Tears slipped down my cheek as I cuddled our one-day-old third-born child—a handsome baby boy.

I couldn't believe that I was finally holding my baby, but that's not why I was crying. I was frustrated that one of my birth preferences had not been followed. Most things on my list of birth preferences were important contributions to the health and well being of my baby and me. But my tears were over a truly inconsequential preference. I had even cheerfully told the supportive medical staff that it wasn't important and it didn't matter. Nonetheless, my tears were in fact bitter tears, because my idea of the "perfect birth" was "ruined."

In a moment when my heart should have swelled with unobstructed joy that our child was born, I sulked. In a moment when my eyes should have looked to heaven in wonder that God would be so gracious to me, I wept angrily. My will had not been done, and that bugged me.

"It didn't happen like I …," I started to say. Then I recognized the gentle tugging of conviction on my heart.

Just like other idols in my heart, my idol of the "perfect birth" did not just provoke me to feel sorry for myself. It robbed me of the time I could have spent enjoying the Lord, my greatest treasure, and the good gifts he has given me. Having my primary joy be in Christ through the gift of childbirth has always been a struggle for me.

As Rachel Marie Stone recently noted at Her.meneutics, using a midwife has not only become a status symbol, it also has many benefits to respond to American society's increased medicalization of birth. Two of my three children were born overseas where the options for birth are different. A few examples are that planned homebirths are illegal here and midwives attend all hospital births. In other areas of the world there are even more variables when it comes to birthing options. Some options are less desirable; some are more desirable …

I've struggled with envying other mothers for the options they have available to them in childbirth. All too often the posture of my heart has been this: If only I could just have _____ , then I will be happy and this birth will satisfy me. Throughout my pregnancies I've had to ask myself: How should my heart consider the good desire for a great birth experience?

As I talked with a Christian doula friend about my struggles, we acknowledged how often we both must pluck the idols of the "perfect birth" off the thrones in our hearts. For instance, here are some indicators we found for when our birth experiences had become idols to us:

… when our egos bloat with pride that other women haven't had our particular birth experiences.

… when we just can't see how God's will for us is still good if our birth preferences aren't followed.

… when we would rather have our meticulously planned birth experience more than anything else—or else.

… when we evangelize other women with the good news of our perfect birth, yet our joy in our perfect Christ, in whom we are born again, is stagnant.

In the abundance (or scarcity) of options I've had regarding the births of my children, I have been tempted to yearn for a perfect birth above everything else. There is nothing wrong in desiring a good thing like a great birth experience. But when I do not see in God's good gift of childbirth that God himself is most to be desired, then my yearning for a great experience leans toward idolatry.

I need regular reminders that I have a treasure that is preeminent over my ideas about birth, over the joy of my role as a mom, and over the delightful gifts of my children. My greatest treasure is Jesus Christ. My soul's boast is in the Lord (Ps. 32:4).

Being in Christ is a gift that I don't deserve to have and could never work hard to earn (Eph. 2:8-9). When I was born again in Jesus Christ, God made me complete in him (Col. 2:10). There isn't a single birth experience I can have that can bring me more joy than being in fellowship with God. There isn't a crowning motherhood achievement I can do that can contribute to or take away from my status as God's beloved daughter.

The gospel is not just a gift to me on my spiritual birthday. It's a gift to me on my baby's Birth Day and every single day.

If the Lord blesses us with another child then I want to remember God's love for me in the gospel and yearn for him above everything else my heart desires. I want the idols in my heart to be expelled by a greater affection for a supremely desirable God.

So let not the wise mother boast in her birth plan, let not the strong mother boast in her pain tolerance, let not the rich mother boast in her health care choices. Let the mother who boasts boast in this: that she understands and knows the Lord who delights in practicing steadfast love, justice, and righteousness (Jer. 9:23-24).

Gloria Furman (@gloriafurman) lives in Dubai with her husband, Dave, a pastor at Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have three young kids. Gloria is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013) and blogs regularly for Domestic Kingdom.