Friday, August 31, 2012

How Do I Measure Up As A Christian Mother?

This post will be the first of a series about one of the greatest barriers that I personally face in my endeavor to train my children in the Lord.  This is the beginning of a conversation, and I invite you to join in the discussion by commenting below or sending me an email. 

We have a high calling--one that is not for the faint of heart.  We are called to disciple our children, to teach them daily about God and His ways.  Scripture is very clear that the responsibility for our children's spiritual training rests squarely on our shoulders.  This is not an undertaking that can be delegated.  Yet many of us (myself included) feel inadequate to the task.

Today I want to share with you one of the largest roadblocks I face in discipling my children: 


Without intending to, I compare myself with other parents.  I envision a grandiose image of ideal Christian parenting and know I fall very short of that vision.
  • How often do I look at behavior of other children and lament the shortcomings in my own?   
  • How often do  I see a parent bringing God into everyday conversation with their child and feelings about my inadequacy surface?  
  • How often do I observe a parent exercising patience under pressure and feel the sharp pang of knowing my own failings?  
  • How often do I see a mother following through with her plan to systematically teach her children about God and begin to feel that my own efforts are inferior? 

Photo:  Microsoft Images

How often do I conjure up evidence that I just don't measure up as a Christian mother--all because I'm not perfect?  The honest answer is:  All too often.  The Bible sends parents a very strong message that we are responsible for our children's spiritual development (Gen. 18:19, Ex. 10:2Ex. 12:26-27, Ex. 13: 8 & 14, Deu. 4:9-10, Deu. 6:5-9, Deu. 11:19-21, Ps. 78:5-6, Is. 38:19, Joel 1:1-3, Eph. 6:4, Acts 2:38-39).  The interesting thing about these verses is that they in no way imply that  we need to be sinless in order to fulfill God's purpose in our families.  Being equipped for the task of Biblical parenting is not the same thing as being perfect.

Please join me in the next part of this journey where I describe the "Slippery Slope of Perfectionism" and how it affects my role as a Christian mother.


  1. You've got to stop reading my mind!;)

  2. Glad to know I'm not the only one. :)

  3. I think we tend to compare ourselves to what we see other Moms doing with their children. The fact is we don't know what goes on all the time at their homes. I believe many more Moms struggle with this than we know. We all see things in others that we wish we had, or behaviors in others children that we think (or know) we are falling short of developing in our own children. I admire you for stating your feelings and what you feel are your shortcomings. Dialog is the first step in overcoming and developing a community of Moms that hold each other accountable is a good thing too!

  4. So true, Rebecca! It's the areas of my life that I'm most insecure about that I tend to compare to others, which just serves to cause even more dissatisfaction. Stopping those comparisons is so hard because it's an automatic reaction.

    I love what you say about developing a community of Moms that can hold each other accountable. God made us to need connection and community, yet I find myself not reaching out when I'm feeling the most discouraged. There's much we can do to support and encourage one another!

  5. From one reforming perfectionist to another, thanks for sharing your heart on this matter. :) There are so many emotions underneath the surface and I look forward to your third installement. I won't share what the Lord has taught me about that until you post that one. :) And there are more layers yet to my onion. The good news is that He is a redeemer, one layer at a time and each layer examined and removed frees us to better serve our children, even as we still fall short in other ways. I've come to accept my imperfection but I struggle with guilt and fear about what my imperfection will mean to my children but must remind myself that God's plan for them has always involved my own journey with Him.

  6. There is a lot of wisdom in what you are saying, Stephanie. Perfectionism is not switch that is either turned to the "on" or "off" position. There is layer after layer. I'm anxious to hear more about what God has taught you on this subject!