Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Gospel Hope for the Imperfect Mom

By: Rebekah Hargraves

Photo Courtesy of  Jordan Whitt

"For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do."
~Romans 7:18-19

"As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.
For he knows what we are made of,
remembering that we are dust."
 ~Psalm 103:13-14

"We know that all things work together  for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose."
 ~Romans 8:28

The moment my first baby was born, I birthed along with her the expectation that I not only would be—but should be!—a perfect mom. You can imagine how quickly that goal fell flat! Soon I was believing that I was the only imperfect mom in the world, and my poor children had been stuck with me. 
If I have learned anything from Paul's lament at the end of Romans 7, it is this: not one of us is perfect. And we never will be! We are certainly made perfect through Christ and imputed with His righteousness, but in our own hearts we still daily battle the sin nature. 
I finally realized an important truth as I was in tears again one day over what a "horrible" mother I was - the Lord never asked me to be a perfect mom. He only ever asked me to point my kids to a Perfect Savior. 
Isn't that freeing? As we travel (and, let's face it - sometimes stumble!) down the path of sanctification, we oftentimes surprise ourselves with just how much we still repeatedly struggle with various sins. The Psalmist assures us in Psalm 103:13-14, however, that our Heavenly Father is not surprised by our struggles. He knows we are but dust, always battling the flesh and its desires. In the midst of this, He loves us with a tender compassion as He seeks to help us in our ongoing transformation of growing ever more into the likeness of Christ day by day.
Our gracious God not only lovingly walks alongside us in this journey, constantly working in our hearts, but He also sovereignly brings so much good from even the biggest sins and mistakes we make as mothers. In fact, it has been on those days when I have lost my temper at my children the worst and then, broken over my sin, gone to them in repentance and together prayed to the Lord, that I have seen my children grasp the truths of the gospel like never before.
It isn't that we choose to go on sinning that grace may abound. Rather, it is that we have a hope to cling to when we do fall again and again. Our Lord is picking us back up with never-ending grace and forgiveness, assuring us again that our children have only one Perfect Parent - our Heavenly Father Himself.

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