Well, that was almost 9 years ago, and I've long left behind that "what a good wife does" list, which had left me feeling guilt-ridden and inadequate at the time.
Now I'm just starting to get over my "what a good mom does" list—a.k.a. the "what a good Christian mom does" list—which includes such things as:
* you play on the floor with your kids all day, every day—and love it
* you implement formal training sessions to teach them such things as not to fuss when coming in the house after playing outside or to sit still through church
* you are utterly consistent with discipline [and if you're doing a good job, your kids never whine or argue]
* your children never misbehave in public [and probably never misbehave at home either, because your training has been so thorough]
* you enjoy your kids so much that you never need a break
* you instinctively know the best way to train or discipline in every situation that comes up with your kids
* you are excited and enthusiastic about Play Doh, finger painting, and glue & glitter crafts
* you never, ever get frustrated or lose your cool or raise your voice
* life is so hunky-dory you want to have 19 kids!
This mental list has tormented me and stolen my joy... left me with guilt and shame... until I could see nothing good in myself.
But yesterday during my QT, this is what the Lord spoke to my heart:
What are all these burdens you are carrying around, Sara? "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Who said you have to do that list of things in order to be a 'good mom'?
Then this morning, He further reminded me there is no "one right way" of training your kids! It doesn't matter what others are doing to train their kids. God is calling us to follow His lead. And...
GOD'S WAY is:
Commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. [Deuteronomy 6:6-7]
And GOD'S WAY is:
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. [Ephesians 6:4]
And I found some relief... because we are doing this with our kids! [Read: I realized I'm not utterly failing at motherhood!] And it tells me that if my son has a bad attitude, it's not all my fault, but that he lives in the same stinkin' flesh that I do!
So, thank you, Lord for giving me peace today. I have had a sweet morning with my boys!