When you’re in the trenches it’s easy to write off what you feel powerless to stop. From babies, toddlers, kiddos to teens we will find ourselves at many moments of conviction when we roll our eyes at ourselves, write it off as “Mom guilt!” and grab the closest piece of chocolate we can find. I have felt these points of guilt at numerous times in my Motherhood and have been tempted to also cast the feelings aside. Sometimes I have packaged it up as exactly that, Mom guilt, and lock it right up inside that box while tossing aside the key. Moving on, I have better things to think about, like what a good Mom I am.
Oh and I am a good Mom, in fact I’m even a great Mom! But that doesn’t make me exempt from the Holy Spirit’s work in my life. I will never be perfect. God is constantly molding and shaping me for His glory. At this phase in my life, God is using Motherhood to bring about just exactly that, His glory out of my personal mess of a Mom.
I have hit points of Motherhood where just getting through a day without getting angry at my kids was a miracle. Praise God I listened to the conviction churning inside of me instead of writing it all off as Mom guilt and turning my thoughts back to how awesome I am.
We live in a culture that is all about pumping ourselves up with confidence. Don’t let anyone hold you accountable for your actions and especially don’t tell yourself you aren’t anything but amazing every day. Because well, it is such an inconvenience to think about what I need to change that it would be so hard to be awesome! Could it be that we won’t reach that point of amazing until we truly listen to that voice of conviction inside ourselves?
What I have learned is that tuning into that guilt is exactly what will allow me to feel a fulfillment in Motherhood I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
Why Should We Listen To Mom Guilt?
We should pay attention to Mom guilt because often it is true conviction. Sometimes it is something petty like feeling guilty for not taking your kids to the beach all summer. If you tune into those feelings of guilt and think of it as conviction, maybe what you are really feeling is that you should have spent more quality time with your kids that summer.
I’m not talking about guilt over not having enough money to take your kids to the zoo. Or having a clean enough house. Or making time for yourself.
For me it is usually related to anger or frustration I am feeling towards my littles. For example when one of my kids bothering while I am driving, ya know how they will get all silly and loud as soon as you are right in the middle of heavy traffic in a construction zone? Because I need to concentrate on driving and in my efforts to pay attention I will lash out in anger just to get them quiet quickly. After all I need to drive safe. After all why didn’t you listen to me when I told you nice? After all I shouldn’t have to tell you at all. It is so easy to justify my bad behavior in a moment like that and declare a moment of “Mom Guilt!” when the Holy Spirit is trying to get my attention.
If I don’t pay attention to the Holy Spirit then I am missing out on key moments in my development as a daughter of Christ and a Mother to my littles. God calls us to a life in Him where we can find freedom in his sacrifice but also desire to live righteously. Jesus paid a high price for me and has extended me such huge grace that I want to bring glory to His name!
How Can I Keep Conviction From Becoming Condemnation?
The question you have to ask yourself is am I feeling conviction or condemnation over the things I feel guilty about? When it comes to a situation like mine, when I got angry in the car, what I will ask myself is if this has become a habit for me? Is it really only a one time thing or something that is happening often? If it is a one time thing and I am still beating myself up about it than I am probably dealing with a spirit of condemnation. If it is persisting than I am probably looking at conviction and need to accept it as such, pray for God’s strength and challenge myself to do better next time.
And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. John 8:11
Mom Guilt Vs. Conviction
Conviction will persist even while you pray.
Condemnation can be cast aside in prayer.
Conviction offers you a way to go and sin no more.
Condemnation offers no way out and tells you that you will never be better than what you already are which is something pretty bad.
Conviction leads to a life of blessing.
Condemnation leaves you broken.
Conviction leads to peace & fulfillment in Christ.
Condemnation leads to worry.
Conviction leads to courageously living out God’s truth.
Condemnation buries you in shame, covering you away from the world.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
The whole summer I have worked on becoming a more fun Mom, which I have very quickly learned that tuning into my Mom guilt is crucial to me becoming a more fun Mom! Why on earth would my kids want to be around me if I was exonerating myself of the things I do wrong before considering if it is something I should change? The fun Mom thing to do is to begin accepting it, apologizing, resting in God’s grace and doing better next time.
After all, isn’t that what we desire our kids to do?
So should we.
I dare you to rest in God’s conviction and grace dear Mama!
It’s a gift you don’t want to miss.