As a mother, the week after “Mother’s Day” – after all the praise and celebrations have ended, I’ve always taken pause to examine how to do it better. Being a mom in today’s culture is definitely interesting. Just the mere definition of the word “mother” creates controversy and debate. How do we approach being a mom today? How do we approach being the other – that someone who’s in the position of the guide and nurturer of our children but may not be a birth mother? Who’s to say what being a good mother is and the right way to parent.
Here’s a couple thoughts:
Let God Decide
In our culture of individual truth and being politically correct we have to let God be the ultimate judge of our souls and the choices we’ve made. That doesn’t mean walking away from the written truth of the Bible, it means walking toward God’s grace. It means not going the way of popular culture or the “crowd,” but often taking the unpopular road. It may mean going against what’s trending in order to follow Biblical truth and wisdom. The Bible says that the “truth” would set us free, John 8:32. Our job is to listen to God’s often-quiet voice within us and not listen to popular opinions. It also means understanding and knowing what popular culture is truly saying so that when asked to defend our choices – truths we can with a humble and gracious spirit.
The media is in the business of bombarding us with overwhelming information – thousands of media messages daily all meant to sound reasonable. If the source of our truth is the Bible and God’s wisdom, then we need to know it and know Him intimately and make choices and judgments accordingly. It’s being obedient and standing firm and confidently as a mother or other. Not turning a blind eye and not being a militant judgmental finger pointer of those we disagree with, but leaving room for God to do the speaking to their hearts and minds. Trusting that He will because He does.
Give Yourself A Break
My mom use to tell me, “Heaven comes later.” As a mom or other, our big stumbling block always seems to come back to guilt and ultimately shame that the enemy- the devil throws at us. We’re not enough, and we never will be. Beating ourselves up for imperfections and failures won’t fix anything, and it fact; it usually leads to more destructive choices and often more suffering. When you feel like a failure stand on the scriptural promise in II Corinthians 12:9, “But he (Jesus) 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.” (NIV).
Forgiveness as a mother or other has to become second nature if we’re to be successful parents. We have to be willing to forgive others and often that means we have to first forgive ourselves. We’ll never – ever get it perfect. But it also means being responsibility for the choices and consequences we have made knowing that God’s forgiven us. When we admit our failings God’s power is then able to be visible to others. When we can forgive unconditionally it’s unnatural and outside our own capacity. It’s only when God lives within us that we’re able to that.
So when you mess up give yourself a break and scream it out loud – “I’m not perfect, but God is…God’s grace wins!”