Are You A Mommy Hypocrite?

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Do you expect more from your children than you are able to do yourself? How about your behavior? Our words and actions speak volumes to our kiddos, but sometimes, our sin can be what we (and they!) focus in on. Take heart! There is a way to restore integrity if you feel like hypocrisy is taking over your motherhood.

“If you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children…you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?” {Romans 2:19-20}.

I remember feeling very uncomfortable the day I realized I was a Mommy Hypocrite. It took a while to come to this realization. (Self-deception is a powerful thing.) But one day it was so obvious and glaring, even I couldn’t miss it.

It was one of those seasons where we were really working on anger with the kids. One of my kids in particular was struggling with yelling, and hitting, and lashing out when things didn’t go his way. 

Typically I would remove him, wait for him to calm down, and we’d even pray together that God would help him with his anger, to do the right thing when he was upset.

That was how it usually went.

One day I’d had enough, though. My head was full of Other Concerns. My spirit was tense, and - let’s be honest - my schedule was probably too full.

The kids had gotten in yet another angry outburst, probably waking the sleeping baby, and I had had enough.

WE DO NOT YELL AND HIT WHEN WE’RE ANGRY. WE DO NOT. NOW YOU CAN JUST SIT HERE ALL DAY IF YOU WANT. SIT IN THIS CHAIR UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO BE KIND.

And I huffed and stomped off, indignant at these children. THE NERVE OF THEM. I have just HAD ENOUGH!!!!

Maybe I caught a glimpse of myself in the bedroom mirror. Maybe the Lord in his grace held more of a spiritual mirror up to Angry Me.

I do not know. I just know when I saw it, I was so ashamed.

I was doing it - the EXACT SAME THING I was so self-righteously condemning my little ones for. 

How could I expect a five-year-old to control his anger when I, at 35, was failing so pathetically? 

Sisters, it is so, so easy to reign from a position of Authority and Righteousness as a mother. It is not natural to be gentle and self-examining.

But we must!

As I thought it over, I thought of so many areas in which I am prone to weakness, and also (interestingly) to stringent demands on my children - some serious, some even silly.

To paraphrase Paul -

You who demand that your children are honest, are you honest?

You who demand kind words - do you use kind words?

If you tell your children to respect you - do you respect your husband, your pastor?

If you make your children finish their work before play, do you finish your work before zoning out on the computer, or scrolling Instagram?

If you want your kids to be active and healthy, are you active and healthy?

If you want your kids to be readers, are you a reader?

And on and on.

Though it is so easy to become a Mommy Hypocrite, I see two reasons why we must absolutely fight this tendency.

  1. Our kids, eventually, can spot hypocrisy a mile away, and the results will be devastating. If we say one thing, and do another, can you guess which our children will follow?
  2. It’s not primarily our kids we should worry about, but our heavenly Father, to whom we will give account of our words and character. “For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” 

Jessica Smartt

Jessica Smartt used to be a librarian and an English teacher, but now she works much harder just being a mom. You can find her blogging at “Smartter” Each Day where she pokes fun at the everyday challenges of motherhood, shares all her delicious allergy-free recipes, and rejoices that God loves her no matter what phobia she’s recently developed. She is blessed to the moon and back with two energetic little boys and a husband who actually never worries.