// Nobody died, nor was anyone arrested or caught doing drugs. But the bomb that went off in my world was big enough to push every ‘Identity’ button in me. And let me tell you, that button has been pushed more times in the last year than I care to count.
But why should it matter? I mean, after all, it was only one week after publishing my book, “IDENTITY: Finding the Proverbs 31 Woman in the Middle of Kid Chaos” that all hell broke loose for me. Could I not have longer than one week to enjoy my ‘success’?
I think if we’re all honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that the ‘performance’ of our kids affects our ‘feelings’ of accomplishment, doesn’t it? (Or the performance of our husbands, or parents, or puppies for that matter.)
- Why else would the tired mother be thoroughly ashamed that her kid just had a complete meltdown in the grocery store, right in front of people that she respects?
- Why else would the new mommy be devastated that her baby won’t breastfeed, but her best friend’s baby is chubby, content, and sleeping through the night?
- Why else would older mothers grow deathly silent when their grown children start making choices that are completely contrary to the way they were raised?
Shame is a killer. It kills contentment. It kills joy. And it kills intimacy between parent and child. And I hate it.
I have battled more shame and comparison in the last year than I care to admit; a year spotted with violent battles with shame and disappointment. Disappointment in their choices, and shame because I saw their behaviour as a reflection of me and my parenting. It was so much easier when they were littler, and we could just spank them or ground them for disobeying our instructions. //
What a year to publish a book on mothering. [Are you kidding me?] But isn’t that the nastiness of our enemy? He knows exactly where and when to attack, and he uses the people most precious to us to do it.
Oh Father, this mothering thing is not for wimps. Help me to do it better!
I recently had a life-changing discussion with a woman who is both a friend and a fellow pastor’s wife. Her children, too, had been making choices contrary to their family values. I asked her honestly, “How do you handle the devil’s accusations that say, ‘You’re such a hypocrite. You tell other people how to raise their kids, but yours are doing … and … and … ’?”
Her answer was brilliant. She simply said,
“No way! My identity can NEVER be tied to my children’s behaviour. Never. My identity will only ever be tied to God and what He says about me. If my children make bad choices, that’s a reflection on them—not me.”
I’ve been processing those words and really taking them to heart. Today’s prompt word, “RELEASE” seemed like the perfect opportunity to share them with you.
Resist Shame and Change your Confession
Here’s my confession:
- I choose today to release my children from having to make me ‘feel’ like a good parent.
- I choose to release them from the pressure to perform for my reputation.
- I choose to resist shame—the enemy can no longer make me feel guilty for their poor choices.
- I choose to find my IDENTITY in God alone and not the perfection, or lack thereof, of my kids.
- I choose to celebrate my children simply because they are my kids and my love for them runs so deep it takes my breath away.
Now, that does not mean that I won’t remind them of their identity in Christ and what the Word says about living godly lives. I will pray non-stop for them in every way. I will send them Scripture verses that are relevant to where they’re at today, not as a weapon but as a guide and an encouragement.
I will REMEMBER what God has declared over them, and I will REMIND them of their destiny.
And no, that does not make me a nagging mom.
One of our God-given roles in their lives is to REMEMBER what God has said and REMIND them of the truth. Reminding our kids is our job (just be sure to ask Holy Spirit for the right words and the right timing).
“So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors” (Deuteronomy 11:18-21 NLT).
- Today, I choose to be a good and faithful mom who will love them, pray for them, and gently rebuke them when they need it—but I will find my IDENTITY in God and God alone.
Please use the comments below to share your wisdom and advice on this topic. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
♥ Here’s it is again. Have you picked up your copy yet?
I’m not perfect, but God is.
And this is what He’s saying to us!
Every Friday, I join an inspiring group of writers to write for FIVE MINUTES on a one-word prompt. No editing. No revising. Just WRITE. This week, the prompt word was RELEASE.
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For more information on Five Minute Friday, check out the Five Minute Friday website