Last week, I asked Moms to share with me their most common, or most difficult, struggles that they face in motherhood. The response was overwhelming. Someone needs to write a book on Mom guilt, like now! Besides guilt, another common response was feelings of inadequacy as a mother. I heard things like, "No matter what I do it never seems like enough," or "I'm not good enough."
I want to share a few thoughts from the gospel that might encourage you and change your perspective on parenting.
- Failure and inadequacies are a given. That's why Christ came to die because none of us had the ability to get ourselves right. That won't change until you see Jesus face to face.
- Personal failures and inadequacies are means of pointing your children's focus and dependence away from you and on to Christ. A lot of moms are worried that their mistakes and inadequacies are going to screw up their kids. I see them as a means to rejoice in God's grace and ability to redeem the brokenness in our lives. Side question: As a Christian, are we to be living in the rear view mirror, looking at how bad our parents screwed us up, or are we to be looking to Christ and His strength to overcome the "hand" that life has dealt us?" Your kids will need to learn to do the same with you.
- In the gospel, God provides the means of living all of life for Him in HIS POWER and not your own. Read Romans 7:4-6. As humans, we want a rule or a law or an expectation to live up to and, if we achieve it, than we can feel good about ourselves. Living this way tends to produce pridefulness or despair. There's a better way. According to Paul, we are freed from rule keeping in our own effort so that we can BELONG to Christ and live in the NEW WAY OF THE SPIRIT. In this new way of living fruit is produced in our lives from our union with Christ. Through our union with Him we now have divine power in us (2 Peter 1:3-4). Belonging to Christ comes before bearing fruit. So, our focus shifts away from how I'm measuring up to simply enjoying my relationship with Christ and living a humble and dependent life in Christ. (Read and mediate on Romans 6-8)
Remember, "it is no longer I who live BUT CHRIST who lives in me!" (Galatians 2:20) Submit your inadequacies to Him. Enjoy belonging to Him and ask Him to parent through you and fill in the gaps of your inadequacies and watch what He will do.