The other day, on my weekly trip to Costco, I was going about my business, pondering important life questions like “Where’d they move the yogurt?” and “Should I order one pizza or two?” You know, the big ones.
Suddenly my important thoughts were interrupted. While I was mid-debate, I had an epiphany. There is something about perusing the aisles of Costco that causes me to reflect on my precious children. Perhaps it’s triggered when I grab 3 boxes of my boys’ favorite cereal. Or more twirly dresses for my girls. Whatever the reason, my thoughts turned from food to heartache.
I have ruined my children’s lives. Forever.
The heart of my daughter is broken today, and I did it.
My son is struggling… and in my parental power-trip, I didn’t listen to his thoughtful insight.
The kids are in a habit of yelling disrespectfully at each other instead of being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
(Again, that one can be pinned on me.)
So there I was, grabbing yet another rotisserie chicken, feeling the weight of my “mom failures” on my shoulders.
If you have had a child address you as “Mom” at any time in your life, you know what I’m talking about.
It’s that thing that hits your heart after your kid walks out the door to school and you left on a bad note (read: YELLING at them to leave and slamming the door rather than kissing their head and waving while they get on the bus).
It’s that twinge of *UGH* that floods your conscience when you realize you actually said what you were thinking about them OUT LOUD instead of keeping it tucked deep inside where no one could ever see or hear those atrocious, frustrated feelings that come with raising little people.
Please tell me you know what I’m talking about.
I love my children fiercely and will go all “mama bear” on anyone who messes with them.
But I am also human (read: BROKEN and imperfect). I have human feelings, human reactions and human baggage that I unintentionally drag with me everywhere that permeates throughout how I do life, whether I mean for it to or not.
My humanity is revealed to me often through my offspring, who peel me raw with THEIR humanity. They complain. They fight. They disobey. They YELL (I don’t know where they learned that). They defy. They can be lazy. They talk over one another. They’re MESSY, literally and metaphorically.
So when my humans act just like me (because I am ALL of those things), I don’t respond well all the time. And as a result, I feel GUILTY.
Maybe you feel the same way.
But guess what. Guilt? It is not a burden we have to carry.
We can be sad that we’ve messed up.
It’s okay, even good to be SAD when we get it all wrong; to feel remorse for what we did or did not do.
It is when we feel those things deeply, that we’re motivated to do things differently.
“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Don’t confuse guilt with sadness.
Guilt is tied to judgment; to condemnation. For some it is temporary and others it is constant.
But it doesn’t need to be.
If you love Jesus, you are no longer condemned for your wrongdoings. You have been declared guiltless!!! Your screw-ups aren’t the end!
The Bible says “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
Jesus, the Son of God, who is fully God and also fully man (see: Desiring God for further information), perfect in all aspects, TOOK OUR PLACE. He took our guilt. He took our shame. He took our sin and every. last. piece. of our ugly… and put it on Himself. Then He died, taking all of it with Him to the grave.
Then He left it behind. He left the grave and ROSE from the dead, being fully alive again! And in doing so, He stands before God, pure and spotless, perfectly Holy, with us and says, “I took her guilt. I took her shame. I took that mistake (yes, THAT one) with Me when I died and I left it behind. She is now innocent.”
And God agrees.
Do you hear that in your heart, friend?
With Jesus, there is no longer any guilt or shame.
With Jesus, we move FORWARD, no longer being dragged down by our pasts or our mistakes.
With Jesus, “we know that in ALL THINGS God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28)
That means that the mistakes we’ve made with our kids? He can turn them into something good. Something beautiful, in fact.
We are also told that His mercy is new every morning:
“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
With every sunrise comes a fresh start.
Can I get an “Amen!”?
Yes. I make mistakes. Yes, my children are often the unfortunate “benefactors” of those mistakes. But because of them they also get to see WHY we as broken, sinful humans need Jesus. They get to see Mom ask forgiveness. They get to see repentance in action. They get to see and also demonstrate grace, the bestowing of kind favor on someone who doesn’t deserve it.
They are learning and demonstrating LOVE because of this.
So, friends, the next time Mom Guilt creeps in and tries to take you captive, REMEMBER JESUS, who, while we were still sinners, died for us (Romans 5:8), that we may be set free.
Mom guilt comes at us all of the time, but friend, we don’t have to hang on to it.