Last Thursday was one of those eternally long days studded by failure after failure on my part to be a good mama.
I disciplined in anger.
I scolded impatiently.
I sinned. And I knew it.
That night my four Little Farmers and I all piled on the double bed in the boys’ room. I had brought my Bible and our latest read-aloud, These Happy Golden Years.
My Farmer was working late and I just needed to sit with my children around me for a peaceful end of the evening. (Bedtime has seemed to be an exceptionally challenging time lately for our youngest.)
I opened my Bible to the passage we had tried to memorize back in the fall, Psalm 23 (but I had fallen off track — again — and it had been months since we had reviewed.)
I read until the end and was dialoging with my children about how amazing it is the we can dwell in the Lord’s house and eat at His table even though we are sinners and He is holy. We talked about how sinners can only come near to the Lord because of Jesus.
I began confessing to my children, “And Mama is a sinner. I sinned today against you and against the Lord. I was angry and impatient toward you.”
Just then my eight-year-old Farmer Boy chimed in:
“Yeah, Mama, you have a ton of sin!”
Mmm..hmmm! He noticed?!?
I knew he had, but, somehow, deep down, I was hoping that I wasn’t as bad off as I thought I was!
My mind was churning, my spirit feeling heavily convicted.
(I began to mentally review the day, wondering exactly what I had done that he was thinking of now!)
It was as if he had said, “Cheer up, Mama! You’re worse off than you think.”
I have never tried to hide my sin from my children. We have had deep discussions since they were very young about how mama and daddy sin and how each of them as children sin because we all love sin more than we love God. Yet now, my child was pointing my sin out to me.
“And,” he continued, “we all have a ton of sin.”
“Yes,” I agreed, “we do.”
“What I was meaning,” he said, “is that our sin weighs alot — it weighs a ton. It’s so heavy that we can’t lift it off of ourselves.”
Ah! That’s what he had meant! The bedtime theologian strikes again!
“Yes!” I began again, “Yes! Our sin does weigh a ton!”
“And who can lift that weight of sin from us?”, I queried.
“Jesus!” they answered in chorus (He really is always the answer!)
I have often had to confess my sin to my children and to ask their forgiveness just as I confess to the Lord and ask his forgiveness.
It is humbling indeed to have to look into the eyes of a child you have wounded and ask them to forgive you. One time my five-year-old even prayed during our family time, “Dear Lord, Please help Mama not to sin as much!
In fact, I have often said that I didn’t realize how much of a sinner I was until I became a mother.
I didn’t realize how much of a sinner I was until I became a mother.
I had no idea of the extent of my
until I became a mother.
As mamas we can often live with that dead weight of our sin dragging us to the ground.
We go to bed at night with the gnawing feeling inside that we have failed. Again.
We can be scared… deep down… that someone will finally find out who we really are. [An imposter!]
And, what if our children tattle… on us?!?
But, dear mama, there is weighty grace for your weary soul!
Jesus lifts that weight of sin from us when we come to him! Because of Jesus’s grace we can draw close to the Father without shame or guilt or fear.
As I tell my little ones, the bad news is that we could never, ever, be good enough to be near God. We could try our whole lives to be good enough and we could never make God happy.
Dear Mama, your children don’t need you to be perfect! They need you to point them to a Savior who is perfect!
The good news is that Jesus was good for us! He offers us his perfect goodness so that we can enjoy God forever!
The lyrics from a song we have sung with our church family lately have played in my head of late:
You are stronger
You are stronger
Sin is broken
You have saved me
It is written
Christ is risen
Jesus You are Lord of all
That means that I can go to bed at the end of a Thursday, when I have sinned — a ton — and not despair.
It means that I don’t have to be afraid if someone finds out who I am as a mama when no one else is around.
On my own I am really am that bad. But, who I really am in Jesus is better than I can ever imagine.
Dear Mama, in Jesus there is weighty grace for your weary soul!
May you know true rest and joy this Mother’s Day and always!