What makes a good mom? If you ask 100 people this question, you’ll probably get 100 different answers.
We often imagine someone who is always patient, available, and bakes cookies from scratch. Someone who never has emotional outbursts or gets irritated with her kids for making messes.
The ideal standard is hard to live up to. And Christian moms face this pressure even more. In our quest to elevate the role of motherhood and encourage one another that it is a worthy calling, we’ve gone to the opposite extreme of equating mothering with sainthood.
I can think of no mother I know who would even remotely qualify for this status. Because we’re all human. We’re imperfect, saved sinners just trying to do our best to raise children for Christ.
The good news is that there is no way to be a perfect mom, but many ways to be a really good one. Here are seven things every good Christian mom does (and none of them involve baking). 😉
Invests in her kids’ spiritual growth
One of our most important and rewarding tasks as a Christian mother is helping our children grow in faith. It is so much more than just taking them to church on Sunday. We play a vital role in our kids’ discipleship because we are uniquely positioned to walk beside them daily in a close, loving relationship!
Reading the Bible consistently with them and teaching them how to apply verses to their everyday lives is paramount to their own walk with Christ. We should also help them establish the spiritual discipline of prayer and Bible study for themselves. Using the Scriptures to correct them and teach their hearts to obey God as you “sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” is key to your children’s spiritual development.
Stays plugged in
The other day, I flipped through a book my son had borrowed from the library. Its first chapter introduced a main character that had several negative traits such as deceitfulness and pride, as well as a plot that contained some dark fantasy elements. After I talked through the themes with him and we read Philippians 4:8 together, he decided to substitute it with a better choice.
As moms, it’s sort of our job to be nosy. It may not make us “cool”, but it will make us a great parent. We need to be aware of what our children are being taught, the kinds of media they’re consuming, and the peers they’re being influenced by. God gave us that “gut instinct” and we should listen to it! We have the power to influence and guide, and we shouldn’t allow culture to replace us.
Sees her failures as opportunities
We often get discouraged at our shortcomings and flaws, believing that we can’t reach our children because these would make us seem hypocritical. The truth is, our failures can still teach our kids, because they reveal our need for the very Savior we’re teaching them about.
They are also a great opportunity to grasp the meaning of “your grace is sufficient”. God can still be glorified, because when we admit we don’t have what it takes on our own to homeschool, or raise obedient children, or manage a home, God shows up mightily and we can give all the credit to Him!
Reaches out to others for help
Being a good mom sometimes means recognizing that we can’t do this mothering gig all by ourselves. The sheer amount of daily tasks is overwhelming, especially with littles. And besides, God created us to be in fellowship for a reason: to bear one another’s burdens, spiritually and literally.
Reaching out to ask a friend or your husband to take some of that stuff off your plate will allow you to decompress and relax a little. When you’re recharged, you’ll be a happier, more focused mom.
Feeds herself with the Word
Whether it’s getting up before the kids in the morning to do your quiet time, or after they go to bed, spending time alone with God is vital to your motherhood lifeline. We can’t pour into our kids day in and day out without being refilled by the Spirit.
A good Christian mom recognizes her utter dependence on God for all the things that mothering requires of her. She knows that a habit of being in God’s Word every day will give her a renewed mind, as well as the fuel she needs to make it throughout the busy hours with her kids.
Uses her children’s behavior to point them to Jesus
One of our biggest responsibilities is pulling out the weeds of bad behavior, and it seems like a never ending task. As soon as you prune a few, others ones grow up right in the same spot. It can become discouraging, and sometimes we end up feeling like failures (see Point #3).
But those behaviors and attitudes are actually excellent ways to point each child to Christ! When they keep disobeying and express in frustration that they can’t be good, we say “Yes exactly! That’s why Jesus came to redeem you by His death on the cross”. In those moments, we can present the Gospel very clearly to our children.
Prays for and with her kids
Finally, a good Christian mom knows that prayer is one of the best parenting tools at her disposal. James 1:5 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”
Prayer brings God’s power and blessing to our kids’ lives, and it can lead them to genuine, godly repentance. It equips us to fight the spiritual battle for their hearts and minds, something the Enemy desperately wants to take over.
We can influence and impact our kids for eternity by kneeling with them and showing by example that since we trust God with our concerns, they should too. When we don’t have all the answers, we can lead them to the One who does!