We may be tempted to think we have to be perfect and know all the answers when it comes to motherhood.
After the birth of a child, one of the most frequent prayers right after "thank you God," has to be "God, please don't let me screw this up!" Becoming a new parent brings with it unspeakable joy - but also innumerable anxieties. From physical health to spiritual health, there are so many areas of life that we have not yet mastered. It's all new territory. As our children age and mature, we experience new milestones and are thrust into new situations that force us to enter into new territory.
Striving For Perfection
How then can we become perfect for our children when we don't have all the answers?
The short answer is - we don't! Striving for perfection is stressful and unnecessary. Most of all, it's unrealistic!
In fact, all of the superpowers we need to be successful are already inside of us! One of my favorite quotes sums up this thought perfectly:
God never commanded that we be perfect parents. And he never gives us more than we can handle! So let's stop putting undue pressure on ourselves to step into big shoes! Let's just take life one day at a time when it comes to this wonderful role of motherhood; learn from those who came before us who bless us with their wisdom; and trust God to take care of the rest.
Newsflash... There Is No Parenting Playbook!
Each child is unique. Each family is unique. Each situation is unique! YOU are unique! So just enjoy the fullness and the joy of motherhood. There is no one size fits all blueprint! There is no parenting playbook! The best book we could ever ask for is the Bible. It's filled with timeless stories and lessons and parables that guide us through life - including the parenting journey. From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the Bible teaches us that parenting is not for the perfect and is not about being perfect - but about persevering, learning, evolving, pivoting, becoming, transforming and trusting in God.
God offers perfect peace for imperfect parents. He sees our struggles and knows we sometimes feel insufficiently equipped to navigate situations and enter new territory. He hears our anguish when we cry out for help and bang our heads against walls as we deal with hardship and difficult situations. He feels our hurt and pain as we have to make tough decisions with respect to our children. The understands our feelings of nervousness, and not being able to take the next step securely without signals from above. And God also rejoices when we exhibit our faith in Him, and celebrates with us during the good times and successes.
Set the Tone and Train Up You Children In the Way of the Lord
As parents, we are meant to be examples to our children. But God never commanded that we be examples of unachievable perfection. Our children need to see us pursuing Christ, and see the power of Christ exhibit itself though us. Sometimes that means we need to be willing to be transparent and show our weaknesses. Our goal should always be to point our children toward the one who we follow - and train them up in the way of the Lord so when they are old they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)
We set the tone and set the example for our children to learn that no matter how imperfect the world or their parents are, they are forever held in love. (Romans 8: 38-39)
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