I always had a vision in my head of the type of mother I would become. I would have the patience of a saint, tell elaborate bedtime stories and whip-up homemade everything. In my spare time (ha!), I’d head up the PTA, hustle Girl Scout cookies, scream the loudest at my kids’ baseball games and volunteer for every class party.
But life hasn’t quite worked out the way I planned. I try my best, of course, but being a mother is so much more emotional than I ever pictured before I had children. In my mind, I want to do everything I can to make their childhood magical; but even with the best intentions, I often feel as though I’ve failed them.
Most recently, my son wanted to sign up for basketball. I knew I had to do it, but I also had a million other things going on and, before I knew it, the deadline had passed. The look of disappointment on his face was the rip-your-heart-out kind, and it was pointless to explain my failure to him. “Mother’s guilt” boiled up all over again, and all I could do was say I was sorry.
Through years of parenting, though, I’ve learned that my children will sometimes see me as the “best mom ever.” Other times, they will see me as a failure, because I’m human…and I fail. I can’t give them everything—and thatis okay.
My children need to see the failures of a human from time to time, and then see how I handle those failures. I need to be an example of a person who is completely dependent on my heavenly father. It’s good for them to see me apologize, to be humbled, to be kicked down and to get back up. If I only show them sunny days, how will they learn to rely on God when the storms come? If I only show them pride in my perfection, how will they handle their own failures?
I cannot give my children the perfect life, but I can point them to a perfect God. Proverbs 6:22 reads, “Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life” (GNTD).
The next time you fall short with your children, or make a mess of an important situation, fold your hands, fall on your knees and share your concerns with the Lord. These three prayers will get you started:
- Lord, I know I will make mistakes. Help me rely on you for strength.
I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:10 (GNTD)
- Lord, grant me patience for myself and for my children.
Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. – James 1:19 (GNTD)
- Lord, help me create a godly household for my children.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Never forget these commands that I am giving you today. Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home and when you are away, when you are resting and when you are working. – Deuteronomy 6:5-7 (GNTD)
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