Dear Fellow Moms,
If you are looking for a feel-good blog post this Mother’s Day, you won’t find it here. I have swallowed some bitter pills and humble pie lately and want to share it while it’s fresh in my mind. Even though we are supposed to be celebrated today, we can also be calibrated. Here goes.
The Pill: We don’t get to be our child’s standard bearer forever. When children are young, parents get to set the standards for behavior, apparel, entertainment, food, and friendships. What we say, we expect the kids to do. What we believe, we expect the kids to affirm. We set the schedule and we set the rules.
It ain’t that way when kids are grown. Adults get to develop their own standards and raise their own flags.
An American flag.
A gay pride flag.
A Black Lives Matter flag.
Whatever the standard, mothers are not called to cut into their grown children with disapproval and critique. Grown children are not called to bow down to their mommy’s personal rituals and faith no matter how godly we believe we are. We harm our adult children’s faith by continuing to expect allegiance to our way of thinking and living.
The Humble Pie: If we are honest, deep down, we moms want to make disciples. Yes, we want to make followers of Christ, but we also want to make followers of us. We want our children to grow up with our values and view of the world. We want them to raise children the same way we did; to commit to church like we did. We want them to read their Bibles and pray and worship just the way we taught them.
This is really prideful. Think about the disciples. They had a three-year intensive workshop with the Savior, only to forsake him when times were tough. Our expectation that our children will never veer from what we taught them is really unrealistic. God is with them as they make every decision. He is their God. We are not.
This Mother’s Day, I accept that it’s enough for my children and I to share the same nose, curl pattern, and taste in sunglasses. With all of the mistakes I made raising them, I am humbled they even want to share their lives with me.
10-12 So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:
“As I live and breathe,” God says,
“every knee will bow before me;
Every tongue will tell the honest truth
that I and only I am God.”
So mind your own business. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God...22-23 Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent.
Romans 14 (MSG)