Motherhood is beautiful!
Being a mom changes us. Isn’t amazing how a newborn baby changes everything? I absolutely love being a mother. To many it comes so natural, others claim a little bit more reading and practice. One thing is true though, all mom’s, even the best of the best- fall in traps of lies! Lies telling us we are not good mothers, that we fail. Oh, but that’s part of the beauty in motherhood. As we strive to more like Christ, we are an example to our children of the journey to being “the best mother”.
#1. Your failures are too big, therefore God can not use me for his glory.
Yes, you will fail. Yes, you may have already failed. You probably have failed many times. However, with each and every failure there is forgiveness and God’s grace. Lamentations supports these words.
God’s true word says, “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.“ Lamentations 3:21-26
Our failures are a true picture of his gospel. As we are quick to repent, he is quick to forgive. Learning to seek him immediately when we make a “mistake” or sin is key. God can use the failures during motherhood to show our children true love and forgiveness. (No matter how small they may be.) Our children need to see repentance and true love on display. In return get to visualize true forgiveness of sin, perhaps even first hand if we need to apologize to them. It’s a beautiful thing for our children to know even mommy is a sinner and needs forgiveness and Oh! How quick he is to forgive! So, yes we have failures, sometimes “big” blunders, but God would love to use those for His glory and a true display of His forgiveness and the gospel.
#2 I have to be the perfect mom for it to count!
Wrong! If perfection was a requirement, we’d all be out of a job! In fact, God already knew we were not perfect before he placed that child in your care. Yet, he loves us and has faith we can do it, or he wouldn’t have given us those pudgy little cheeks and sweet sass.
As we live out our days with passion, love, devotion, joy and freedom; we get to witness the influence on our children’s lives. Just as you wouldn’t open the house with your car keys, your children’s hearts have specific keys too. Perfection is not that key! To one child it might be shaped hot pancakes for breakfast sets the day for success. Perhaps, laying out the clothes for another child. Maybe it’s a good story to get the day rolling for another. During the day, maybe it’s playing your daughters favorite game. Cars with you son? You know what makes your children tick better than anyone else. If you aren’t sure, spend moments throughout your day studying your children. What makes them happy, what sets them off (and work on it) that’s what real motherhood on purpose is, not perfection. Proverb 22:6 states “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Our instruction is not to be a perfect mother, no, it’s to train our children in the way he should go. What was is that? Well in the way God says of course.
Our job is to teach them that blessings flow through obedience as God commands. “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.” Proverbs 8:32 and Proverbs 14:26 “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.” We should teach our children truth. So often we want to guard our children from anything and everything unless it sounds good. We all get that. However, that’s not what is being said here. We cannot lie to our children, they should know about heaven. It’s part of truth. Age appropriately describe heaven and hell (when you choose the time is right.) Children need to know truth, even if you tell them all about heaven and that not everyone is there. That’s enough for a very young child. But don’t lie, be truthful. Our children are still held accountable. Even children are “known” for their deeds. Proverbs 20:11 says “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” It’s our job to teach them, not perfection, but honest integrity. Doing right whether or not anyone is looking. How do we do this?
- By example. Our children watch us and if we have even a small portion of their heart, they’ll copy us. It’s a promise if we’ll do so. “The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.” Proverbs 20:7
- By training. Firmly set the rules of your home and expectations, even if you’re children are young. “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” Proverbs 22:15. The focus being pointed out is not the rod, the key we are looking at here is the heart. If we choose not to train a child, he will choose to remain foolish like a child. We have to train, it is what motherhood demands if we want to be successful. It’s not the dishes, the perfectly folded towels, or the evening entertainments while being a mom, it’s NOT PERFECTION. It is being a mom on purpose. How? Take one minute… Sit, write a list of things or “quality traits” you want to teach your child or children, no matter their age. Some they will easily do. It may be established in their character already. Perhaps because of who they are by God’s design or the training you’ve already done since birth (knowingly or not). Either way, determine what you want to accomplish. It could be a checklist of goals you want to teach before they are 5 or 10 or before they leave the house and move out. Perhaps if they are older, what you want to “teach or train” them in before their married. Whatever your goals, you can start small. (Ex. please & thank you, saying hello and smile, seeing a need and filling it without being asked, praying daily before they begin their day, etc.)
Not getting into an entirely new post, but describe my statement. Perfection is not required. It’s the compassion and devotion in which we do things daily and seek your child’s heart sincerely.
If time permits, a wonderfully organized home, good food, joyful ramblings, sweet stories, those are all potential keys to the heart and a portion of successful parenting; yet, those things only help our purposeful training be successful. But, one is not successful without the other. So, when is the last time you jump started your relationship with your child or children? When is the last time you decided to teach or train your child on purpose?
#3 I can do this, I can do it all!
Motherhood is not only a gift from God, but ordained by God. How foolish can we be to think we can do it without him? PLEASE, do not buy into the fact that you can do motherhood completely by yourself and if not, you are somehow inadequate or not a “good mom.” Wouldn’t the devil love to convince us all of this! God knows we are not strong enough. That’s why he said in 2 Corinthians : “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
All those beautiful and tiring moments are meant to be testimonies of God’s provision and grace. That he truly supplies us with His strength. As we seek him more, he continues to fill us and provide that strength, and such a sweet example it is. Sure, not everyone will see his beauty in the daily grind, but when things are noticed, in our hearts we know it was his strength carrying us through. Furthermore, on the hardest days, it really is a test of our character. When you’re folding the fifth load of laundry at 1 AM because your house is over run with littles during the day, can you still praise him? In tears, on that difficult sleep deprived day, can you still sing through the tears? As sweet as motherhood is, I found it really strengthened my walk more and more as time passed and I learned to embrace the difficult moments. He is ever SO GOOD and faithful. Let us honor Him by truly relying and depending on His strength.
#4 Motherhood is unimportant work, I can do better things with my time.
Although the world seems to put more and more emphasis on motherhood as a simple, unimportant work, I am amazed over and over again by the rebuttals of people from all walks of life that rebuttal this comment. Look at those great big professional football players after they score a touchdown. Someone is usually thanking their mom. A new athlete, singer, etc makes tribute to their mom or parents upon success. Even in a worldly sense, motherhood is the greatest impact in a child’s life. Good and bad. Motherhood is so important. Not in how much we make for money, the fancy things nor the toys we purchase. It is sometimes the simplest things that mean the most. Upon writing this I asked a couple of my kids their favorite thing about being with mom. Having done this before, I wasn’t too surprised, but the first time I ever asked them, I remember one of my children recalling a story I did not remember details on. I vaguely recollected the situation, but not each detail. Their remembrance and retelling of the story was so beautiful! At first I thought, wow! Then as details poured out, I was just amazed of the joy from this memory. It seemed so simple, we had very little at the time, but none of that mattered, it was the time we spent, stories told and the silly popcorn fight after. Just goofy, yet so memorable. Out of all the sites, museums, zoos, trips, camps, etc. it was a sill memory we shared that was the most influential.
No matter what our background is, we can all accomplish that. With that, how much more can we accomplish with sweet memories and nuggets of bible truths we walk and talk with our children. We truly influence their walk and devotion to Christ. Prayer, daily devotionals, chapel, meal thanks, night time stories, prayer lists, evening bible, these impact our children in a mighty way! Even at first, it’s just them noticing you do it.
Doing devotions in the early morning was a must when my kids were little. It is my preferred time still. But, when they were little, if I didn’t spend time with the Lord before they awoke, often times I wouldn’t get that right block of time again until I was exhausted at the end of the day. On days like that I knew I needed the Lord more. Sure we can pray and talk to him as we go, but it’s not the same as spending an hour with him before we deal with the struggles or daily grid. Our kids pick up on that too. Not just in how we carry ourselves, but when they’d see us spend time with him. They knew we were tired or beginning our day, and he was placed first! They remember that and it does effect their little hearts and spirit.
#5 I cannot do this, so I should just quit!
To quit is to fail.
Failure is a part of parenting. Satan always wants us to quit. It makes us discouraged and more difficult to jump back in the game. It gives him easier access to our children. Instead, trust him to give you what you need daily and to work in your life when you give him your all. It’s a recipe for success, not perfection. It’s easy to cave and just check out, but remember, God gave you that child or children because he believes in YOU! He didn’t give them to your sister, friend, mom, cousin, neighbor, No, YOU! He wants YOU to be your child’s mother. He knows your capabilities and believes you can do it, or he wouldn’t give you the opportunity. And you can’t say, I blew it, if you still have a chance to parent. Get back up and pull up those big girl britches and pray. Run to him and trust him and his grace. Only YOU can determine to do that! Many can encourage, but you have to decide what you need to do next. You got this. IF you need help, ask. Women will step up and along side you if you have something you need to tackle, lean on them, motherhood can be hard. BUT don’t replace God, listen and pray! Remember, Psalm 61:1&2 says: “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Remember everything we face is filtered through God. Hardships and heartaches can happen and will, but we do not have to go through them alone. He is there, if we’ll just trust him!
So, don’t cave to the temptation to quit, no matter what you are facing. Go to the throne of Grace and seek his presence and comfort. He will see you through. He is faithful to give us what we need through motherhood if only we’ll just boldly look to him and petition for our every need. He is a faithful friend!
#6 I cannot mess this up, I have one chance, my children’s Christianity depends on it!
Truth is, you do impact your children’s faith. However, “messing up” can actually lead them closer to Christ if we are willing to repent, display God’s grace and forgive others who wrong us. They show a living faith, not just a “powerful story” we read. Thankfully, we serve a God that gives many chances and love us unconditionally through our faults. Our goal should be to show that same unconditional love to those God has placed in our lives. Not because they deserve it or have repented, but simply to display the character of Christ that is all loving towards us.
Although we have a great responsibility in rearing and caring for our children, we also must be willing to let God take the wheel. Through our faults and sin we display human nature, what better example of what God does in our life through salvation is on display for our children? God knows you. He knows your faults. He loves you. You have assurance of salvation. What more important information is there for your children to know? As a dear friend once said, everyone is “mom-enough” to point at a loving Christ and say he’s my Savior. Besides, there is no such thing as “GREAT CHRISTIANS” –> they are just “good Christians” daily.
#7 I am in control, I am able to make sure my children are safe, it’s my job and responsibility!
You are the parents. You do govern your “teaching home” and motherhood. It is your job to take motherhood seriously and do your best. However, remember, everything is filtered through God. Tragedy happens to both Christians and non-Christians. We are not exempt from heartache. For so long in my personal life, I would here people point at others as if they did something wrong, that’s why “God was punishing them.” Oh, how sad! Sad that they truly didn’t understand God’s love nor took the time before they made a rash proclamation. God is to be feared, yes! He can chasten us when we do wrong, look at Psalms. David wrote many a Psalms about his sin and God’s reaction. However, we also have the Pharisees judging the lame man that God uses and heals. They thought he was a result of sin.
Sometimes things happen. We can not explain them. We do not understand them. However, no matter the size of the heart ache, we need to trust him. He will see us through. So, yes, take our roll through motherhood seriously. Guard your children’s hearts. Also know though, we being Christians; are not exempt from heartache, sin, or death. Our father in heaven is perfect, look at us? Why did Adam and Eve sin then, because God the father wasn’t good enough? No. How silly? Let us be reminded of this when we see trials in others’ lives AND our own. Trust in him, he is ever so good and faithful!
#8 So and so is successful, you need to do that in order to be successful… to have good kids and to be a good mom!
What is a successful mother? Let’s see what God says. Doing that means, looking at God’s word.
It is so easy to get stuck in the trap of what the perfect or successful mom looks like. Social media paints a picture of “highlight reels” and it so easy to think, hey I need to do that too. Do not get me wrong, we can learn from others and their methods that simplify our life. Perhaps in homemaking, cooking tips, menu planning, homeschool, etc. But don’t compare. You are you. God knows you and your children, he knew you can teach your kids in a fashion or manner that so and so could or would not. He knows your heart and the future of your children.
You are a mother and blood bought daughter of Christ- that’s what he expects. He wants you to live it daily and act like it! Period. A successful mother loves the Lord whole heartily. She teaches her children about the goodness of God and displays it. She lays her life down daily to serve her King. She doesn’t look like the world, she looks like the daughter of the King. In her dress, speech, daily tasks and her character. It’s not how she was raised necessarily, it’s whom she chooses to be and the mother she displays as “Godly Character” not “worldly perfection”.
#9. I am to find my identity and fulfillment in motherhood.
If you are a mom, you are called to motherhood. Planned or not, you were chosen. In traveling this road, it can be lonely. You were not meant to do everything on your own or alone. However, motherhood is a small piece of who you are, a roll granted and placed in your “charge” to do as you see fit. Whether a full time working mom or a stay at home mom, motherhood is a calling, not all want to claim. When my children were little I choose to stay home full time, it’s what I thought was best for my children in order to fill the responsibilities and duties of motherhood. I loved work and teaching other peoples children. But, God convicted me of motherhood before I gave birth and knew I would stay home once children came. I never dreamt motherhood would be so beautiful!
Even in the “trenches” and daily grind, I would remind myself even mounds of laundry, dirty diapers and those PB&J’s were ministering to my children. They depended on me and although several young children demanded my time and “work,” it did not totally define who I was. MY fulfillment is in Christ. I love being a mom, but it’s a part of who I am, I am a daughter of the King first. As my children have grown and are not babies, I see how they respect that more and more. They know if mommy wants to leave the room and spend time with God, they can help by being obedient and it allows mom to focus on that “urgent request” or extra bible devotion. Or best yet, now and then one of my children will initiate it. Mom, today is just not going the best or this”urgent need” has come up, can we just spent an extra 15 minutes with God. They’ll agree and all of us sit on our beds or couch and spend some much needed time with the Lord to help “correct the day” or pray for an urgent need that was brought to our attention. It’s so beautiful!
#10. My children went another way, I must have messed up somewhere, I’m a bad mom!
Stop! Please! Oh, the heartaches we have seen in the ministry. Many before my husband ever took the pulpit. Parents that just asked what happened? Why? What do we do now? Is there a solution?
First off, we have the perfect heavenly father, so why do we sin? It’s our nature of course.
Second, as we briefly touched on keys, Satan also knows those keys. He knows the things that cause us to sin, falter or question Gods word. He desires to mess with young peoples lives, it’s less time they serve God, less people that come to Christ, more of him, etc.
Third, you are one person in your child’s life. I say this both ways. Your influence lives on, good or bad. As your influence impacted your child’s life, so did all the other people that invested or showed up in your child’s life. Depending on the season in which that was, there can be great influence even from a brief relationship.
Many a times we have seen examples where the children choose a different path without a “crystal clear” why. You know like a specific influence they followed, or a false teaching they were introduced to, not those; but just sin in choice.
The number one thing those homes had in common was a divided home. By that I mean, either the parents weren’t on the same page, one of the parents was “inactive” or there wasn’t a “mutual parenting”. (God warns of this and says it will not stand.) Even within a christian home, it was as if things were unequally balanced either in their parenting, the correction or in their basic standards of faith. I am by no means “a parent with advice” but I write this because by the time I was pregnant with our second child, I was searching it out! I wanted to know what was best for my child and future children. Not just saved, serving in church, a sincere walk; but that next… I looked for people that had children, that truly loved their kids AND were honestly happy & effective in the ministry! People that could have a dozen kids and they all “turn out”. What were they doing different. God began to work in my life in a different way than ever before. He is good and will go along side us to give us what we need if we will just ask. What is best practice in one home, can be done slightly different successfully in the next if the foundation and principals are there. So all in all, let us examine our homes. What are we allowing in our homes that will effect the future?
Let us search out the truths of motherhood and seek God’s hand on our lives to raise beautiful humans. “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” That we may journey through motherhood knowing we did the best with what God gave us, and he is proud of us for being his faithful servants!