Written by Claire McCann
So this morning was crazy. I was HANGRY (Def- "A state of anger caused by lack of food.") Kids loudly playing as usual. Baby screaming continuously for no apparent reason. Potty training. Rice spilled all over my freshly mopped floor. A serious phone call for counseling in the middle of it all. All of these conditions and more compiled to the perfect scenario for a "maxed out" moment. I yelled and then apologized but still felt that lingering since of what I'd like to call "Mommy Guilt."
You know... Where you do the right thing in repenting and seeking God to change your heart and attitude but you still sense that guilt for failing in the first place? I am absolutely certain God forgave me and my children had fully forgiven me and were playing normal but I somehow couldn't shake the fact that I'm not perfect.
Can you relate?
Paul wrote a powerfully vulnerable section of scripture in Romans 7 and I think you'll agree with his insight. He talks about his struggle to do the right thing always and perfectly but that sin within him inevitably causes him to act sinful at times...and he HATES it!
Man, can I relate to this!!! I want more than ANYTHING to be a perfect example of Christ to my children and ALWAYS deal with them in the exact right way because I love them more than anything else on the face of the planet! But.... there is a daily battle against sin in each of us and sometimes we loose the battle and have "moments" that are sinful. I've been there many times and am certain you have too. Let's see what Paul says next.
Romans 8:1 says " There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ from the law of sin and death."
WOW!!! First lets note that He is talking directly to a Christian, whose life and will is submitted to obeying His word. There is no condemnation for them. If you continue reading he talks about those who set their minds on things of the flesh will live out the flesh. I'm not sure about you but that sounds exactly like what the enemy wants us to do. DWELL on our failed moments and continue to walk in sin because our mind is stuck on things of the flesh.
I think we can take a few things from this that will greatly help in our dealings with Mommy Guilt.
1. It's ok to desire perfection in our fight to please God.
2. We will have moments of failure because there is a fight against sin within us.
3. We must hate our sin! We must apologize for it and run from doing it again.
4. We must guard our minds against the enemy's lure of condemnation because of our sinful moment.
I find that #4 is the hardest part for me, which is where the Mommy Guilt comes in. We have to fight the LIE that Jesus is only pleased with us in our perfection! The TRUTH is that His perfection was granted to us when we surrendered our will and wants to Him in salvation! Now we absolutely strive for perfection but aren't bound by the chains of it! Jesus freed us from that when we chose to give our lives to fight to pursue Him!
The Mommy Guilt that's ensnaring you is not from God. You pursue Jesus ferociously and seek forgiveness when you wrong your children but you MUST guard your mind from reliving that condemnation over and over. God does not see you as a failure and He can even use those failed moments, by His grace, to bring hope to your children in their struggle. That their struggle against sin doesn't define them just as your struggle against sin doesn't define you! So keep struggling against sin!
May you (and me!) live free from the grip of Mommy Guilt! May we fight to believe Jesus' view of us! May we moment by moment fight the pull towards reliving our failed moments and instead dwell on the goodness and grace of our Heavenly Father that draws us towards joyful obedience to Him!