May 14, 2009
Am I Messing Up My Kids?
"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” John 9:3 (NIV)
Okay, moms, let’s get gut honest today. Have you ever had these thoughts tug at the corners of your mind: What have I done wrong? Am I messing up my kids?
I've had two in-depth conversations this week with friends and the same theme wove throughout both conversations. Our kids sometimes struggle and when they do, often our first thought is What have I done wrong as a mother? So many of us moms worry that we are somehow messing up our kids.
Certainly good can come from a healthy assessment of how we're doing in our crucial role as moms. However, when the question comes in the form of a personal assault rather than a call to action over a specific area of improvement - it's not healthy.
It's paralyzing. It's draining. It's defeating.
It's evidence of a hole in the spiritual filter of our mind.
My friend, Holly, and I have been doing something since the beginning of the year that has become an absolute delight to my day. I've been determined to fill my mind with the truth. I figure the more truth I have crowded into that tiny little space I call my mind, the more untruths will get crowded out.
So, we've been taking a book of the Bible and going through it slowly - reading one chapter a day. Then we discuss what spoke to us the most.
The other day, before my conversation with one of my friends, I read John 9. One verse jumped out at me and seemed to swirl in my thoughts constantly. John 9:3, "’Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ’but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.’" The way this verse kept bumping into my conscious thoughts let me know it was crucial that I think on it - pray through it - and let it seep into some deep places needing this truth.
Later I was talking with my friend and heard little hints of that question - "What have I done wrong as a mother?"
What a delight it was to have that verse right on the top of my mind. Like a healing balm, I soothed my friend with the truth that what her son is going through right now has nothing to do with her mistakes or even his for that matter. God is helping her son work through some fears that will eventually be a mighty display of spiritual depth in his life.
Sweet sister, have you caught yourself asking lately "What have I done wrong as a mother?" Maybe, some adjustments need to be made.
Or maybe, this line of thinking should be redirected with a different question - "How might God work in this situation so that His work can be displayed in my child's life or in my life?" Either way, remember this truth - you are loved by God and so is your child!
Dear Lord, help me process my motherhood journey using the filter of Your truth and nothing else. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Visit Lysa’s blog to take the “Motherhood guilt quiz” and learn practical ways to overcome this.
The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst
Real Moms, Real Jesus by Jill Savage
Find a godly friend who can help you process your struggles with your child without condemnation. Ask this friend to spend some time praying with you and for you. Then offer to do the same with her. You’ll know you’ve found the right friend to do this with when she’s not afraid to admit she has some of the same struggles as you.
If you’re having a hard time finding a friend who will be honest and vulnerable, ask God to bring this type of friend into your life. In the meantime, check out my blog. I think some of my motherhood stories will make you feel right at home. I’m in the trenches with you sister and I’d love to encourage you in your motherhood journey.
Is there something your child has struggled with lately that made you feel like you’ve done something wrong as his mother?
Prayerfully ask God if there is any thing you can do better as a mom. Also, ask Him to help you see all that you’ve done right as a mom and how to accept that some of your child’s struggles have nothing to do with your actions at all.
Then, spend some time in prayer asking God how He is working in this situation.
John 3:17, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (NIV)
2 Timothy 1:13-14, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 14 May 2009.