Friday, November 18, 2005

Where are the instructions?

Talking with my sister-in-law the other day, we began discussing some of the requirements that mothers will place on themselves in order to qualify to be "good mom." It's something that has been on my mind every now and again since I got married, but more frequently as of late. It seems that there are moms out there who, from the beginning, will say I want to do these things as a mom, then they go out and do them. For example, sewing, baking, setting the table for dinner everynight, cleaning their house on a schedule, making homemade cards with the kids for Dad's birthday, etc, etc. It's like they think, "Okay, these are the things a mom does." I for one, did not really know what a mom/homemaker was supposed to do. I often will read blogs of other moms and feel the frustration as they espouse their strongly held beliefs. I would really love to just video a mom that I admire going throughout her days. Then I could know what I shoud be doing.

But rather than look to another sinner for my answers of a perfect mom, maybe what I should be doing is take a tip from a popular Christian phrase, "What would Jesus do?" Or rather, what has Jesus done? Well, He's said to love others like I want to be loved, and to lay down my life for others. So what does that mean for me in regards to my family? Well it means putting my needs after theirs on a daily basis. Okay, now what does that look like practically? Well, it might mean getting up early to cook breakfast, when I'd rather sleep in. It might mean teaching my children how to clean and work and learn when they'd rather just watch tv all day.

But, getting these little things will only come if I get the big things right. To love the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength is the big thing. The kicker is that without His grace I will never get that. It is a gift from Him to even allow me to try to love Him. So, if I seek Him, I thank Him for allowing me to do so. And I ask for the ability to try to do better, and to be pleasing in His sight. And when I fall, I thank Him for the sacrifice He gave for me so that I can rest despite my failings. And then, amazingly I recognize that while I am forgiven for these faults, they should bring about a righteous anger from a perfect God. But He as my Father, is patient, and kind, and consistent to discipline. He doesn't forsake me in my pit where I pitifully cling to a sin which leaves me cold, hungry, and despairing. He teaches me, He guides, me, and in the midst of it all, He gives me moments of joy and respite where He reminds me that not only does He tolerate me in patience, but He delights over me. Rejoices over me. Has compassion on me as a mother might for her own child. And there I find my answer.


Moms4Psalms said...

Hi Emily!

We must look to Christ and serve Him by serving and loving our families to the best of OUR abilities . . . realizing at the same time that those abilities always have room for improvement.

Titus 2 tells us that the older women are to train the younger women, and this implies that the younger women should be looking to the older women . . . to learn ways to love our husbands, love our children, and be workers at home.

Instead of getting discouraged by how well some mom gardens, and another mom sews, and another mom cleans we can simply learn little things from them, tweak it, and use what works for us from the areas in which they are especially gifted. There is no perfect mom we should try to follow to a "T". But Sally creates beautiful artwork, Cathy has an orderly house, and Heather is great at gardening. I may not do any of those things well and cannot try to become just like those ladies. But maybe I can learn how to keep one plant alive, sew on one button, or discover one tip on getting my cluttered closets organized from seeking out knowledge from these very different Christian moms.

May we carefully guard our hearts and motives while we purposely seek to follow Titus 2!

Duchess of Fife said...

Thank you, Moms4Psalms!

I do get great encouragement from other ladies and their blogs, but, at times, I tend toward being really hard on myself and focusing too much on my faults. This is a pride issue because it shows I'm thinking entirely too much about myself and not at all about God or serving others. For this reason, it helps me to get my focus off myself and others and remember Who this whole thing is about in the first place. Part of the purpose of me becoming a better parent is to see how great a Parent God is.