We can’t all be the “World’s Best Mom,” but Instagram paints a different story. Post after post this Mother’s Day stated that each person on the site had the “Best Mom Ever.” I asked my kids if we should do a vote online and get down to the bottom of this.
What makes a great mom? Is it the connection the mother has with her children? Her ability to have fun, to listen, to give great advice, to provide… all of these? There is an old saying that “you can’t do all things great, all the time.” Sometimes we pick and choose what we are going to focus on and what our kids need and put our efforts into these areas. When our kids’ needs change, we change with them. But what do we do in the areas we are lacking in? Try harder, or let it go?
I’m probably not the world’s most fun mom, nor am I the world’s most organized mom, but I can sit and have a conversation with my kids like nobody’s business. I have always joked that my husband would have made a way better stay at home parent because he would have had the house whipped into shape and the kids would have had more routine and schedule. But I was the one to be there every day and by the grace of the Lord they somehow survived. The Lord blessed me with my three awesome kids and I did what I could do at the time with what I knew. I always pray that the Lord fills in the spots that I missed or messed up on. Mom guilt is REAL. We all have regrets and there are areas that we are all going to mess up on. It’s one of the reasons we are in need of a Savior – To redeem broken things.
The best thing we can do for our children is to be in constant communion with God. Our number one job is to glorify Christ in our lives and in our homes. When we glorify Christ the Holy Spirit is present. Wow, that sounds so simple. Just glorify Christ and all will be well? Well, it’s simple yet difficult and complex. We need to have discipline in our lives that allows us to spend time in God’s word.
Deuteronomy 8:3 says, “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. A great way to study God’s word is to utilize the Inductive Bible Study Method (link here). We need to know God’s word to truly know and understand Him. Be in constant prayer “Pray without ceasing” (Thessalonians 5:17), and live a life that points others to Him: “Be holy because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). Simple yet difficult.
It is ok to remind our children that we are sinners in need of a Savior and forgiveness. We will make mistakes. We are not the picture of righteousness, but Christ is, and we need to continually point our children to Him. Hopefully, our humbleness will be seen as a strength by our children and they will model this behavior. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Pursue Our Children
Reading through the Old Testament, it is almost shocking to see how many similarities I share with the Israelites. I quickly forget what God has done in my life as I start to fear and want to take control over so many areas of my life. I have a short memory sometimes. God is so faithful as I seem to wander. He continually pursues me and pulls me back to himself. Sometimes this looks like a desert experience and sometimes this looks like straight up discipline.
Our Heavenly Father pursues us to bring us back to Him.
Just stop and think about that for a second….
He could allow us to wander away and turn the other way. We are needy and whiney and have a need for control at times. He still loves us and brings us back to Himself. THIS is one of the major tenants of His love and we need and long for this.
Much like our relationship with our Lord, our children are longing for us to pursue them. Many times they don’t even know it.
I have teenage clients that struggle in their relationships with their parents and act distant or rebellious toward them. The thing that I hear over and over again is the child’s heart to be close to their parent. They will convey how irritating their parents are but they want more time and attention from them. When I bring the parent into the counseling room the parent will say something like, “I try to talk to them but they push me away and they want me to leave them alone.” I will ask the child directly if this is what they want and they will most of the time say “no”.
A child wants to know that they are worth pursuing and that the parent is willing to risk their pride and being hurt to pursue the child God has given them. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there are boundaries that need to be put in place by parents, but many times a child just wants to be pursued. Think about your own childhood. I can remember being upset with my parents and wanting them to just come in and say something like “I know things are tough right now, but I love you and I am here for you.” Just sitting silently on the side of their bed, putting a hand on their shoulder (even if they shrug it off), praying for them, or taking them by themselves to be with you. This is something that needs to be done deliberately. It must become a priority when you feel your child drifting away from you.
Many times we don’t feel like being around our child. Let’s get real, they can drive us out of our minds at times. It’s important to take a break and set boundaries, but it is also important to maintain relationship with our children and pursue them. In most situations relationship restoration rests on the parent as we train and guide them.
About the Author: Kimberly Crum graduated from Western Seminary with a degree in Mental Health Counseling and is currently a LMHCA working at A New Life Christian Counseling in Vancouver, WA. Kimberly specializes in working with women and young women in many areas of mental health. She offers SITT (Story Informed Trauma Therapy) which is an evidenced based trauma therapy which brings healing to those affected by childhood trauma. She lives with her husband of 24 years and has recently launched 2 of her 3 children. She loves integrating her clinical training with biblical truths.