More Guilt Anyone?

I read the following sentiment on a Christian mom’s blog recently.

Parents (especially mothers) are under spiritual attack because it is their responsibility to raise godly children. One way to protect ourselves from spiritual attack is to monitor or safeguard our children from evil influences.  She listed the following influence on children: media, mom’s behavior, mom’s words and mom’s visible Bible study. The way she worded her statements disturbed me. She said it was “because of the children” we should aim at restricting what we watch, listen to, do, say and study. These are ways we can guard our family from the devil’s attacks.

Her post was intended as an encouragement, but as I read it, I felt that old enemy of guilt starting to lay siege to my heart.
“Oh crap! My children are doomed!”

They are plugged in way too much….too much Nintendo DS… too many TV shows… too much time on Wizards 101… and should she even be playing that??! We need to read together more, play more board games. Heck, I should just PLAY with them (ugh). I need to stop yelling re actively, and start shaping pro actively. Did I just ignore them for 2 hours straight?

I began to plan ways to pick up the pace on the race to adolescence. What more can I do to provide the perfectly safe and good environment so that my kids will turn out right? ITS UP TO ME, RIGHT?!

When I get freaked out how bad a mother I am, I meditate on three things:

  • God loves my kids more than I do. He can be trusted with their days, their environment and their heart.
  • I am a bad mother. But, I’m a redeemed one. Stay humble. Love Him.
  • God wants heart change, not behavioral change alone. Change my heart, O Lord. Theirs too! (Matthew 12:33-35 and Matthew 15:8-19)

Consider Hannah.

  • Hannah understood her son was a gift to her for a short time. He ultimately belonged to God.
  • Hannah knew how to pray. Read 1 Samuel 1: “I prayed for this child…So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.”
  • Consider the environment she was sending her son into. Read the last part of 1 Samuel 2.
  • Consider WHO guided Samuel’s heart. Read chapter 3.
  • Samuel grew up away from his godly mother (but not from her prayers!)… in the presence of “scoundrels,” yet God had special plans for him. GOD wooed Samuel. God will woo my children too.
  • And with this childhood, Samuel learned this lesson:“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 6:7. Even though he lived in the TEMPLE and was surrounded by those dedicated to the Lord’s service, he knew it isn’t the outward show, it’s the heart God sees.

I doubt I’ll escape the guilty feelings about my selfish mothering. I still stress out when I think of them not choosing to follow God when they grow up. I can’t resist laziness. But, God loves them more than I do. I trust Him with their hearts.

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7 thoughts on “More Guilt Anyone?

  1. Pffff, you’re a perfectly fine mother. Mothers don’t need to be proactive, they just need to be there. It’s really egocentric for a mother to think her kids lives will be better because of her constant involvement in them.

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      1. If the alternative is this, then ignore all you want: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter_parent . I’ve heard some seriously messed up stories about parents attending their kid’s first post-college job interview and teenagers completely unable to make simple daily decisions on their own. (But then, I don’t think you’re actually capable of raising children that badly).

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  2. With 8 children spanning 18 years, I went from being an extremely overprotective mother when it came to media consumption to almost totally lax (other than never getting cable, and installing norton safety minder on the computer to make sure the kids don’t stumble on porn). The overprotective mode is exhausting and wound up being counterproductive- in one case wounding, in another case handicapping one of my older children (The latter became a gaming addict once he was out from under my “house rules”).

    Overprotection is a false belief in my own “control”.

    I’ve always prayed with and for them every night and I believe that is the single most powerful and effective ministry I have had with them as their mother. They are amazing, talented, and have held onto their faith. http://heirs.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/thankful-for-my-quiverfull/

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  3. Just like everything in life that pleases God, childrearing must be by faith, too. There aren’t many quick results, just simple “plodding”, praying, and persistance, with the faith that God will do His work (child rearing) through us, the parents.

    Loved the: “Oh crap! My children are doomed!” I could hear you saying it!!! lol

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