A Mom’s Report Card

Let’s face it, most of us graduated long ago, but the truth is, we continue with the practice of grading ourselves and our efforts. Moreover, we grade ourselves on a scale of comparison based on the best we see posted by other moms or based on what we see of moms as poised in public settings. Much of our grading is based on our idealizations about other moms; what we assume to be true about them, and consequently what we know is not true about ourselves. Why can’t we cook like this mom? Have we given our children ample opportunities like this family? Are we doing enough to equip them to succeed in the future?

Our grading scale tends to be based on appearances.

Take for example, the mom profile picture I can post of me at my best verses the crazy-train selfies I send to my husband after a full day of mothering and homeschooling our four little people. Exhibit A, B, and C below.

Mom profile picture.

Text to husband a few months ago: I spend three hours of every day feeding our baby.

Text to my husband last week: Just unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher with baby in pouch.

There are of course more unflattering pictures and texts than this, but like I am going to post those!

When I talk with other moms, many of them sigh a breath of relief after I have confessed to my absolute need to repent of yelling at my children, loosing my temper, needing a mommy time out, or …you name it. We have all been there! Or at least I have been there more frequently than I desire.

There are no perfect mamas. There is only a perfect Savior. Yet, we will take the best we see posted or acted out with other moms and beat ourselves up that we are not meeting those standards.

Of course there are biblical mandates for parents. There are a multitude of resources for parents to seek out for better communication with and disciplining of our kids. However, the point I want to make to we mama’s constantly assessing our rank or status as a parent, is that God looks at our heart not our outward appearances. Lest we forget, in anointing the next king of Israel Samuel fell into a similar trap. He was looking for stature, strength, and a handsome appearance in the man that would be chosen to lead. But God had other qualities in mind:

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
~1 Samuel 16:7, NIV

I think we need to look at our heart this Mother’s Day and lay our report cards at the foot of the cross and our gracious Savior. Yes, some days we will accomplish, excel, and be on our game. Some days our children will behave as we have trained them to and hoped they would. But most days are muddled in the middle of planting, sowing, training, and teaching…repenting and trying again. Most harvest awaits a later day or an eternal time. Patience is a process and parenthood is a sanctification like few others I have ever known.  In the meantime mamas, between now and eternity, we need to look not at our outward appearance, our filtered Instagram or Facebook posts, or the mom next door, but look instead where the gaze of God falls–our hearts.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. ~Psalm 24:3-4, NIV

The idol of comparison and appearances will get us nowhere. Likewise, shaming ourselves into thinking we are the only ones struggling to be the mom we want to be, and yet, can’t measure up to, will only make us feel worse. We must look at our heart, examine it, repent where we are in sin and ask the Holy Spirit to help guide us into the women He wants us to be. We must accept the grace God extends and the refining He provides. All our efforts apart from Christ are in vain.

This Mother’s Day, why don’t you and I rip that imaginary report card to shreds and spend some time thanking God for bringing us this far? We aren’t the same person we were last year, we aren’t the best images of ourselves we see on our social media accounts, nor are we what we see at our worst moments. We are image bearers of the Creator God, washed and forgiven in the blood of Jesus, and He looks not at our outward appearances, but at our heart. Our heart has a report card only God can assess and only eternity will reward.

Happy Mother’s Day,


 

 

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