I see them often, and I’m sure you have, too — those pretty memes and pictures on Facebook, Pinterest, and all across social media. They’re bent on inspiring and encouraging, lifting you up on those really crappy days when your own screams rival any your little ones have belted.
They tell you it’s okay. You’re doing just fine. You’re a good mom. You’re awesome. You’re enough.
Oh, sure, those make us all warm and fuzzy inside. We smile and sigh, patting ourselves on the back before pouring ourselves a glass of wine. We aren’t as rotten as we act. The internet told us so. Or maybe a well-meaning friend said so.
But underneath that contented yet tired smile we know the truth. Our Old Adam is the one who wants to hear we are good moms. It’s that blasted sinful self that wants the pat on the back, the reassurance that we’re not as bad as we know we are.
That’s not what we need to hear.
Sure, sure, it’s good to know we are not alone in these messes. It’s helpful to see that we aren’t the only ones struggling with our sins and our tempers. It’s comforting to remember that moms have gone through this before — with kids surviving, for the most part — that moms are walking this path with you, and that more moms are following behind you.
But that is also not what we really need to hear.
When we struggle to be good moms, we don’t need to hear we are awesome (we kinda know we aren’t). We need to remember we have Christ crucified for our sins.
When we battle the guilt and shame for our attitudes, we don’t need to hear that we are being too hard on ourselves. We need to hear we have forgiveness in Christ.
When we struggle to see joy in this life of motherhood, we don’t need to hear how we should just try harder to do so. We need to hear of our Lord whose mercy and love surpasses all understanding.
When we fail to love our neighbors and serve them as we should, we don’t need to hear how good and important it is to take care of ourselves and get “me time”. We need to hear of Jesus who served all on the cross and conquered sin, death and the devil.
More than anything else we need to hear that we are sinners, we aren’t actually good, we struggle and fail.
And then we need to hear about Christ crucified, for us and for our littles.