I read the post with a lump in my throat. This writer shared about how amazing her sons have turned out. Oh, not that there weren’t struggles, and pulling out of hair, but as they grew from boys into men, they have become good men.
And images of our own sons came to mind.
It’s so easy to see the character traits that seem like weaknesses rather than the potential that is still taking root in their hearts.
It’s so easy to think I haven’t done enough. That I’ve failed our sons by not making them work harder, by not pushing them to be in God’s word more. By not giving them more opportunities to make mistakes.
Comparison for a mother is like poison. I have the nasty, unhealthy habit of taking what I see as failure in my mothering and holding it up against another mom’s successes.
My husband reminded me that those amazing, beautiful stories we read on the internet are incomplete.
I can never know what made that mama slump in a private place and cry her eyes out. What made that mama pull out her hair.
Mothering is an opportunity to give grace to our children, but also to receive grace from our heavenly Father.
We’re going to mess up. Sometimes epically. We’re going to say things we wish we could swallow back in. We’re going to hurt our children because our own insecurity. At times, impatience trumps the good sense we know we have somewhere inside us.
There are no perfect parents. Well, there was One. And even He had unruly children in the garden. He had to discipline them.
So, who am I to think that I am going to be “that” parent? Why would I place unrealistic expectations on myself when God never has?
Sometimes, I’m scared about how our sons will turn out as adults. But, I must remember this:
They are still in training.
They’re teenagers who think they’ve got life all figured out (do I hear anyone else snickering behind fingers?). But the thing is? It’s in discovering what we don’t know that enables us to learn life skills, habits, and integrity.
Our sons are still figuring this out. Hubs and I have been imperfect parents. God reminds us He never expected us to be perfect parents. We have a role as Mom and Dad, but He has a role in raising them too.
Before our two precious boy-men were ours, they were His. And even though I call these two boys my sons, they are God’s even more. He knows the character lessons our sons need. He sees the hidden things in their hearts and what they hold there. He knows the gaps we’ve unintentionally left in our parenting.
But our heavenly Father also knows how to fill in those gaps.
So, I need to stop holding myself to a standard I will never ever achieve and lean into Him.
Mothering is as much about me learning how to walk more closely with God as it is about me pouring my love, my heart, my wisdom into two growing up sons.
Mothering was never about achieving perfection so much as it is about growing in humility and grace and learning how to love large, choosing to put my heart out there to be hurt.
Because that happens, doesn’t it?
As I read the post by that other mama, my heart warmed for her. And it latched on to some hope that, even though we’re not seeing certain things in the hearts and lives of our boys yet, the story isn’t over.
God’s still working in their hearts, shaping our boy-men into the good men He has created them to become.
What about you? What lessons have you learned in parenting your own children? What helps you not to compare yourself with others in your life?
*****Life can be hard. Do you ever need a little encouragement on this journey? I’d love to walk with you. I’m excited to share a 28-day devotional ebook with my newsletter subscribers. Join the journey by clicking the image to receive this gift and uplifting thoughts monthly.*****