Sweet Mamas, When We've Blown it Again...

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Sigh. We’ve heard the comments, or thought them ourselves…

I can’t believe I did it again. I can’t believe those words came out of my mouth. I’m a terrible mom. I’m ruining my child. I said I would never be this type of mom.

These sentiments, or perhaps others that are similar, have crept uninvited into our minds or come out of our mouth after we’ve blown it again. We’ve said something harsh, reacted in anger or impatience, yelled, been cold and unloving…whatever it is, defeating thoughts can fill our mind. And soon enough if we allow these thoughts to marinate, despair and condemnation can quickly become our companion. But what if these very things-despair and condemnation- are what quickly lead us to blow it again?

It’s in our shortcomings, however, that we can remind ourselves that the love for our own child is but a drop in the ocean compared to the love God offers us in our weakest moments. So dear Mama, three tips for encouragement when we’ve blown it again… SEEK-SPEAK-REST:

1)     SEEK conviction, not condemnation.

Condemnation- punishing ourselves and sitting in blame- leads to short-term and shallow change. Conviction-being moved by the Holy Spirit in acknowledging we are guilty before God- can lead to repentance and a change of heart.

Condemnation says, “I am a bad person”, Conviction says, “I am sinful and in need of a Savior”.

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Condemnation leads us to focus on ourselves, Conviction leads us to focus on the One whose help we need.

Condemnation makes us feel shame, Conviction makes us want to repent and change.

Condemnation brings hopelessness because of ourselves, Conviction brings hope because of God.

Conviction is what can help us move us toward Him in restoration. 1 John 1:9 reminds us of this: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9.

2)     SPEAK truth to ourselves.

When we blow it, lies are often crouching at the door of our heart even after we’ve confessed to God. Don’t forget that Satan is not skipping around simply whispering little things in our ear like our childhood cartoons. No, he “prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Preaching truth to ourselves- using God’s Word and wisdom- is our greatest weapon. God has poured Himself out on the cross on our behalf and given us His truth for moments such as these. We can:

Remind ourselves that He forgives (1 John 1:9) and that our worst parenting moment cannot separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:39).

Tell ourselves that our sin does not own us and we have been “set free from sin” (Romans 6:18),.

Speak the truth that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is living within us (Romans 8:11) , helping us in the difficult parenting moments.

The truths that are written on our heart can drown out the chorus of lies that are knocking at your door.

3) REST our weary souls.

Nothing that happens- including the mistake we made- is outside of the sovereignty of God.

And we can rest our weary souls, knowing that there is nothing we can do to thwart the plans that God has for our child.

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We can rest knowing that God’s power can heal wounds, even if we are the cause of our child’s need for healing. Our mistakes can’t be erased, but God can use these mistakes as part of our child’s own redemptive story. And while this truth doesn’t excuse the sin we commit against our children, we can pray that God would continually open our child’s eyes to the perfect parent found only through Him.

It’s in the gospel that we can find true rest, which is the good news that Jesus died to forgive and redeem the messy mistakes we make as parents. So sweet Mamas, when we’ve blown it again, seek conviction, speak the truth to yourself, and rest in the wonderful, marvelous, gospel truth of grace.