How Knowing Your Personality Type Can Make You a Better Mom
If you would have told me 18 years ago, while anticipating the birth of my firstborn, that knowing my personality type would make me into a better mom, I wouldn’t have believed you.
I thought motherhood was about loving my little ones into adulthood and caring for their needs until they are able to do so for themselves.
It is, isn’t it? Well, yes, but have you ever thought about the ways that loving and caring for others is so subjective. We love how we’ve been taught to love and serve how we’ve been taught to serve, for better or worse. Chances are high that most of us need to experience a healing from the Lord (maybe with the help of a counselor) in order to mother from a full and healthy heart.
Most of us need to learn how to be our “own kind of mom” in light of our God-given wiring.
While it’s awesome to be influenced by mentor moms God may place in our lives, the reality is our wiring may not line up with the example we’re trying to follow.
What if we invited God to show us how to step into motherhood according to His design?
When my oldest daughter was about eight, I did my first personality profile. It took three tries before I actually pinpointed my personality type because my answers were masked by the strong influences that had been upon me. Yes, that can happen. It was so freeing to discover that there was a “true me” underneath all that I was doing to try to please everyone else. I also took my first spiritual gifts, learning style, and love language assessments (I recommend these). Together, along with the personality assessment, they painted a whole picture of my God-given wiring.
My observation ability enables me to connect quickly with others and see their pain, but it also makes a messy room a point of insane irritation.
My discernment ability is a beautiful match with my teaching gift, but also makes me worry for my kids and fall into lecture mode.
Acts of service is the way to my heart, with words and time a close second, but my brood feels love through touch and gifts.
Maybe you’re thinking “so what?”
Well actually, the more I learned about myself, the more I understood my family’s needs and how to love them better.
Rather than putting “my way” upon my family, I looked for ways to give room for their uniqueness to thrive alongside mine. Is this something that could benefit your family too?
The problem with the latest obsessions with personality assessments, like the Enneagram, isn’t the assessment itself, but the application of the results.
If we use assessments to put ourselves in a box, we’ve missed the benefit.
Instead, we need to use them to consider how to fulfill God’s call to live in peace with everyone (Hebrews 12:14 NIV).
For example, in our family, we use the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) for understanding our wiring (as well as discovering the best college and career match, since the HAB is linked to a database). The HAB uses unique descriptors like “Classification” and “Concept Organization” to describe how we process information and ideas. A High Classification (HC) person can see a problem instantly and solve it quickly — like a great ER doctor. A High Concept Organization (HCO) person tells a story with every detail from beginning to end. Well, when an HC and HCO try to have a conversation, there is almost always frustration. But through recognizing this challenge, the HC’s can count to 10 before offering their thoughts and the HCO’s can learn how to tell the end of the story first. That kind of communication shift greatly improves the one-on-one relationship and the whole family dynamic.
Assessments don’t replace the Word of God as our source of truth, but can give us insight into our weaknesses and limitations, issues and isms.
With that fresh perspective, we can ask God to show us how to strengthen us by His power and fill the gaps with His grace as we pursue mothering better for His glory.
What benefits might you uncover through exploring your personality type, along with other gifts, in a mission to mother better?
I’m praying for you as you seek God on purpose!
Becoming More with You,
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