviously she will still love her children and keep them alive but no more perfect cupcakes for the bake sale and fake smiles. I can’t blame her or any other mom who wants to give up. It is a no win situation. If you try to do everything right and have perfect kids and a perfect car all while trying to have a spotless, germ-free home, you get labeled as overbearing or over-protective or as we southerners say “she’s just spread too thin.” On the other hand, if you don’t over protect or over stimulate your kids and let them be kids you get accused of not loving them.
As many of you know, I am not a mother, but I am a Christian. To be honest, there are many times in my walk with Christ that I want to give up. The religious world and Satan are constantly telling me I need to do something to earn salvation. And if I’m already doing something, I need to do more. I don’t know if anyone else gets into these downward spirals, but I find myself thinking, “I need to read the Bible more, pray more, or do more for the community.” So the less I do, the more I feel bad about not doing anything, so I do even less and down we go. It is at this point that I want to be like Amy and give up. I just want to be a bad Christian. In our southern culture, we have all perfected being bad Christians. We show up to church halfheartedly, but as soon as we leave the parking lot, church is something we can check off until next week.
My spiritual health ebbs and flows throughout the year. The summers are always a low point for me. I like to blame it on work and claim I don’t have enough time to carve out ten minutes a day for God. This summer was no different. My life was going pretty much the way I wanted but there was still this void and a longing for something else. Then September comes around, the month I get to spend eight to ten hours a day on a combine by myself harvesting crops. I’m still thinking I don’t have time for God; then I remember the Westminster app that I downloaded a year ago and never used. (It’s a really cool app you should check it out.) Richard was about to finish up his study through the book of Hebrews. I had missed a few Sundays during the summer and forgotten the rest. So I decided to start from the beginning and listen to all twenty-two sermons of Hebrews. I quickly fell in love with this book. Richard lays it out there and tells us how amazing Jesus is. He’s a better priest with the one and final sacrifice. The gospel really is balm for the soul. Jesus is the founder and perfector of our faith who joyfully endured the cross and sits at the right hand of God making intercession for us. If that’s not encouraging, I don’t know what is. If you are a Christian, Hebrews will lift you up and remind you of why we do what we do. As Christians, our lives should be walking testimonies of the grace that God has shown us. Having been born into a PCA church, there’s never a day I haven’t heard the Gospel. (Jesus died so I could have eternal life. All my sins are washed away.) I have often used this as an excuse not to spend time studying the bible or praying. I thought “why do it? Jesus will cover my sin.” Hebrews teaches a better response to the gospel and a better way to worship. We respond because we are children of God. We often want to be the kid who doesn’t do his chores but we have that father that says “as long as I’m putting a roof over your head and food on the table you will take out the trash.” Well God is that roof over our heads and food on the table so the least we can do is grow up and feast on his word.
By the end of the movie, Amy realizes that by being a bad mom she has made a wreck of her family. Her children are getting into trouble, she lost her job and is banned from the PTA. Amy finally hits a low point and does what every great mom does. She comes to her senses and does not do what she wants to do but does what she is called to do. Amy even becomes the PTA president, goes to the games, makes lunches and all around cares for her children. But this time is different. She does it because that’s what moms do. She’s not trying to impress others or win an award. Amy does mom chores because she is a mom. In the same manner, let’s stop being bad Christians. We should run to church and our Bibles. We should look for ways to help the community. Prayer should be something that never stops. Christians don’t do these things because we think it will earn us favor with God. Christian disciplines are a response to the amazing work Jesus did for us on the cross. So once again, let’s grow up in faith and feast on the word of God.
Disclaimer: I cannot recommend you seeing Bad Moms. Although funny I would wait until the edited version comes out on TBS.