Whether you grew up a worried little child or an independent little cuss, your mother was instilling lessons in you from the beginning. How our mother’s handled situations stuck with us, and we are more than likely a reflection of her as we navigate our own situations as moms today.
Whether your mom cursed when life went haywire, or she ways always ready to pray over everything – or both – we watched and soaked it all in. We look at our mothers as almost perfect. Yet we lovingly understand she was not perfect in her motherly role, and this does not deter us or lessen how incredible of a job we feel that she did at raising us.
Now that I’m a mother, I’m starting to feel the burden of fear; wondering if I’m going to totally and completely screw my son up. Sometimes it feels like I’m closing my eyes and hoping all the good he sees me do and say sticks, and anything less than holy will be forgotten. This mindset will quickly lead to disappointment the moment my child starts to develop a fear I know they first saw in me, or the moment he turns to a heap of sugary goodness or screens to find comfort and deflect dealing (praying) on a situation.
This is a reminder to myself, and to any mother who needs this – the goodness our own mother did sank deeper into our souls than any of her imperfections. As we strive to live up to the impossible status of a perfect mother, we have to remember we will never be perfect. Thankfully, God never asked us to be. Instead, He commands us:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
We are called to teach our kids about the Lord – and to live it out. My mother did that – and did it well. When I look back on my childhood, I overwhelmingly remember our nightly prayers together, regularly spending time at church, BOTH my parents hard work to ensure we could get a religious education, and how to live a Christ-like life. We aren’t called to be perfect, but we are called to constantly turn our hears back to the one who is. Truly, if our focus is on being a perfect mom, even if we are doing so in the name of Jesus, our focus turns from Him and back to ourselves.
Let’s face it. We are going to get some things wrong as mothers. We are going to accidentally teach our kids to be fearful or pessimistic or impatient simply by living those things out in front of them. Of course, we hope we are being transformed by truth and that they will learn amazing things through how we live too, but we can’t beat ourselves up for the cracks that will happen. Let’s work to teach our kids that when they make the same mistakes we do, to not strive to fix them on their own, but to turn to the grace of a God they know, because that’s what our mothers did – and that’s what we are called to do.
Prayer for the day
All Mighty and Gracious GOD, I come to you with a short request: let my mistakes point my kids to you today. In Jesus’ name, amen.