Faith - Family - Things I Love

Plans and Passions

We were married for almost 10 years before our first baby was born.  Reactions were mixed when we started telling people we were having a baby. The response that made me laugh out loud was, “I didn’t know you were even trying!”  Um, are you supposed to announce “trying” like you announce getting engaged?

Some times people “try” to have babies.  Other times people just have babies.  I sense that there is a strong cultural opinion about this.  Doesn’t it feel like planning and “trying” is more socially acceptable (aka “responsible”) than having without planning (aka “whoops”)?  Does “not-planning” mean it’s a mistake?  Can’t there be a third option other than “planned” and “surprise”?  Our kids weren’t a result of “planning”… but at the same time, they weren’t surprises.

But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan — this rebirth comes from God.   (John 1:12-13)

This verse is talking about salvation through Jesus and compares physical and spiritual birth.  Also answers the age old question: “Where do babies come from?”  According to John 1, babies come from human passion or plan.  There you have it.  Some people have “planned” babies.  Some people have “passion” babies.  (And, as a friend pointed out after reading today’s post, some babies are from a mix of plan AND passion.)

I think this is another function of the Mother’s heart that has been shelved and/or devalued:  Passion.

In our culture, I feel we honor and value logic over emotion.  It seems we believe we’ll make the “best” decisions when we do research and planning and we believe we’ll make “bad” decisions when we go with our feelings.  Isn’t it wise to avoid making big purchases and big life choices when you’re in an emotional state? Wait until you’re thinking clearly.  Wait until the emotions have settled.

I agree.

And yet, I feel like we have, once again, been throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Why have we declared wisdom and emotion to be opposites? Wouldn’t you agree an opposite of wisdom is foolishness? And an opposite of emotion could be indifference?  I would never say that wisdom equals indifference so why would we say that emotion equals foolishness?  Let’s not choose between wisdom and passion.  Why can’t we have both??

In a culture that has been siding heavily with logic, I think passion is an amazing trait of the “Mother’s heart” that needs to be called out and used again!

Here’s where it gets tricky:  Logic and intellectual wisdom often guides different people to walk one course of action.  Whereas, passion can lead different people to different courses of action.  It can even lead very similar people to different courses of action.  This can cause tension in relationships as we seem to have a hard time walking in community with people who are walking out their lives in unique ways.

For Christians this is especially hard.  We have the same foundation in the Bible.  We have One God and there is One Way to Him through Jesus.  There is One Holy Spirit guiding us all.  And yet, we each have unique journeys.

I see PASSION leading people to make seemingly contradictory decisions:
– Giving up an influential career to be able to home school kids
– Working long hours and sacrificing time with kids in order to give them a stable life
– Relocating family away from family, friends and modern living to give their lives to invest in a lost people group
– Leaving the mission field, in order to give one of their children specialized developmental help
– Buying only organic foods to give health to their family
– Buying only cheap foods so they can give sacrificially to an organization that rescues children in prostitution
– Waiting to have children until they are financially ready
– Having more children than they can afford and seeing miracle provision

Pursuing our unique passions can lead us to lead really diverse lives.  If we try to analyze our passions with logic, it can lead to a judgement of other lives. We might say, “If they really were passionate about their children, they would choose to make the same choices I have.”  Yikes.  Let’s not forget that we are each different and it’s God’s plan for us to be that way!

All the passages about the Body of Christ come to mind: Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4.  We are all different and have different gifts and callings.  One Body made up of diverse parts with diverse functions.  Funny that it makes perfect logical sense then, that we would have diverse lives.  I think about Acts 20 when Paul felt passionately compelled to go where others felt passionately convinced he shouldn’t go.  In the end, Paul followed his passion.  Was he right or wrong to do that?  His life is not ours to judge.  But I’m sure glad for all the letters He wrote during his prison time.  I’m so glad he was a man of passion.  I’m so glad that he dared to go against his own logic every once in a while.

This “Mother’s heart” is a huge fan of wisdom, maturity, experience, and the power of logic.  I would like, also, to champion PASSION.  I love the stories of great inventors and how their passions led them into uncharted territories. I’m so glad they didn’t go the sensible or financially wise route.  Passion enables us to do things logic would never allow.

I think the “Mother’s heart” leans towards passion every day.  What if we didn’t shoot down or dismiss our emotions?  What could happen if we fed our passions and wanted them to grow?

YES, sometimes you should just go with your “gut”!!  And let’s encourage each other onward in our unique expressions of passion!  Oooo I’m getting excited.

Special note: To all those special people in my life who are gifted with deep wisdom and logic: Thank you for being strong and healthy in your functions in the Body.  I am huge fans of you.

What do you think? Do you dismiss emotional directions when you are decision-making? Why do humans seem to like it when other people make the same life choices? How can we affirm our differences and encourage plans AND passion?  Does the Holy Spirit guide with logic or passion… or something else?

Related posts:
When Mothers don’t see how bad their kids are
The birds made me mad today

4 thoughts on “Plans and Passions”

  • I agree! It’s like God made us to be creative, and God made us to be logical, but if you’re one extreme you view the other as “sinful”. Why does it have to be either-or? For similar arguments, see worship (talent vs spirit led, are they mutually exclusive?), or pro-life/pro-choice (because the opposite is pro-death and pro-slavery, right? which nobody is arguing).

    There’s something about human beings that have to dichotomize, and anything that isn’t my opinion is the opposite. I wonder how the conversation would be different if we tried to genuinely understand the other side instead of creating straw man arguments and deciding how to respond to the other side before fully hearing it…

    I think that picking one over the other (back to logic/emotion) to the exclusion of the other is really unhealthy. It has to be logic tempered with passion and passion tempered with logic. It’s not just that they aren’t opposites; it’s that they are dependent on one another to function properly!

    • So true! The “two-sides” of things seems to be so deeply cultural here. When I first moved here it was so strange to hear people declaring their political party. To my immigrant ears it sounded like two ends of a tug-o-war. And it seems to be that way in so many arenas of life. I love what you’re saying: dependant on one other. Interconnected and bringing fullness. Love it.

  • I love this post. I think that my hubby and I operate on opposite sides of this spectrum. It could have been a terrible thing for our marriage but I believe God has used it to transform both of us. He sees that without having freedom to act from and into my passions my heart is sad, and I see that without having the space to make considered and planned decisions he struggles. We have had to find middle ground in common areas and to release one another to make choices and decisions in the way we need to for things which mostly concern one or other os us. It will continue to be a process, but I see so much beauty in learning the unique ways we were created and seeing God glorified in the results. Love to hear your thoughts here xx

    • Curt has a great pre-marital session on “sails and anchors”… one person who loves to fly with the wind and the other who is focused on keeping things anchored. Love that God intentionally makes us so diverse. Sometimes I don’t love the sandpaper feeling when my rough edges are being beautified through others. 😉

What do you think?

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