Friday, September 3, 2010

An Imperfect Mom

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Romans 7:18-19

I find this is one of my biggest struggles as a mom. I know all the right things to do, for goodness' sake I've taught parenting classes before! I've studied parenting, read countless books, and am a trained group leader. But I still mess up in my parenting, almost daily.

Most certainly, some days are better than others, but at least once a day I lose my temper, don't pay as much attention to my children as they need, or flake out in the area of making sure the simplist of chores are done (like having them brush their hair and teeth before playdates.) I mean to do better. I pray to do better. I commit to do better. But, before I know it, there I am messing up again.

I truly think Paul says it best. "I have the desire to do what is good, but cannot carry it out." And why is that? The reason is found in the previous sentence: "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature." I am sinful. Totally and completely. I can do some good some of the time on my own, but I always fall on my face when I rely on myself. I know to rely on God, but sometimes it seems like too much effort. If I relied on Him for parenting, I'd have to rely on Him for what came out of my mouth, what goes in my mouth, what I do with my time. I don't want to be that accountable, because, quite frankly, my flesh enjoys me giving in to it.

I know that I'll pay for giving in to it, but for the moment, I still make the wrong choice. I know I need to submit to God. I know that He will provide everything I need. I've even prayed about being radically obedient. Now I simply have to make the choice each time a choice comes up to submit instead of going according the the flesh. Then I will have peace and prosperity (the kind that comes as a result from making the right choices.)

"Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Job 22:21

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