We do know that we cannot be a perfect mom, right? If we could be supermom, we wouldn’t need God’s grace and mercy, would we? If Ted Tripp could tell us what to do in every circumstance, then we wouldn’t be on our knees pleading with God to give us wisdom (and rejoicing with exuberance when we see Him answer that prayer).There is value in practicing motherhood, those awkward attempts to change a baby’s diaper, or figuring out how to get a baby to eat peas and not just peaches (or vice versa). We learn by doing, and if we avoided the awkwardness of learning a new skill (like being a mom of a seven year old, or being a mom of three for the first time), we’d never get out of bed! The same is true with learning to be a godly mother.
The first time I tried to teach David to obey mom (I thought it would take a ten minute “training session”), I realized my mom couldn’t possibly have taught me what to do in every situation. I had a fabulous example of a mother who passed on a love for wisdom, but she couldn’t bestow all the wisdom I would need. I’m learning that feeling like I don’t have the answers isn’t a bad place to be if that feeling drives me to my knees and to the Bible.
I’m struggling with understanding my children. How do I respond to my private child who doesn’t like to talk about feelings? How do I help my kinesthetic learner to touch the right things (and not the butter in the dish that feels so much lotion)? How can I possibly keep my children from feeling left out? How do I deal with friends?
My attempts to understand and teach are often awkward. I try to ask good questions, but sometimes finish feeling like I went about it all wrong. I try one thing, but find I’m exacerbating the problem. I want a quick solution. I want the lessons learned without the need for review or long study. What I really want is to be done with my awkward attempts. I want to be perfect.
But, if God didn’t allow me to learn in this way, I’d avoid crucial growth. Like the Israelites, God leads me along a longer road to sanctification because of his compassion and mercy. I can’t fret when I find myself struggling with the best way of applying Scripture to a certain situation. I wrestle, even agonize, but I cannot fret or become discontent as though all the really spiritual moms have all the answers memorized. Scripture doesn’t work that way. Wisdom comes with a pick and lots of sweat and muscle that takes time to develop. This is true for all of us, no matter how many children we have, not matter how old they are, no matter how godly our own parents were, or how much scripture we know. (Obeying what we know is a good place to start practicing wisdom.)
So don’t despair or feel like you’re all alone in the battle. It is a good fight, and a challenging one. When we find ourselves lacking, we must run to God, who promises to supply every need. When the answer to our question doesn’t come right away, we must not assume that God is ignoring us. We must keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking.
I think we’re learning that lesson. Tomorrow I want to talk about those perfect children of ours. 🙂
“Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.
And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you.”
So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.” Exodus 13:17-18