“Well, it seems to me that cloth diapers are the only way to go.”
“We never use the time-out chair. It’s not biblical.”
“I will never let my son play football. It’s just too dangerous.”
You’ve probably heard them all before and could add a few to the list. Maybe you uttered one yourself and, like me, lived to take it back!
With so many voices around us, how do we ever become confident mothers?
So many issues, so many voices, so much information. How do we cut through the chatter and find the path that is right for us and our children?
It seems to me that there are two areas in which we mothers long to feel confident.
• I want to be confident that I’m doing it “right.”
• I want to be confident that I’m giving my son what he needs to grow and mature.
Let’s look at each of these individually.
Am I doing it right?
To answer this question, we have to think about what right is and how we define it. Do I define right by what my friend does? What my mom did? What other moms (who seem very confident) do? What media and all the current information sources tell me is right?
So much of our mothering focuses on being right. That is, perfect, infallible. Can we just admit up front that we will never be those things? And as Christian moms, we don’t have to, for we have a Savior who is perfect in our place. Our goal is for our boys to see Christ, not Perfect Mommy. The best picture would bear the title “Imperfect Mom Striving to Point to Christ.”
So, we abide in Him—we stay close. We ask God to direct our thoughts and actions, and to direct our questions. Who do you go to when you have mothering questions, and who do you listen to?
Find a godly mom who exudes grace, not perfection. One who doesn’t set herself up as the authority, who knows her children were given to her by God as a perfect fit for her mothering and yours are, too. And if you don’t know one, start praying for one.
We will probably never know with 100% surety if we’re doing everything right, but we know a Savior who loves us and our children and redeems what is broken. The acknowledgement that my “right” choices don’t insure a perfect life for my boys points to a sovereign God.
Am I giving my boy what he needs to grow and mature?
Kudos to you if you’re thinking about this. Some of us don’t give this one a lot of thought because we’re too hung up on keeping our sons safe. As long as our boys are tethered to our (proverbial) apron strings, they’ll never grow and mature.
Giving our boys what they need to grow and mature takes us back to the sovereign God concept. We pour into our boys daily. Some are like sponges and some are like rocks. The boy who’s like a sponge at 3 can be more like a rock at 16, and vice versa. Life changes, but God doesn’t. As moms, we trust that Someone greater than us holds them in His hands.
We pour and pour, we adjust the rate of the pour as life and changing boys dictate, and we let God take it from there. We cannot make our boys mature; we cannot force them to grow. We water the soil faithfully and we let God give the increase, in His time. God is God, and we are moms. We point to Christ, we glorify Him in our words and actions, and we run to Him when we fail.
How can we be confident in our mothering? Isaiah 40:11 provides not only an example for our mothering, but encouragement along the way:
“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
Be confident, Mom, for He is leading you.
Christ in the Chaos: How the Gospel Changes Motherhood by Kimm Crandall
MomSense: A Common-Sense Guide to Confident Mothering by Jean Blackmer
A blog post from Set Apart Motherhood: Becoming a Christ-Confident Mother