There’s a danger for a mother of young children, and that is distinguishing between genuine obstacles and lazy excuses. A new mom getting a few hours of fractured sleep may very well be too tired to take the other children to the playground. A mother might be ill and feeling guilty because she’s not able to do what she used to do with her children’s schooling. Lack of sleep, a fussy baby, a rebellious child: these can be legitimate reasons for not doing what we think ought to be done. We are reminded that our God gently leads those sheep with young babies (Isaiah 40:11).
But I’ve also noticed that these can be lazy excuses I’ve used to justify my sin to myself and to my husband when he kindly probes into my spiritual life. Yes, I’m tired, yes, the baby is fussy, but I also wasted a good deal of time indulging my own desires (the Bible calls them lusts) as I ignored my children. Solomon observes this tendency, too.
The sluggard is wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason. Proverbs 26:16
I need the Holy Spirit’s help to discern true obstacles, laziness, or some combination of the two. I need God’s encouragement and reassurance when I face true obstacles. I need humility to see when I’ve been lazy, and to be truthful with my husband when he asks about my day. I need the grace of repentance to change my behavior and walk in the Spirit.