Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mirroring God's love in motherhood

Sometime in recent weeks, the "terrible twos" have hit our house in full swing. Katie has always had a strong will, but lately it's become stronger. She doesn't ever want to obey anything I tell her, despite my efforts to train her otherwise. Somewhere along the way, in my frustration I lost sight of the goal--the reason I'm Katie's mommy. That is, to point her to Jesus. I don't want to raise a child who is outwardly compliant for fear of being disciplined but is seething with rage on the inside--I want to raise my daughter to be a godly woman, one who submits to authority with joy in her heart because she loves Christ.

Ben came home this morning in the midst of an ugly scene. Katie was flipping out, and Mommy flipped out too. I think we were feeding off of each other. I raised my voice, she raised hers back. It was ridiculous and certainly not creating the loving, joyful atmosphere I so desire in our home. I wanted to leave and run Ben's errands for him so I could get away, but he wisely suggested that he take Katie with him and I stay home. And I am so glad he did. As soon as they left, Benjamin went down for a nap (and fell asleep pretty quickly with very little fuss!) and I was able to spend some time singing hymns, reading some Scripture and godly wisdom, and repenting. I really needed that time to refocus and regain the right perspective.

I wish it wasn't so easy to lose sight of the goal when the going gets tough in this (mostly beautiful) life as mom. How thankful I am that my Heavenly Father doesn't get exasperated and moody when I repeatedly and knowingly disobey. He is steadfast and unwavering in His love and tender mercy toward us, delighting always in His children and faithfully and lovingly administering discipline when we need it.

That's the kind of parent I want to be, mirroring the character of God to my children. I want them to look back and remember their mother as merciful, loving and compassionate--not harsh and easily irritated. May God give all of us the grace to mother our children without regrets--and may they all grow up to love and serve Him.

"Charity suffereth long, and is kind. Charity envieth not: charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil: rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth: beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, emphasis mine)


  1. What a great post Mary Jo! :) I completely understand and agree wholeheartedly in your desire to mirror the love of Christ as a mom. It's a continual journey in which I am consistently praying and asking Christ to make me like Him. What an encouragement it is to have godly friends and fellow mommas to walk the journey with and find encouragement in and to. :)

  2. Oh what a good post for me to read today. We also had some challenging moments. Made more challenging by a sleep deprived mom with a 7 week old and 4 older kids to care for too. I strive to teach and lead through example, but sometimes it seems like my sinful actions are the ones they best like to copy. At tonight's bed time prayers, we prayed for an increase in patience, love and to further open our hearts to God's Will and Love.
    Hopefully tomorrow will go a little smoother for both of us.

  3. Beautifully said. Times can be so difficult when raising up our children. :)