A Struggle to Be Superwoman

multi-tasking woman

By Joy Finch

“Superwoman: a woman who copes successfully with the simultaneous demands of career, marriage and motherhood,” (Dictionary.com).

It started early; the pressure to perform, the pressure to “cope successfully with simultaneous demands.” I can remember our first year of marriage crying over not knowing what to cook for dinner, not knowing what to even buy for ingredients, not knowing how to stock the pantry. My husband was working and going to school full time and I was student teaching. I did not cope well with the new demands of laundry and ironing for two, housekeeping, food preparation, lesson preparation and emotional involvement with a new husband.

The pressure to perform came again when I started my job as a sixth grade teacher. I was asked to tutor after school, to coach the junior high cheerleaders and be at all their games, on top of being a homemaker. Dinner needed to go beyond spaghetti and tacos as we were beginning to tire of the same options. Money was tight so I heard about couponing. Again, coping with simultaneous demands was overwhelming, but everyone kept saying that it was doable and I was capable. I was not.

It hit its worst when I gave birth to three little ones within thirty nine months. I had to do all things for them. No one could wipe themselves, pour their own drink, and at least one of them needed to be held to get from place to place. That is on top of all the above listed responsibilities. And I failed. I could not successfully cope with all the simultaneous demands. Praise God because once I realized I couldn’t do it I learned of grace.

We all have our own ideas of what superwoman looks like. Maybe she has a vest with a big S on a perfectly sculpted body and rescues people. Maybe she cooks gourmet meals or saves millions with couponing. Maybe she uses cloth diapers and makes homemade bread. Maybe she has as clean house and helps her husband with his business. Maybe her kids are always obedient and generous. Maybe she appears to have successfully coped with all life has thrown at her.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak then I am strong.”

God’s superwoman looks different than yours or mine. She is aware of her weakness. In fact she delights in it. For she has learned that every time she tries to “cope successfully” with life’s demands alone she will most likely fail and God will allow her to. Just like he allowed Peter to fall in the water when he took his eyes off the Lord (Matthew 14) and just like he allowed Peter to fail in his claims to devotion to the Lord (John 13) to the point of denying the Lord (John 18). Then he will point out our failure just like he did to Peter in John 21. Peter was trying to succeed without the Lord. He was self reliant. Just like me in my efforts to be superwoman.

If you study Peter you will find he is very passionate, he loves Jesus, and Jesus completely redeemed all failure in Peter. As He will with you and me. That is the amazing thing about his grace. It is sufficient for each failed attempt at superwoman. And we can delight in our failure, our weakness, allowing it to reveal our need for a perfect superman—Jesus—who can cope perfectly with the simultaneous demands of my life. Not only that but who covered all my mistakes with his perfect work on the cross and by his wounds I have been healed (1 Peter 1:24). I can cast all my cares on him because he cares for me (1 Peter 5:7) and he has provided me with everything I need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

Don’t you just love that those last few verses come from the very heart of Peter inspired by the Holy Spirit! He learned the value of Christ’s work on the cross; he learned to rely on Jesus in his weakness. He learned of God’s sufficient grace. He learned of God’s care for him. And just like Peter we can learn too. When we give up our self sufficiency and superwoman status we gain a new awareness of God’s grace, an awareness of God’s care, and a reliance on someone who can take all the simultaneous demands.

Do you ever feel the pressure to be Superwoman? What are some of the demands on your life? How can you begin to rely on Jesus for your tasks each day?

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