Do you ever have those moments when you feel like you’ve totally blown it as a mom? Or that no matter how much you do, or how much you give, it’s never going to be enough?
Last week I was carrying a heavy case of mommy guilt; feeling like I must be the worst mother in the world for snapping at my children, and wrestling with the thought that I am just not enough for them.
That day, my mommy guilt was the result of getting overtired and overstressed which led to snapping at my girls, but the origin of mommy guilt varies from “I didn’t feed my kids any ‘healthy’ food today,” to “Maybe I’m not modeling to them/ teaching them enough about Jesus,” and beyond.
And I can already bet that as you mommies are reading this, you have an example of your own guilt rolling around in your mind, don’t you?
As I wrestled with this ill-fitting garb of guilt that I was wearing around, tripping and stumbling over it because it just didn’t fit right, God showed me that we, as God’s holy and chosen people, are called to clothe ourselves in love above all things (Colossians 3:12-14).
My best friend explained it to me this way, and I just love her analogy as we have both been working on losing weight. She said wearing guilt is like wearing your big clothes still after you have lost weight. You don’t belong in those clothes anymore; you belong in your skinny jeans.
God calls us to put on love. If you are walking in mommy guilt today, or any kind of guilt for that matter, here are three verses that will encourage you to trade your garb of guilt for love:
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
This verse is pretty self explanatory. Love covers a multitude of sins. God’s love for us, not only covered our sins, but paid for them. But let that just sink in a bit deeper.
No matter how many times we mess up, our love is still the thing our children are going to remember. I talk about this a lot with my own mom when I struggle with guilt, and she always asks me, “What things stand out the most to you about me as a mom?” Her love is always the answer. Her love is the thing I remember most. Yes, I remember a few times when she lost her temper with us, but her love covers it.
…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ
One morning, with mommy guilt weighing heavy on my heart, I prayed through these verses for my girls. As I prayed for Jesus to make His home in their hearts, the phrase “rooted and established in love” jumped out to me.
The word rooted (root) as a verb is defined as the action of furnishing roots or enabling the development of roots. The word establish implies the laying of a foundation. That’s when it hit me. My love is laying the foundation for my girls to grasp the width, height, and depth of Christ’s love for them, and I will choose not to underestimate my love by wearing guilt on the outside of it. The foundation of love starts here.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds
This is the part where we take off guilt along with comparison and pride, and encourage each other. Mommy guilt is like having wide hips; it comes with the territory of being a mom, we can all relate, but nobody wants to talk about it. You mention it to another mom and more often than not you will get a response like, “Yeah, me too sister, join the club,” but then you are still left feeling alone and discouraged. Girls, we moms have to stick together. The battle is fierce, so let’s stop comparing ourselves to one another, drop the pride as an attempt to make ourselves feel better, and spur a girlfriend on toward love and good deeds.
Girlfriends, let’s face it. Guilt looks as good on us as our maternity jeans look months after we’ve delivered the baby. It’s time to retire it and put on love like a perfect-fitting pair of skinny jeans because, mama, you look good in love!