Belonging: Take Me to My People

Something has been bothering me for a while, something I don’t understand and need help wrapping my mind around. What is this mystery, you ask?  

BoyMom.

I’ve noticed more and more that mothers of boys are calling themselves BoyMoms, and I am so confused. Here are the questions I have about this important topic, in no particular order: 

1. I don’t remember this being a mom-title when I was growing up, when did BoyMom start?

2. Does one need to have multiple boys to qualify or will just one boy suffice?

3. What if you have both male and female offspring? Are you in or out of the club?

4. If there are BoyMoms then why don’t you hear anyone say GirlMom?

5. Is it really spelled BoyMom, or is it supposed to by hyphenated (Boy-Mom)?

6. Is there a secret superpower that these BoyMoms have that the rest of us don’t?

Of course, I love my BoyMom friends and I’m only half-serious about this line of questions. The real question is, why must we categorize ourselves? I think the answer to that is because we all want to belong and feel like we are with our people. Remember ET? Dorothy on the Wizard of Oz? They both wanted to go home. What about the theme song from Cheers? We all want to go where everyone knows our name. When we go through something traumatic it’s often beneficial to join a support group, because everyone there understands what we’re going through. Belonging, feeling at home, and being understood are things we all crave.

Good thing God knows that and tells us over and over in his word we belong to him. We can identify ourselves by the roles we play or the groups we are a part of, as long as we know our true identiy is in Christ. Whatever we do, whoever we associate with, we are always defined first as a child of God. Children of God are each a part of the body of Christ, no one greater than the other, and each one loved by a good, good father.

Jobs end, friends come and go, and children grow up. If we allow any of the parts we play in this crazy life to define us and take over our identity, we will find ourselves lost when life takes an inevitable turn. Sometimes we want so badly to be part of something that we compromise who we are in order to be accepted, like a teenager trying to be part of the “in” crowd, only to regret our choices later. I recently gave a gift to some high school grads and as I wrote the cards I thought about what I would say to my 18-year old self if I had the chance. The words that came to mind were “whatever you do, always ask Jesus first.” I’ve made many poor choices over the years because I didn’t remember that I am first and always a child of God.

So, be a BoyMom if that is what you are called to be. I salute my lego stepping, video game policing, sports event shuttling, Mama’s boy having BoyMom friends. And if you’re not a BoyMom, that’s ok, too. Whatever we call ourselves, let’s first remember whose we are. We never have to feel isolated or left out because Jesus is our people. We belong to him and are part of his kingdom. We are never alone if we identify as his. And one day, our true identity will be fully revealed when he calls each of us home, to be by his side and in his wonderful presence, forever. Amen.

“Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; five thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:3-4