Monday, January 14, 2013

Is Being a Good Mom Your Desire?

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Look at the above picture.  Wow!  A mom spending time with her son, giggling while playing together.  They are both laughing and clearly enjoying the quality time together.  What a good mom!  

Ever take a picture of a family situation just because for a split second everything was perfect?  You hurry to post it on Facebook in attempt to "wow" people.

Let's be honest...Who doesn't covet the "good mom" label?  And who doesn't envy those prelabeled "good" moms in your neighborhood, Bible study, or play group?

Maybe "good mom" isn't the term you use.  If you hang around the Christian circle, you may possibly use the term "Proverbs 31 mom."  This makes it more biblical and a more godly goal.

We all desire this because we have an idea of what we want to be as moms.  We also keep a mental list of how we are falling short and why the label will never be crowned on our heads.

Let’s be honest.  Being a Proverbs 31 woman isn’t a bad goal.  And just so we are on the same page, let’s make a list of what this type of woman in the 21st century would do or wouldn’t do.

  • Is the envy of everyone who knows her.
  • Never yells at her children.
  • Works out every day and runs marathons to raise money for research and orphanages.
  • Simply "looks" at her children and they straighten up.
  • Volunteers at her children's schools, the church, and at the local soup kitchen. 
  • Makes memories for her children by creating traditions that her family looks forwards to. 
  • Wears a size 4 and can easily wear the latest fashions because everything looks great on her body!
  • Never gripes or complains but yet is “real” with people.   
  • Has children who have never seen a spat between their parents.
  • Has the kind of home where all the neighbor kids want to hang out because of her fabulous yard and amazing snacks.  
  • Holds family devotions for her children every day.  
  • Starts each morning with coffee or hot tea and her Bible while sitting on the back porch watching the sun rise.
  • Provides a listening ear and godly counsel for all the neighborhood teen girls - and they heed every word she offers.
  • Has perfectly mannered children.
  • She stands by her man - especially in front of the children.
  • Has a home which is always clean, straight, and beautifully decorated.
  • Loves to have company over and prepares magazine-worthy meals.
  • Wisely bites her tongue when she and her husband disagree.  
  • Adores her mother-in-law and sister-in-laws.  Considers them precious friends, in fact.
  • Makes only healthy and delicious meals, school lunches, and snacks.  
  • Is completely humble and gives God all of the glory, but not in a cheesy-sorta way.
Looking over the complete list, it is almost comical.  

But as I read through a list similar to this in Julie Barnhill's book,
She's Gonna Blow!I realized how subconsciously I actually believe some of these bullet points.  I believe that in order to be a Proverbs woman I have to do at least a few of these things - all of the time. 

And if you dissect this list, looking at each individual attribute, I bet you can find several which you believe to be true as well. 

The problem? 

This list isn't realistic.  We are all human and no one can do it all...perfectly...all of the time.

Secondly, this list doesn't take into account the gifts and abilities that God has uniquely gifted each one of His children.  None of us have been given all of these gifts!  I Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 specifically give a list of gifts given to Christians by the Holy Spirit - wisdom, faith, teacher, serving, leading, etc.   Romans 12:6 says, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.To do all of the things in the list above, we would need all of the gifts available.   

Third, Proverbs 31 provides us with a list of attributes of the perfect woman.  Because we live in a sinful state we will never attain these characteristics this side of Heaven.  Our goal is to continually reflect more of Him in our lives.  In the same way, it is our goal to mirror the attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman because she mirrors Christ. 

Last, God is sovereign.  He is the Alpha and the Omega.  He is above all and over all.  This means that He may have other plans for me.  God doesn’t have to fit everyone and everything into the neat little boxes that I have placed it all in. 

So, if the list is unrealistic due to our sinful nature, how God has uniquely gifted us, and the fact that God is sovereign, then how do we go from survival to becoming the coveted Proverbs 31 woman?

Julie Barnhill helped me see that God doesn't call me to be a "good" mother, wife, or friend.  God is not asking me to match up to the culture's ideas.  Instead, He has called me to become more like Him - to be a "godly” woman.  

Read more about Becoming a Godly Woman and Help for Anger Management.

How I deeply want to be a godly mother.  If you desire to know more, you can read additional ideas in our free ebook, "A Quiet Time, Worth the Time."

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.