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Parenting Moment: Standards


“Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 (ESV)

As moms, it’s amazing how many different expectations we put on ourselves. We tend to get an ideal mom in our head, and then constantly compare our feeble efforts to that ideal, feeling like a failure for how short we come. And then when health challenges or life’s craziness makes us unable to do even the normal, the weight of failure multiplies on our shoulders.

“If she’s holding herself to other standards than Yours, help her let it go…”

My friend’s prayer for me hit home. My standard wasn’t God’s. Nothing in the Bible says I fail as a mom if I can’t keep up with the laundry or feel on top of food. The Bible says I’m to bear His fruit–love, joy, peace, patience, etc. Those define success in God’s eyes…and I’d definitely not been bearing them stressing over all my own list of mom musts. God knew I’d be facing the health challenge I faced at the time, but it didn’t have to keep me from being the mom He wants me to be. That mom may not be the mom of my ideal who’s on top of the housework and is full of fun activities, but I could trust God to meet those needs His way. My calling is to abide in Him and teach my child of Him, and no circumstance can block that like it can the others.

Of course, I’m not talking about being lazy. Of course we want to strive to look after our households well (Proverbs 31:24). But there are times and seasons where that has to look differently than the ideal we have in our minds. Rather than seeking to be the perfect moms, let’s seek God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:33)–His priorities for the day that involve us walking with Him, not just checking off to dos–and trust Him to show us what the other details look like.

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