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There is a series of “Dear Mom” posts by Rachel Martin at Finding Joy that are very popular (for good reason). It is through these posts and the feedback on them, and the popularity of my own transparency post (popularity is completely relative, of course) that I came to realize one of the biggest struggles moms deal with is GUILT. The tremendous pressure of the things we think we should be doing. Sometimes we think we should be doing something simply because we see other “good” moms doing it.
You are Not That Other Mom
Here’s the thing. God created you to be the mother you are, to seek His will for your life as a mom. We are to train our children in the ways that God has laid out clearly in the Bible (Deuteronomy 6:7, Exodus 20:1-17) and to seek His will for the areas that are not “black and white” issues. In that order (see Matthew 6:33 and 7:7-11). He will answer our prayers and grant us guidance (Psalm 9:10). And, while there are some very good resources out there, not all of them are for you and your child.
Your path through motherhood will look different to another mom’s, even if you share very similar beliefs and convictions. I’ll give you five good reasons:
- Your backgrounds are different.
- Your children are different.
- Your ministry specifics are different.
- Your husbands are different.
- YOU are different, which means you do not have the exact same giftings from the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
God has created each of us uniquely. Honor that. See 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 for encouragement on this.
Know the Difference
See the thing about guilt is, it’s not always a bad thing. When Christ left us, He promised us that the Comforter would come. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit, which dwells in us. The Holy Spirit’s job?
And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more. Of judgement, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, buy ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:8-15 (emphasis mine)
Conviction tends to come at us in the form of guilt because we realize once again just how far we are from the perfection of Christ (Romans 3:23). This is a GOOD thing. What becomes the problem is how we respond. The correct response is to humble ourselves at the foot of the cross, repent and obey what Christ has laid on our hearts (Acts 3:19, 1 John 1:9).
The incorrect response can come in many forms – hardening our hearts because we don’t want to change (Hebrews 10:26-29) and lashing out at those the Holy Spirit is using in our lives to bring conviction (Matthew 5:12) are two examples.
So, sometimes guilt is good.
Other times, though, we feel guilt based on “worldly” standards.
This is where we need to give ourselves permission to be the mom we are at the moment.
Feeling guilty you don’t do enough crafts with your kiddos? Give yourself permission to stop trying to constantly entertain or “challenge” your kids.
Feeling guilty you don’t get up before the sun and start each day with quiet time? Give yourself permission to get the rest your body needs and get up with the kids.
Feeling guilty you don’t have exciting meal plans? Give yourself permission to keep it simple.
Feeling guilty you don’t sew your children’s clothes? Give yourself permission to buy them without guilt.
The funny thing about “worldly” guilt is, when we give ourselves permission to let go, oftentimes the very thing we were trying to make happen, starts to happen naturally. I don’t have any profound reasoning why, but I’m guessing it has to do with grace.
Again, Know the Difference
To find your balance between good and bad guilt, you need to know the Word of God. If the guilt you are feeling lines up with scripture, you need to seek God and what He has for you there. If you can’t line your guilt up with scripture, it’s not of God and you need to let go of it.
Give yourself permission.
The purpose of this blog is to encourage and bless, if this post or any other has done so, would you consider leaving a comment and/or sharing the post with others? I would greatly appreciate it.
If you would like some scripture encouragement to help you overcome procrastination, please check out this post.
If you would like to change up your housework routine, this post may help.
Linking up with The Ultimate List of Mom Resources at Mom’s Mustard Seeds