It happens way too often.
Weekly, probably daily.
This panic-kind of feeling that I’m just not getting it right. I wonder if I’m feeding them right. I wonder if we’re praying enough. I wonder if I’m discipling them so that they really learn integrity and honesty. In the weeks leading up to Easter, I began wondering if we were teaching our kids enough about their Savior.
And then there are the moments that I don’t wonder: I know I’m not getting it right. When she slams my finger in the door and I yell instead of having grace. When I’ve had a tough day and they get impatience and frustration instead of a soft place to land.
So I scramble and overthink and fight shame that I’m just… well, I’m not Supermom. I’m really not super anything.
I’ve spent the last two years learning how to lean in and embrace that God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness [2 Corinthians 12:9], but I completely push this aside with the little people that are mine to raise. And I know I don’t tap into the power, the wisdom, and the strength available to me to handle a job that God made for me.
So just in case you need a reminder: God made you their mom on purpose. You are not a mother through circumstance or accident. God chose you, with your shortcomings, your gifts, your personality, and paired them up with the children that He designed for you. The spots that you constantly feel like you come up short are not your failures: they are opportunities to truly show your kids God’s strength.
Think about it. What would we teach our children about a Holy and Perfect God if their parents got it right all the time? We would become their God. If they never needed anything outside of us, they would never learn desperation for something more. Someone more.
Most of us have heard the verse: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” [Proverbs 22:6]
And it’s what we want, isn’t it? It’s pretty much what our job is. To teach them all we can while they are young, so that they turn out to be good humans, loving God and loving people. But do we take this as a command from the Bible to be their only teacher? That if we don’t get it right twenty-four-seven, they are doomed?
In the Amplified version of the same verse, it says it this way : “Train up a child the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Training them is pointing them to God. For His wisdom and His will.
When they are grown adults, they don’t need us to be their everything. They need us to point them to the One who is truly their Everything. This isn’t even about enabling. It’s about truly allowing God to be God, in our lives and in theirs. And no matter what age they are, God allow us to show them who He is through our weaknesses.
Every time we mess it up. When we yell. When we forget something important and hurt their feelings. When we say the wrong thing.
We have the opportunity to teach them grace, mercy, and forgiveness. We have the opportunity to tell them that we are not perfect, but they have a Dad who is.
I know it feels like the opposite of what we’ve been told. But what if instead of getting it right all the time, we focused on pointing them to their Savior who always will? I believe God had parents in mind when 2 Corinthians 12:9 was written. When it comes to being a parent, there really are not enough training manuals. All of the experience from other parents in the world can’t prepare you when you do it yourself. God knew we wouldn’t get it right, and get this: He’s never expected us to. What He’s hoping for is that we will allow our every weakness to lead to His strength. So that when they mess it up too, they’ll know Who to turn to.
It sounds a lot easier than it is. I know. It’s not a step-by-step process. This is an in the moment, “oh crap, I shouldn’t have done that”, learning experience. But God is not afraid of it, so we don’t have to be either.
You are not Superwoman. You are not God. But you are their mom. You have a very unique and sacred place in their lives. So just take a breath today and be reminded that God sees you. He hears your every internal thought and worry. He’s asking you for your shame and your ideas of perfection. He’s asking to be your everything, so that He can also be theirs.