...If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." -Galatians 5:25
As godly mothers, we strive to make the best possible decisions, set the perfect boundaries, and have the correct rules that we believe will somehow cultivate "spiritual" children. However, we can't buy sheer force or the right rules or the right devotional curriculum make our children spiritual.
That being said, there is a mysterious process by which the Holy Spirit leads our children to see their need for Christ as we seek to cultivate their hearts. But it is entirely led by grace, informed by love, and carried out by the help of the Holy Spirit.
We are putting so much pressure on ourselves as mothers. Each time we find ourselves too busy to cook (so we opt for fast food), too exhausted to clean, or so hectic in our lives that we didn't do a devotional with our children one week, we feel absolutely defeated and believe that we somehow failed our children.
Often, I receive comments or letters from mamas who say, "How did you seek joy? How did you manage to live by faith?" And then they will tell me the very difficult circumstances or exhaustion or loss of job or marriage problem.....
The grace of God is given in spite of our circumstances, his peace comes when our difficulties would suggest otherwise. When we cast our burdens on God because we cannot handle them or when we choose to exercise joy because we know,"in His presence is fullness of joy," or when with our inadequacies in all areas are filled in by the invisible grace of His own doing, we always have hope and reason to be at peace.
While it is incredibly wonderful to set our standards high and live within these great ideals, we must hold ourselves to a standard of grace, not perfection. We won't be able to have grace for our children if we do not have grace ourselves. Galatians 5:1 tells us that, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free, therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery." Are there any ways in your life as a mom that you are trying to live up to the false expectations of others?
In my home, we did our best, but our best was certainly not perfection. We just had committed hearts toward our kids and the desire to shape their souls to respond passionately to their Creator. He came with grace and truth to bring life and wholeness into our hearts. We strive to follow His example in the lives of our children. We are not guided by culture, or what other moms feel is the "right way", but we are led by God. We walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and rest in His grace.