I think we’d agree that most mothers want the best for their children.
We may differ in our child-rearing methods, our style of discipline, or the amount of structure in our homes. Yet we all want to see our children grow up safe and healthy, and – especially as Christian moms – with personal integrity, compassion for others, and a love for God.
I rarely know all that’s going on in another mother’s life as I see her struggling with her two-year-old in the grocery store or engaging in a heated debate with her teenager in the parking lot. Yet I can choose to mentally judge her or to offer her grace.
Perhaps judging makes me feel better about myself and my parenting. Yet I know how often I fail to say the right words or set the right example, so it only seems fitting that other moms are in the same boat.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in parenting is that each of my children has a free will. I can teach and train and pray and influence…but ultimately, they may choose to disobey, to make foolish decisions.
Each season of parenting has its unique challenges. Having seen other kids in the junior-high stage my daughter’s about to enter, I know there will be new trials ahead. I remember some of the dumb things I did at that age and am sure my daughter will repeat at least a few of those – or come up with her own!
As we encounter fellow moms in the trenches of motherhood – from sleepless nights with newborns to tantrum-throwing two-year-olds to young adolescents trying to find their place in the world – let’s be patient, forgiving, and understanding.
I have to ask myself, which do I want extended to me – grace or judgement? May I readily show the same to others.