From the time I was a little girl playing house with my baby dolls, I’ve dreamed of being a mom. And not just any mom, I wanted to be the best mom this world had ever seen!
Some 30 odd years later and here I am, blessed to be called “mom” by two of the cutest kiddos you’ve ever seen (really, that’s not just me being biased). Only problem is, many days I feel far from my goal of being the best mom ever. In fact, I’m going to share a snippet of my prayer journal entry from yesterday to give you insight on exactly how far from “measuring up” I often feel. And this was a good day… nothing had happened, so I can’t explain why my quiet time with the Lord went this direction. Maybe God took this moment to speak to my heart knowing it would be easier for me to grasp while I’m not in the middle of a parenting fail!
“Why do I get so brokenhearted every time my children disobey or make a mistake? They’re only human so it’s going to happen. I think it’s mostly out of fear. I worry their shortcomings are indicators of their future and a reflection on me as a mom. I don’t like to feel like I’m not in control, especially over situations I consider my responsibility. Raising children who are obedient and Christ-like is my only job and when they fall short, I feel like a failure. “
Seeing my hurt poured out in writing really hit home. I’ve been measuring my success as a mom based on my children’s performance instead of trusting God’s performance in their hearts. Yes, it’s our job as parents to “train them in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6)” and share how God has worked in our lives (Deuteronomy 4:9-10), but only God can convict and call them to Himself.
I remember when my youngest was around 6 years old. She’d been playing with our bathroom scale and was excited to tell me she was “55 tall.” The number was accurate but she was using the wrong measuring tool. God showed me I’ve been doing the same in gauging how I measure up as a mom.
Our children are going to sin…sometimes blatantly. They are going to make many mistakes just like we do. They need grace daily just like we do. They have free will just like we do and we won’t always be there to stop them from doing something they shouldn’t. We can’t always control our children but we can choose to trust the one who controls everything!
I’ve vowed to quit measuring myself by my children’s mistakes (it’s not fair to them or to me) and start focusing on what will make a real difference in our lives:
- my obedience to God’s Word
- trusting Him with their hearts and futures
- showing patience and extending grace
- having a good attitude when things don’t go my way
- sharing God’s love and His Word with them daily
- praying for them and their relationship with the Lord
- loving them, their father and others
- being a Christ-like example
My children and I are going to continue to make mistakes, but our heavenly Father knows exactly how to handle them!