I open my Bible to Proverbs 2 and ponder wisdom.
My thoughts shift to the littlest one in our gang and I thank God for the good night's rest and then ask forgiveness for doubting that I'd get it. As I went to bed last night, I was already begrudging and fretting over a presumed middle of the night crying. Ah, selfish mom.
The buzz word in my circle of friends is, "mom guilt." And it's not even true. It's a lie from Satan himself. But I hear those lies: you're not enough, you messed up again, he's not thriving...
Then I look out the window and up to see cotton ball clouds scattered across the light blue skyline. Considering my grand, awe-inspiring God, stops me in my tracks. That's the answer: God. Where does my help come from? How do I combat mom-guilt? How do I not fall for the lies? How do I mother well? God.
Tucked in Proverbs 2, is a amazing if then formula for mothering.
IF I make my ear attentive to God's wisdom;The truth is, despite my seeking, I will mess up. My life is a string of messing up, heading down that dead end road, believing Satan's lies, following the way of guilt and then making a u-turn, headed on God's road.
IF I turn and make my heart to understand;
IF I ask God for insight and understanding;
IF I pursue God's perspective and wisdom and insight like I would pursue cold hard cash,
THEN I WILL understand the best way to live and discover His know how.
For God gives wisdom...
And I will be delivered from "mom guilt,"
Satan's path of lies leads to death: depression, lack of an abundant life and shame.
"Mom guilt" is a dead end street.
Escape the dead end: ask God how. Proverbs 2, my paraphrase
For instance, two days later, my morning mind fast-forwarded to the list of tasks in the bursting-full day ahead and she entered the kitchen in a mood. I fell for the trap, the dead end, reacting in my own snappy voice, rushing hastily and rudely. Though I realized my mistake, the whole day felt drab and heavy. It was almost as if I couldn't believe God's grace really was meant for me AGAIN. Would He really lead me out of this "mom guilt" (and wife guilt) road again? Why was Romans 8:1 (no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus) so hard to accept, to believe?
Because it's truly unfathomable! Even though I choose to forgive a wrong done to me, do I forget it? No, it's always there, in the back of my mind. Sometimes in the forefront when I think of that person. But God doesn't work that way. He forgives and forgets.
How do I move on, out of the guilt that lingers even though theologically I believe I'm forgiven? The answer might be tucked deeper in Romans 8. "For the mind set on flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." I can't move out of the "mom guilt" because I'm thinking about my sin, my shortcoming, my inability. What I started thinking about God's unfathomable grace, His forgiveness (and forgetting) and the abundant life He's promised me instead? That's God's perspective and I must set my thoughts on His way, then I will find wisdom in mothering.
Whether you're a mom, dad, employee, neighbor, friend or co-worker, where is your thought life today? Are you feeling insecure, condemned, not enough? These are lies luring you down a dead end road. Ask God to lead you in a u-turn, teaching you His perspective, His way of life and peace.