Encouragement for Moms who Fail

So, there I was, crying out to God in the shower. I turned from ranting to Him about how I didn’t have enough time to meet with Him, to ranting about what a failure I was. I was so tired of failing, so tired of not being the mom I wanted to be, of yelling at my children and so often responding with anger rather than patience at their childish mistakes. I was full of despair at the furture I saw if I was not able to change, and yet I repeatedly failed at my attempts to be a perfect mother.

That’s when God interrupted my ranting and asked, “Why do you want to be perfect?”

(Now, let me just interrupt here and explain how God speaks to me. It’s not an audible voice, but rather a thought that enters my mind that, if I’m honest and humble, I realize came from the Spirit of God and not from my weak flesh. If you wonder whether a thought is God speaking or not, you can compare it to the list of Characteristics of God’s voice in the previous post. In this instance, I didn’t even realize He had begun talking with me until halfway into the conversation. I thought, at this point, it was ME that had the idea to analyze my desire to be a perfect mother as a way to perhaps reach that goal. The question was actually, “Why do I want to be a perfect mother?” and only later did I realize it was God’s Spirit prompting the line of thought)

Well, back to the question. I had lots of good reasons I wanted to be a perfect mom – mostly centered around the dream of my children having a happy childhood with a peaceful home, always feeling secure and loved, never a cross word or a verbal attack to scar their tender little hearts…

God interrupted my day dreams with another question, “Why do you want your children to have a perfect childhood?”

“Well…” I thought for a moment, really not sure, and remembering all the times I myself have preached that God often uses pain to bring fruit in our lives. Just as I began to see where this might be going, God spoke these words of love and comfort to me in my place of despair:

“If you never failed, your children would never learn how to repent.”

Instantly I flashed back to a moment in the dining room just that morning when I had knelt on the floor (silly as it felt) and genuinely apologized to my son for losing my temper with him (humbling as that was.)  It was the only thing I had figured out to do when faced with my failure, and I felt it might be the right thing simply because of how hard it was to be that humble!

I thought about all the times in the past week when I had paused mid-sentence, mid-task, mid-rant and responded to the Spirit’s nudge in my consinece to repent. To turn from what I was doing and go the other way. To stop yelling and to humble myself before my child and ask his forgiveness. To kneel and pray together for patience, joy, and good attitudes for both of us.

If I never messed up, if I lived up to my self-glorifying dreams of being a perfect mother, my son would never learn how to repent. I, as his primary caregiver and biggest influence through the most informative years of his life, would miss the opportunity to show him what to do and to Whom to go when he sins.

Now that would be a tragedy – that would be a deprived childhood. 

How grateful I was to my heavenly Father for His comfort and encouragement to me. For assuring me that thought I felt like a failure, He was still capable of blessing my children through me, and had a purpose even in my weakness.

I was so glad I had given Him those two minutes in the shower.

Are you too busy to meet with God? He always has time for you. I have found so often when I simply turn my heart toward Him, directing my thoughts toward prayer and dwelling on Him instead of my lists and worries, He faithfully meets me in that moment. You must simply cultivate an attitude of listening. While in the shower, driving in the car, folding laundry – these are all the moments I have in this season of my life, but God has been real to me and met me here!

Please share your story of how the Lord has spoken to you lately, to encourage us all to seek His face…

8 responses to “Encouragement for Moms who Fail”

  1. Lori Avatar

    We can all take heart from this, thank you for sharing. I pray that I will see the what I am learning through trial and error play out in the lives of my children.

  2. Chantel Avatar

    So…that one phrase, “How would your children learn to repent?” really caught my heart. How very, very true….

  3. JDaniel4's Mom Avatar

    I am so glad that I am not the only mom who is teaching this by my mistakes.

  4. G Avatar

    Thank you for the encouragement! It is much needed for us mothers. I had the same thoughts yesterday as I apologized to my three year old in a parking lot yesterday for giving him a dirty look and being impatient as he took his sweet time getting out of the van. Exactly what you said, if we never messed up they would never learn how to humble themselves and repent. My poor child should know all to well the practice ; )

  5. Trina Avatar

    Sarah, I love de-lurkers! Thanks for taking the time to encourage me with your comment. I'm so glad God could use my story to touch you.

    Tanya, Janet – thanks for your encouragement! We need to remind each other that we are not alone in this journey.

  6. Penn and Janet Avatar

    Thanks for this, Trina! I needed it.

  7. Anonymous Avatar

    I have been a lurker for years, Trina, and really enjoy your blog.
    This in one of your most meaningful post to me personaly ever. Thank you for sharing!
    Sarah H.

  8. Tanya Avatar

    Failing as a mother has been on my mind a lot, too. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *