Motherhood is Not The Highest Calling

Being a mother is the highest calling a woman can ever receive. 

I’ve heard this said before. That parenting and being called Mom is the highest calling one could ever receive from God.

But we have been lied to.

And it is driving me nuts. I see women diminishing or suppressing other areas of their life because God has called them to motherhood.

Okay – don’t get me wrong. If motherhood is really what God is calling you to focus on, I think that is great. Fabulous, even. I commend you for the ability to accurately discern that calling on your life — it’s so awesome. I’m a mother who mainly writes about motherhood, both here and over at Memphis Moms Blog, so I get it and I hear it too.

But our culture has whispered to us that something good and high and magnificent – motherhood – is the most good and high and magnificent calling a woman can hear for her life.

But it’s not true.

I’m not proclaiming this as a sort of anthem to support the child-less.
Nor am I proclaiming this as an “out” from the immense pressure of raising humans.

I’m proclaiming this because every call is high. Because every call comes from our High God.

Listen to me. Every call from God is a high calling.

He does not rank them.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say this.

Sure, motherhood is incredible and many women are blessed to be mothers. It is also a high call that so many women wish they would hear. And I do believe our families should be our first, Earthly priority.


God doesn’t call every person to be a parent … but He does call every person.

And each individual call is just as high and good and magnificent as motherhood.

Now, do I believe in seasons of life where there are louder callings than others? Yes. Motherhood could very well be that one for you right now. But maybe it’s not.

I would probably describe it as the most prominent urge on my life right now. Motherhood envelops and consumes me in this Season of Littles.

But that doesn’t mean it will always be this way.

Yes, I’ll always be a mother, but it won’t be the most prominent, daily call I must answer. Maybe it will be work … or maybe it will be volunteering … or mission work … or grandparenting … or whatever …

I’m afraid that if we become consumed with cultural ideas of what our calling is – or should be – we may miss part of our actual call. We may miss God’s whisper to look over in a new direction because we are so focused on the motherhood thing.

And there’s nothing I want more than the be in-tune with every aspect of what I’m supposed to do through Jesus Christ.

But maybe your calling doesn’t look like what our culture says it should.

Maybe you are supposed to work outside the home.

Maybe you are supposed to work inside the home.

Maybe you are supposed to not work at all.

Maybe you are supposed to care for others, but have someone else help care for your own family.

The list goes on…

Our God is big and creative, so we can rest assure that if God has pressed something into our lives that isn’t motherhood, whether we are moms or not, He will make it work out for good. We can move forward in it, even if we are looking over our shoulder at our kids, or another fertility treatment, or maybe even feelings of not wanting kids at all.

So do I think motherhood is a high calling?

Absolutely. Because God called.

But no, motherhood is not the highest calling.

Because God makes every call.

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  • Reply Kim @ hunt & host June 21, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Amen. I needed this today. The struggle is real. Thanks for the fresh look

    • Reply Kristin Funston June 22, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Kim! And yes, the struggle is SO REAL. I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • Reply Lisa Ann Carlson June 22, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Love this! Every call is high and most of the time we have more than one call to attend to…wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, encourager, listener, teacher, employee, leader, assistant, student…and the list goes on. Each one a high call!

    • Reply Kristin June 27, 2016 at 10:06 am

      I’m glad it resonated with you, Lisa Ann! Yes! Every call is high! 🙂

  • Reply Lux G. June 30, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! Says a woman who has no kids yet. 🙂
    Thanks for this affirmation, and thought provoking post.

  • Reply Allison Davis August 19, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I think the Christian culture has used that phrase “Motherhood is the highest calling” in backlash to modern secular culture that often discourages women from focusing on motherhood and/or being a stay-home mom, and to instead pursue her career (not that this is a bad thing). I’ve heard many women in the workforce make fun of moms who enjoy going to “MOPS”, doing crafty things with their kids, have long discussions about their kids’ eating and pooping routines (Lol!), and other things like that.
    On the other side, I’ve heard a pattern of women who do stay home with their kids state that they feel a pull of not being enough/not being worthy because they aren’t working outside of the home. So I think this phrase has sort of become a mantra for stay-at-home moms who are trying to declare that they are also fulfilling a calling… and that it is an important one. Maybe it’s just been made into something TOO broad? I don’t know, but like how this post has made me think!

    And I absolutely agree with what you wrote – that ALL callings are important and that what’s MOST important is that we follow whatever it is Jesus has called us to personally do (whether it’s inside or outside of the home, with/without children). 🙂

    • Reply Kristin August 22, 2016 at 9:12 am

      You may be right about how Christian culture has turned it into a mantra. I think there is nothing wrong with moms working OR staying home. 🙂 Maybe it’s as simple as adding “MY” into the statement… “motherhood is MY highest calling” depending on the season of life? Not sure. But I do agree it’s incredibly important … INCREDIBLY… but you may be right in that it’s “too broad” for all situations and circumstances, as you mentioned above. 🙂

      Thanks for the conversation! It’s all so complicated, isn’t it?? haha! I appreciate you weighing in!

  • Reply Keri November 3, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    We all need to hear this! So encouraging! I absolutely love your blog- so glad I connected with you via Women with Intention.

    • Reply Kristin November 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      Welcome, Keri! I’m so glad you came by!! 🙂

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