Michael W. Smith's Testimony Made Me A Loving Mom
“Let all that you do be done in love.” (I Corinthians 16:14)
Recently, I went to an entertainment conference where Michael W. Smith, the Christian music artist, shared about his father. He expressed that his dad was one of the kindest people he had ever known, and it was obvious from the way Smith related anecdotes about their relationship, that he was indeed, the kind of father that any child would dream of having for their own. I squirmed with a bit of envy and a good measure of personal conviction.
I wondered, how might my own children remember me? Remember their childhood? Would they be able to sit on a stage and testify that I was the kindest person they had ever known? Would my love cover my mistakes? I Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love.” That seems like a tall order, doesn’t it? And yet, if God exhorts us to do so, then it’s a worthy focus for me and you in our parenting.
In my ministry as an author and advocate for gentle parenting, I hear from moms who feel defeated on a regular basis. The guilt we carry is enough to bury us ten feet deep. Moms are overwhelmed. Stretched too thin. Confused. Bewildered. And too often, we have given up on the belief that things could be better. Many of us simply feel paralyzed. We want to live life to the full as God intended, but we don’t know where to begin. Overwhelmed, we are almost frozen, unable to take a step in the right direction.
As I began to think about the burdens that mom are bearing in relation to I Corinthians 16:14, I realized that recovering our joy in parenting and being a more kind and loving mom, does not mean that we do everything perfectly and know all the answers, all the time. It doesn’t mean stuffing our emotions or pretending that things are a challenge at times. It simply means doing the next right thing--with love as our leader and guide:
- Wash the dishes, with thoughts of love for those we are blessed to feed.
- Help with homework, with the desire to be empathetic and loving toward our children when they struggle.
- Go shopping for shoes with our sons with an attitude of loving sacrifice and a helpful spirit.
- Pay the bills with a trust in God that He will provide, instead of fear or worry.
- Make dinner with a song in our hearts, instead of yelling for the kids to stop arguing in the other room.
- Persevere through the bedtime routine, putting our daughter’s needs before our own for just a little longer, so they will feel cared for and valued.
- Take the time to get to know your teenagers friends, setting aside your reservations with an open mind to see who they really are and why your son or daughter enjoys their company.
The reality of motherhood is that we will need to enter into the challenges and difficulties of parenting on a continual basis, but if we can begin with asking ourselves, “How can I do this next thing with love as my guide?” then we will approach our circumstances, and our children, in a more godly way. We will also experience the blessings that God promises when we love others. God gives us instructions for our own benefit and for the benefit of the people in our lives. We don’t need to be overwhelmed, thinking about every area that needs our attention or each weakness we feel we possess. Taking one moment at a time, and doing our best to yield to God’s love in our lives so that it overflows into all we do, is a simple but profound place to begin.
This small shift in our thinking moves us from immobilized to spiritually energized!
I want my children, like Michael W. Smith, to reflect on their childhood with deep gratitude and affection for me, remembering my loving-kindness. Don’t you? Let’s allow all we do, just for this hour, to be done in love. Before we know it, these hours, moment by moment, create a childhood that leaves a legacy of love.
Share this post: