I've had many opportunities to talk with sweet moms all over the world during my life. Often after giving a talk or hosting a conference, I'll be approached by a woman whose face tells me of her internal struggle even before she begins speaking. Though it's difficult to find the time, I always want to listen and extend a loving arm to these precious ladies who are trying so hard to do the right thing for their children.
One particular afternoon after a mom's tea, when most of the moms had departed to pick up their little ones from the nursery, I noticed one who had stayed behind. She obviously wanted our conversation to remain between us, but the confusion she poured out from her heart was a story I hear so often.
I feel so confused, and I'm desperately hoping you can help me," she said, diving right in as she sat down. "I'm a new Christian, and I didn't have a very good foundation in life--as a matter of fact, I was just left to myself to discover what I thought was true about life, morality, and values. I made a lot of mistakes and have a lot of emotional scars from the choices I made. I decided I didn't want my children to be scarred like I was, so I wanted to do a better job with them. I feel like I am starting this journey of motherhood already miles behind because I have nothing in my background that would show me the way to walk this journey.
Because I didn't have my own beliefs, I feel that now I am subject to whatever I hear. I will read one book and it says to discipline in a certain way. Though it feels harsh, I will try to practice these theories for awhile. Then I will hear a speaker or read another book that teaches the opposite but also sounds reasonable. I'm tempted to think I have ruined my children and think I need to go in yet another direction! How is a mom to know what to do?!"
Does this sound familiar to you?
If you didn't grow up in a home centered on Jesus, please know you're certainly not alone. There are many, many moms out there who find themselves in those shoes. In my own life, my relationship with Jesus truly began in earnest when I was in college. When my own children came into my life, I knew I wouldn't be able to rely on my past to tell me how to raise them. There was only one place to go to find out how to be a mom: God's Word.
As I discovered what it looked like to read God's word, pray about my child, my situation, I began to see that God had created me, and all women, with the ability to understand how to walk forward, one day at a time, in relationship with my children to provide them with what they needed.
As an author, I am limited in my wisdom and encouragement as all authors and speakers are human and subject to error. Yet, I wrote the Mission of Motherhood, not to give a formula or a set of rules for women to follow, but seeking to point them to seek God, to His word, seeking to give a Biblical foundation of what God had in mind when HE created women to be moms who will teach the next generation about Him. Ministry of Motherhood speaks of Jesus' plan for discipleship with principles that I followed from scripture with my own children. We have great freedom to live out God's design within the unique confines of our own personality and family story--and each will be a unique picture of His glory in our home.
Understanding Biblical foundations and pondering His word give freedom to be yourself in your home, to live into your God-crafted role, and to watch the Spirit of God shape your children's hearts for Him in your own way within your unique home.God's word gives honor to individuality and to the glory of walking with Him by faith.
In the absence of Biblical conviction, people will go the way of culture. And people who know better than to follow culture will usually try to find a list of rules to follow! The problem is, children don't read parenting books. And parenting books don't read your children! So no one else can tell you the best way to raise the child God has put in your house, with these issues, and these talents, in this season of your own life. God delights in whispering wisdom and understanding about your own family puzzle into your own heart.
The only one who can show you how to be a great mom is your Father. Will you ask Him, today?