Moms, Don't Trust Your Fickle Feelings
- Meg Bucher Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2018 12 Jan
Up the stairs she stomped, quickly followed by a slamming door. Once again, I had let my least favorite characteristics bubble to the surface and rain down over my tween. Placing trust in the fickle fade of aggravated feelings hurts our kids and our confidence. Paul assures us that our sinful desires wage war against our souls (1 Peter 2:11). Moms like me who have taken the bait and engaged in an argument with their child know exactly what Paul speaks of in Romans 7:15. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
Fickleness, defined by dictionary.com as “likely to change,” is not a reliable source by which to gauge our decisions to parent. God, on the other hand, is reliable, constant, omnipotent, sovereign, and patient. In my life, I’ve found it impossible to maintain any of the parental behaviors I aim for without a solid foundation of God’s truth to instruct and encourage my heart.
Below are a handful of verses that have helped me prevent, stop, and recover from the moments that I have been tempted to, or have let my fickle feelings rule my parenting. Our children are God’s first. The goal of parenting isn’t to mimic God’s authority, but rather to submit to it in obedience as we lead our children to His feet.
1. Bottle Anger Up.
“Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (Psalm 86:11).
It’s helpful to have this verse on hand when our fickle anger attempts to rise up and yell out. Praying this verse reminds us of our place in it all. David prayed for God to save him from his enemies, and from himself. Parenting, especially in heated moments or new territory, can quickly expose all that we don’t know. There is a very real enemy that attempts to bait and switch our attempts to parent wisely. Instead of scrambling for a quick consequence to dish out, uttering Scripture in prayer is powerful. Not only can we shut down the liar that attempts to steal our household peace, but welcome God to soften our hearts and extend our patience in heated moments.
2. Don’t get Discouraged
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).
There are moments in motherhood that test every bit of Scripture that we have tried to learn and apply to our lives. In the heat of battle, it can seem that nothing we say is getting through to our kids. The parable Jesus told to His disciples in the above verse was that of the Persistent Widow. She never gave up seeking justice, and eventually the crooked judge ruled in her favor so that she would stop bothering him. Jesus makes a point to instruct the disciples on why they are never to give up and grow discouraged. “If he can be moved to act justly,” the VOICE paraphrase of Luke 18:6-7 reads, “won’t God bring justice for His chosen people when they cry to Him day and night?” When we hold onto God’s Truth, He will redefine the discouraging moments of motherhood.
“The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
The reign of King Asa, as the author of this verse records, starts out incredibly encouraging, but comes crashing down as the result of a foolish choice. Disobedient behavior carries consequences. The curse of human sin that we live under, and the inevitable reality of imperfection can cause a slip of character to taint an entire sea of obedience and good intentions.
Jesus crushed the assured punishment of the death that sin requires on the cross, but our free will to choose wrongly still comes with ramifications. Though it’s encouraging to know that His eyes are always on us when we are fully committed to Him … remember, His eyes are always on us! Maybe a healthy fear of God is what we need sometimes, to button up whatever we’re bout to let fly.
4. Dealing with Doubt
“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
“Word” is often translated form the original Hebrew to mean “promise.” When we read this verse in that light, we can crush all doubt that our efforts to follow Christ have ever been in vain. Though we trip and fall along the road of motherhood, we can trust that God will never give up on us. He loves us for who we are, right now. He loves our kids in that way, too. Fickle feelings do not have the power to rule our hearts or lives when we submit them to God. Feelings will pass away, but He never will.
Psalm 119:11 reminds us that our God is bigger than any clash of mother/daughter hormones that life can throw at us. We can fight fickle feelings by holding His promises close to our hearts, and praying them over the lives of our children.
5. Be Strong.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
Motherhood pulls at us from all angles. God assures us that He will grow us in holiness until the day He calls us home. Taking this truth into consideration, we are simultaneously trying to raise children that are in the beginnings of their own process of growth. There is so much shifting going on in each soul of the household, that an inevitable crash of personalities is going to surface from time to time.
The thief is always looking to stir things up, but the Prince of Peace has already defeated Him. He is steady and constant, and always with us. When we walk with Him, our fickle feelings will fade into the faithful arms of our Shepards. Even when we fail, He is there to forgive us and help us continue on. We are weak, but in the strong arms of the Shepherd, we are strong.
Praise You for the lessons that we learn from motherhood, and thank you for the opportunity to come to You for the strength we need to fight our fickle feelings. Thank You for being the rock on which we stand, and forgive us for the times we fail and falter in disobedience. Help us walk through our consequences, and grow in holiness each day we are blessed with on this earth. Bless our children to hear Your voice louder than all others, especially our fickle-momented ones.
In Jesus’ Name,
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock
Meg encourages others to seek Him first through her life as a stay-at-home mom, career as a freelance writer, teaching Emoti-moms Weekly Bible Study, and leading the kids worship teams at her local church. She resides in a small, Northern lake town with her husband of ten years, two daughters, and their Golden-doodle. Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, http://sunnyand80.org