Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Slippery Slope of Perfectionism

This post is a continuation of How Do I Measure Up As A Christian Mother?
Photo:  mikep

Sometimes in the "quest to get it right, we can feel defeated."  When I first read these words by Reggie Joiner (author of Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide...), they struck a familiar chord with me.  I feel that defeat more often than I should.  My own over-enthusiasm works against me and brings me to a place of failure.  My heart's desire to disciple my children crosses the line into perfectionism.  That perfectionism becomes a  stumbling block.

My inappropriate comparisons (which I shared in my last post) are the beginning step in a chain reaction that is counter-productive:


                    leads to DISCOURAGEMENT

                                        leads to INACTIVITY

                                                            leads to NEGLECTING MY SCRIPTURAL DUTY 
                                                                               TO GOD AND MY CHILDREN

What begins as innocent observations about other Christian families leads to my own crushed spirit and dried up zeal (Proverbs 17:22).
Photo:  Microsoft Images

When I view myself through the lens of perfectionism, it skews the truth of our family.  What is the truth?

The truth is . . .
God has chosen me--imperfect as I am--to implement His plan in my children's lives.  It doesn't matter that I am imperfect.  My children don't need a perfect mother.  They need perfect grace.  And God gives it to them freely.  It is not something I can provide for them, even if I could be the ideal Christian mother. 

Photo:  Microsoft Images
The truth is . . .
Spiritual transformation is not dependent on perfect parenting.  It requires the involvement of a living Almighty God. Discouragement and defeat result in a lack of positive action.  And when I choose the path of passivity, I cease being a tool that God can use in converting the hearts of my children.

The truth is . . .
To be the mother God wants me to be, I don't need to be perfect.  I simply need to love God and follow Him.  Even better than I do, God knows my weaknesses.  Yet He has given me this task.  He has confidence that discipleship can be accomplished.

Please join me for the next part of this series where I explore The Source of My Perfectionism.