Amomplishment: The Most Important Thing We Can Accomplish as Moms
A few weeks ago, my 13-year-old son informed me his “life goal” was to be able to fart on command. I whispered “Oh, Lord help me,” scribbled “Febreze” on my grocery list, and started to seriously question my success as a mother. While you’re sitting at your son’s medical school graduation or the ribbon cutting ceremony for your daughter’s new business, don’t forget to pray for me.
It’s been said that our success as mothers will be determined by how smoothly our role comes to an end. If our children successfully transition to independent adults, we can sit back, sip a latte, and give ourselves a nice, big “Well done!”
A huge part of our job as moms is training kids to be gradually more and more independent. We encourage them to brush their own teeth, tie their own shoes, get their own drink of water. Eventually, they’ll start earning some of their own money and doing their own laundry (oh happy day!). And of course, they need to know how to make wise choices and establish and achieve valuable life goals (we’re working on that one). Responsible parenting is, indeed, teaching kids personal responsibility, self-reliance, and to live well independently from us.
But one thing we can forget to teach as we encourage healthy independence is a necessary dependence on God. Of course we teach them to love Jesus and obey God’s Word, but this isn’t quite the same thing as dependence on God. One can simultaneously love God and seek security elsewhere, rely on their own wisdom, and look for satisfaction in the world.
As we foster gradual independence, the most important thing we can do as moms is teach our kids to depend completely on God in every area of their lives.
Teach them to walk and to walk by faith.
Teach them to talk and to talk unceasingly to God.
As we equip our kids to move out of our houses, we must simultaneously teach them to seek after the house of the Lord, as David did:
“One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple” Psalm 27:4
David reminds us that there is nothing like living in a relationship with God. Only God is “wise and skillful enough to direct our lives” (Tim Keller, The Songs of Jesus).
Only through complete dependence on God can we be completely satisfied.
Only through complete dependence on God will our kids be completely equipped to live independently from us.
We can nurture dependence on God in our children in two ways:
Foster and model dependence on God in your own life:
Charles Spurgeon said, “Train up a child in the way he should go - but be sure to go that way yourself.”
Take some time to reflect on your personal walk with God. In what ways are you depending on yourself or others instead of Him?
Share with your kids how often you rely on God’s help to exercise patience toward difficult people, make hard choices, understand and apply scripture, etc. Be appropriately transparent when you’re struggling and need God’s help to get you through. We can all model dependence on God each and every day!
2. Point them to dependence on God in their lives:
When they are wrestling with tough decisions, point them to prayer. When they are having difficulty with siblings, classmates, teachers or school work point them to the fruit of the Spirit. When they tell you their life goal is to fart on command, point them to seeking God’s goal for their lives.
When our kids no longer need us and can function in the world as independent, responsible adults - that’s a great accomplishment. When they no longer depend on us and depend completely on God - that’s the best amomplishment!
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