When we feel uncertain about how to handle certain situations, we can to our Father for grace, wisdom, and guidance.
“I just don’t know what to do!”
This exclamation was set on repeat in those early years of my motherhood. It’s something I continue to say as I’m about to launch my oldest into adulthood. Perhaps you’ve said something similar in response to your own struggles of motherhood.
As much as we’d like there to be, there is no rule book for raising children. No manual that prepares us for every situation we encounter. No step-by-step guide for how to raise a child.
This means we often end up standing there with our hands up in the air wondering what to do. Feeling helpless. Insufficient. Ill-equipped.
For Christians, this feeling of helplessness—this realization that we don’t know enough to face the task of motherhood—is not a bad place to be. It’s in that place of weakness where the strength of the Lord is found. It’s where he shows us that he is for us.
When it comes to raising our children, who better to show us how to parent than our Father in heaven? God is our Father. It’s who he is to us. When we came to faith in Christ, we were adopted into God’s family and are now his children. We are his beloved, his heirs. He is our Father and like any father, he parents us. But unlike any other father, our Father parents us perfectly (Heb. 12:5-11).
Have you ever considered the ways your Father in heaven parents you?
He loves you with a perfect love.
He is patient and kind with you.
He provides for all your needs.
He is consistent in his responses toward you.
He teaches, trains, and disciplines you.
When we take time to think through all the ways our Father parents us, it helps shape our own parenting. For when we parent our children the way the Father parents us, we show our children who God is; we introduce them to their Father in heaven.
This means when we face uncertainty in our motherhood, when we feel at a loss as to what to do, we can ask ourselves: How can I show my children the Father in the way I respond in this moment? How can I image the Father to my children in this struggle/ circumstance/ challenge? How can I love them the way the Father loves me?
The answers to these questions may not be easy; they might even be downright hard. But our Father models for us what it looks like to parent in the hard spaces, how to image the great love of God to our children.
And when we are at our wits’ end and throw up our hands in helplessness, we can trust our perfect Father in heaven to be for our children what we can’t be for them. He loves them more than we ever could. He knows better than we what is good for them.
Dear helpless mom, turn to your Father in heaven and seek his help in all your struggles and cares. For you are his beloved child.
Christina Fox is a licensed counselor, retreat speaker, and author of multiple books. Her latest book is Like Our Father: How God Parents Us and Why That Matters for Our Parenting. She and her husband have been married for twenty-five years. They have two teen boys and live in the Atlanta area where she coordinates the counseling ministry at her church.