Friends, you will be blessed by this honest, Spirit-filled post from my virtual friend, Heather Bock. Receive these words from her heart, then connect with her through the links at the end. And as always, we'd love to hear what you think in the comments!
As a mother, I am broken. I am not enough.
Since the moment I knew life was growing inside me, I wanted so much to be enough. In fact, I wanted very much to be as close to a perfect mother as possible. I ate all the right foods, took the right vitamins, and slept the recommended way. When my baby was born, I read all the books, swaddled him carefully, and started him on solids, thinking carefully about which food to introduce first and watching for allergies each time.
However, as he grew, and as he was joined by his sister and later by his brother, I discovered my inability to be the perfect mother. Not only did I not always know the right way to parent my children, but I just plain parented them wrong even while knowing I was doing wrong, my temper instead getting the better of me. Romans 7:19 described me well at times: “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.”
The good news is that God has taught me I don’t have to go there with my kids. With Christ, I can overcome being quick to anger, for “in all things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37). The same power that lived in Jesus, that raised Him from the dead, lives in me through the Holy Spirit, and I am no slave to sin (Rom. 8:11-12, 15).
No, I don’t have to go there every time, but at the same time, I will never be perfect, and even when I am at my best, I am simply not enough for my children.
Don’t get me wrong. I know God has positioned me where I am. He planned for me to be the mother of MY CHILDREN. He has equipped me in many ways to mother them well. However, I’m still not enough.
A few days ago, after I cried about my failure as a mom, my husband had wise words for me, as he usually does. He told me I’m not a failure, but that kids have needs that parents can’t completely fulfill. He gave the example of injury: if one of our kids were to need surgery, we wouldn’t conduct the surgery ourselves. We would take him or her to the best surgeon we could find, and let the professional do the job. Sometimes our children need more than we can offer. This is not failure.
Not only do children need other people than their parents sometimes, but also, if I were enough, my children would never need God.
I know all this, but I still want so much to be enough for my kids. I don’t want to fail them. When I realize I can’t give them what they need, I cry out to God. This is what we need to intentionally do as parents: keep calling out to God for help. Psalm 86:1-3 expresses my thoughts well: “Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.”
This morning, He answered my prayer with words from Psalm 35:10: “Who is like You, O Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them.” God promises to help, to be there for those who draw near to Him. He has helped me stand firm in patience and love when in the past, I would have crumbled.
I am broken, and although I don’t want to be, I am thankful God will always be enough for my children. He will always provide enough even when I can’t.
“This is what we need to intentionally do as parents: keep calling out to God for help.” #IntentionalParenting begins with this. Guest post via @heatherbethbock and @Carole_Sparks. #NotSufficient (click to tweet)
After growing up in California, attending college in Seattle, Washington, and living ten years in East Tennessee, Heather Bock is a new resident of East Texas. She has three kids that she homeschools, and she loves studying God’s Word, looking for new jewels each time. She’s written a Bible study called Glimpses of Jesus in Genesis filled with some of the riches God has helped her find. You can find more of her posts at www.glimpsesofjesus.com.