I think I have an idol of mothering. Actually, I’m pretty certain of it. It’s not as if I built a room in my house and made a graven image of a mother to bow down to each day, but I have been bowing down to something other than God in this part of my life. It was really this past week when I became aware of how gripping this piece of my life had become. My daughters’ schoolwork (even though I homeschool), my daughters’ friendships, my daughters’ clothing and makeup choices…I let it all affect me too much. My mind is not where it needs to be, often because I am, in my head, thinking of how I can better mother them (aka “run their lives”).
Maybe some of you unknown friends out there can relate?
I remember my mom telling me decades ago that “children aren’t really ours. God gives them to us to steward.” At the time it made sense, since she was talking about her brother who died in car accident at age 13. He was too young to be out riding around with friends. He had disobeyed his mother when he went, and he never came home. My grandmother grieved for him the rest of her life. The only way she could find peace in it all was to believe God ultimately owned her son and had the right to do as He saw fit with him.
But when I consider that my kids aren’t really mine, it shakes me a bit. And it shakes me for a couple of reasons.
#1: God entrusts ME to do this job? WHAT? Ultimately, I’m raising HIS kids?
#2: I don’t like the thought that I can’t control these people I’ve been given to love and care for. They have hearts, minds, and souls of their own. Ultimately, God must capture their hearts.
I don’t know where you’re at today with mothering. Maybe you’re not a mom, but you see moms around you either shirking from responsibility, or being obsessive in their control. Maybe you are a mom and you continually doubt yourself in the role. Maybe you desperately WANT to be a mom, but God hasn’t given you a child. Maybe you’re a grandma now, wishing you’d done a better job with your own kids and watching as they now struggle through the same things you did.
Wherever you’re at in this, THERE IS HOPE! God wants us to be good stewards of these children He’s entrusted to us, but He also promises to help us. He’ll give us strength, and patience, and love, and wisdom for the task. We cannot be perfect in this role, but God can…and IS. He will love these kids through us. He will love us through these kids. Parents who need God raising children who need God. Pointing them to Christ, pointing them to God’s holy word, and loving and nurturing them the best we can…this is what we CAN do. We can’t control what we CAN’T do. But we can trust God.
He is the perfect parent. So why would I run to an idol, when I can worship the real thing? God is worthy of all my worship. No more mother-idols.