A horrible plague of self-condemnation that surfaces as we blame ourselves for every wrong we’ve committed, and for the faults we perceive in our children, whether authentic or imaginary.
If you’re a mother I know you’ve felt it a time or two. With all the options in life we’re bound to feel guilty about our choices, because “what if it’s the wrong one and sends our child down a path of destruction?!”
• Homeschool (videos, online, or workbooks?)/ Private school (Christian or Secular?)/ Public school
• SAHM / WAHM / WOHM
• Single mom / divorced mom / married mom
• Organic only / vegan / clean eating / fast food
• Sports / academics / Scouts / music / no extra-curricular
I know in my own life my chronic back pain has been a huge source of mom guilt for me. Because of scoliosis and fibromyalgia my body doesn’t operate like a normal mom in her 30’s. I just can’t do the tasks that I used to, so my kids have to take up the slack.
Enter the mom guilt and the lies from the enemy: “You’re such a burden. Why can’t you do it all like ____________? All the other moms can run with their kids. You’re kids are disappointed in you. They’ll resent you for all those chores they had to do and all the things you couldn’t do with them.”
Maybe the dialogue in your head isn’t exactly the same as mine, but I bet you have it too, because we have an enemy who accuses us day and night!
~Revelation 12:10~ And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (KJV)
Being a mom is a weighty task and not one to be taken lightly. But can I just take some pressure off of you right now? You don’t have to do it perfectly!
Honestly, there is absolutely zero chance that you will.
I hate to burst your bubble, but if perfection is your mark- you’re setting yourself up for failure.
It’s impossible because no one is perfect. We’re all sinners. Some saved by grace and called saints, some yet to be redeemed, but we’re all sinners by very nature.
We’re going to make mistakes. We’ll lose our cool and shout at our kids, or tuck them in without a bedtime story so we can get some peace and quiet already, or forget about their sack lunch for the field trip, or miss that soccer game, these things happen.
No matter how you feel, or what Satan says, you’re not the worst mom in the world!
Sometimes mom guilt hits us when we blame ourselves for our child’s behavior. Picture a crowded grocery store, all eyes on you as your toddler screams at the top of his or her precious little lungs because of your audacity to tell them no they could not have that candy/cereal/cookies/ice cream. (How dare you?!)
With rosy hot cheeks and an earnest desire to flee the scene, you begin to blame yourself and mom guilt has arrived. “If you would’ve waited until after naptime to shop… What would a little piece of candy hurt anyway? Did you really have to stand your ground on that? You have got to do a better job of disciplining! You’re such a failure!!”
Fast forward 20 years. You’re at the police station bailing out your kid again. This time it was drugs, last time it was unpaid speeding tickets. You were a virtuous mama, you raised him in the church, and held onto Proverbs 22:6 for dear life, but he still hasn’t surrendered his life to Jesus.
The ladies in your bible study group love to talk about their kids who have gone on to be missionaries, church planters, or pastors, but you remain silent about yours. It’s just too shameful. Who do you blame? Your child with a sin nature and a free will who is accountable to God for their choices? Or do you recount every last mistake you ever made with them, and blame yourself? Mom guilt strikes again.
Satan for the win! We know it’s from the enemy when we feel guilt and condemnation. Ladies, why do we let him take advantage of us like this? He’s playing with our emotions and insecurities, and I for one have had enough.
~Proverbs 22:6~ Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (KJV)
This is a principle, not a promise. Some children have more of a rebellious streak than others. Some have to learn things the hard way like the prodigal son. Some will hear and obey and follow Jesus with all their hearts. We do our job and train them up in the ways of the Lord and leave the rest up to God to draw them to repentance and faith.
~Romans 8:1~ There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (KJV)
There is no condemnation in Christ. Jesus paid the penalty for all of our sin on the cross. We are forgiven, righteous, and holy in the sight of our just Judge.
When we do fail to be loving, patient, and kind, or neglect to teach and train our children in the way and word of God, when our motherhood doesn’t match our manual, instead of condemning ourselves, we must repent. The Holy Spirit of God brings conviction of sin to bring about correction of behavior in order to conform us to Christ-likeness. To be a virtuous mama is to be a strong and powerful mama. Not in our own power or sheer determination, but by admitting our weakness and solely depending on Christ. Every minute. Every hour. Every day. With every child.
~2Corinthians 12:9~ 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. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (KJV)
No more trying to live up to the standards set by others, or comparing ourselves to other moms, or putting unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Let’s just stick to the standards set by God, rely on his Spirit, and pray like crazy for the souls that have been entrusted to us.
Squash the mom guilt and shine by his grace!!
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I spend my time passionately pursuing his presence, studying his scriptures, and teaching his truths. I serve alongside my husband as he pastors a new church plant, and have the privilege of leading the ministry to the women of our church, and teaching the bible studies I have written. We have four kids who are leaving the nest quicker than I’d like, and I’m trying to navigate parenting adult children. Writing is my labor of love.
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