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A Prayer For The Mom Who Wants To Stop Shaming Her Kids

A Prayer For The Mom Who Wants To Stop Shaming Her Kids

My husband and I settled into our chairs five rows from the stage. Soon thereafter, the curtains rose and the music began.

Every year, our church puts on an epic performance of Jesus’ death and resurrection, complete with a live orchestra and incredibly talented singers. Scene after scene played out before me and in every encounter that Jesus had with people, whether man, woman, or child, the thread that stood out to me was how filled with tenderness the Lord both looked at and spoke to, those who were sinful or suffering.

Loving kindness permeated Jesus’ every interaction and because it wasn’t something they deserved, His forgiveness and restoration was pure grace. 

If your home is anything like mine, there are plenty of times that I struggle to respond to my children with that same loving-kindness. It’s hard to admit, but there have even been plenty of times when I my words or body language shamed them.

How to choose loving-kindness is a high priority to teach our children, but how does it express itself in your heart as a mom? Do you struggle with words that hurt others... including your children? We want to pray for you today.

Not long ago, I made a big mistake. A friend witnessed it. Instead of extending some measure of understanding or empathy, she chose to make sure I knew that I had erred. She even went so far as to make comments that wounded me deeply. Shame was her game and I was an unwitting player. I wasn’t motivated to do better next time. Instead, her words left me discouraged and defeated. 

One of the redeeming factors of that moment with my friend is that God used it to help me become more sympathetic and grace-filled toward my children when they fail. I never want them to feel that kind of mean spirited humiliation. Even in my correction, I want to draw them with loving-kindness, just as Jesus extends toward all of us: 

Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
(Psalm 103:2-5, NIV)

Over the years, as I have talked with and coached moms and dads toward a more gentle parenting approach in their homes, I have learned that many of us struggle to break the cycle of shaming our children. We get caught in the same old verbal vomiting that does not bring life to our children. We say things like this:

“When will you ever learn?”

“Why can’t you just…..?”

“I would never do something like that!”

“Are you really that stupid?”

“I’m so disappointed in you!”

None of these kinds of statements or questions do anybody any good. They shame and discourage our children. They don’t work! This kind of contempt is the opposite of how Jesus speaks to us when we fall short. 

The good news is that if we are feeling convicted as parents, Jesus extends the grace to us that we may not have offered to our kids. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! (Romans 8:1) When I desired to turn from my shaming tendencies with my own children, I began with prayer. I encourage you to do the same. Take a few minutes to pray the following prayer and be open to the Holy Spirit’s transformation:

A Prayer For The Mom Who Wants To Stop Shaming Her Kids

“Dear God, thank You for forgiving me unconditionally. Thank You for loving me even when I am unlovely. I want to be tender and kind to my child just as You are to me. Sometimes, I shame my child and I can see the pain in their eyes. I don’t want to do that anymore. Help, me, Lord, to replace my angry words with ones that breathe life and loving correction so that both I and my child can stand, unashamed, before You. Give me better words to say and wisdom to handle every situation with grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!"

Imagine who our children could become if we gave them the gift of gracious words and actions as we parent them, even when they are at their worst! As I sat watching the triumphal resurrection of Jesus in The Passion Play, my heart was overwhelmed at the sacrifice of Jesus for you and for me. He was grace in human flesh-offering to us what we did not deserve. Because of His death and resurrection, you and I have the opportunity to grow in grace, a small sacrifice of praise that leads to big blessings in our homes. 

Amber

P.S. The Better Mom book is now available for preorder with beautiful bonus printables! Click here to learn more.

At the heart of The Better Mom is the message that Jesus calls us to live not a weary life, but a worthy life. We don’t have to settle for either being apathetic or struggling to be perfect. Both visions of motherhood go too far. Ruth offers a better option. She says, “It’s okay to come as we are, but what we’re called to do and be is far too important to stay there! The way to becoming a better mom starts not with what we are doing, but with who God is inviting us to become."

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