|"And he said to them, “It is enough.”|
Spring break has come and gone for my four children and I.
There was the trip to the beach; and the day that we had to stay home because I woke up in pain and sat in a chair all day while they watched copious amounts of t.v., fought over computer games and indulged in Easter candy from breakfast on.
There was a day spent hanging out with best friends; and there was the cat fight between my girls that I joined in on instead of correcting them in a calm and mature manner.
There was the date I had with my boys at Chuck E Cheese; and then there was our outing to the mall in which I spent the entire time complaining about the hoards of people, heavy rains and distance in which we had to walk to find food. Good times...
As I look back on the week it's tempting for me to think of it in terms of successes and failures instead of what it was...a week off of school.
And while our week was what it was, one question has been swirling around in my head. Am I really enough? Was this week really good enough? Am I really what my children need?
I long to be praised for being a good mom, don't you? When I've done well I am ready to step up and accept that "Mom of the Year" award that I have been striving for the past 12 years, yet somehow in all of my efforts I have yet to win it. This causes me to think that there must be other moms out there who are receiving it instead of me.
Let me tell you a secret, there is no award! Gasp! Really? I'm sure this is not a shock yet I'm sure you would say that deep in the recesses of your heart you are a bit disappointed. What are we all working so hard for anyway?
Here's the thing, we long to be told that we are good moms. We long to approve of ourselves and to have others approve of us. But the fact is that we can't be good enough. Only Christ was and still is. It is only by His perfect obedience that we are called good because we were given His righteousness in exchange for our vileness.
It is only in Christ that we can approach a Holy God, one who would otherwise turn away from us because we yelled at our kids before we even got out of bed this morning.
Because of Christ we can boldly approach the throne of Grace instead of running and hiding in shame when we join in the cat fight with our girls.
Without Christ we have nothing to praise and adore but ourselves. Leading only to one of two things, pride or despair.
We are not enough for our children. Our best efforts are not enough and never will be. We actually aren't what our children need. They need so much more.
Christ is the only one who has kept the law completely and His efforts were enough and remain enough. He is the only one that can fully satisfy our children's needs.
So when we are feeling like a bad mom and that we aren't good enough it's not time for a little self-esteem pep-talk so that we can approve of our efforts or condole ourselves for the lack there of. It's time to speak the truth.
You CAN agree that you are indeed a bad mom. Go ahead, try it. Admit that yes, you do fall short of every expectation laid upon you. But don't leave it there or you will only end up trying harder and failing again. Give yourself the gospel, give your mom friends the gospel, give your children the gospel. We needed Christ to be good enough for us.
Telling ourselves or others that we are enough only turns us back on ourselves. It brings rest for the moment but not the true rest that knowing that our risen Savior has given us His record of being enough through the work on the cross.
It's not a "Mom of the Year" that my children need. They need a Savior that rules for all eternity. He is the only one that can meet my every need and the only one that can meet theirs.
And with that we can find true rest and joy.