Dear Mom: You Are Not Enough
In my internet wanderings I have seen a theme pop up occasionally on various mom blogs and websites that says the following:
“You are enough.”
While that may sound pretty, I had to ask myself if that was really true.
I'm not trying to pour cold water on what others are meaning as an encouragement to weary moms. Not at all.
However, I want to offer some encouragement that is based on Biblical truth rather than on a feel-good quote.
You see, the phrase “You are enough” sends the message that in spite of your failures and shortcomings, all your kids need is you. In the end, as long as you're doing the best you can, you're doing just fine.
But holding to the belief that “you are enough” will only bring greater discouragement when all is said and done.
What mom can really bring herself to believe these statements? “It's okay if I lose my patience with my kids. I'm doing my best so I can't worry about it. I'll try again tomorrow.” “It's okay if I don't use my time wisely. I'll do better tomorrow.” “I did a lousy job of parenting today, but I won't worry about it because my kids love me anyway.”
I don't know about you, but I don't want to spend my life believing that my best (which always ends up in failure) is good enough. Because it's not.
Rather than living life accepting failure as normal and good, mom, you can go through life victorious!
And this victory only comes when you realize that you are not enough!
Apart from Christ, you can do nothing!
You can try over and over and over again, but if you are attempting this endeavor of motherhood (and life in general!) on your own, your will fail miserably every single time.
But according to the precious promises of God, you do not have to accept failure. Through Christ you can live each day victoriously!
Consider these scriptures:
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
I Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
II Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ.
Strength! Fruit-bearing! Victory! Triumph! That's what you find when you realize that you are not enough! Aren't those so much better than mere acceptance of your imperfect self?
Another problem with believing that you are enough is this: what you believe and practice will be picked up by your children.
When you believe that you are enough – that you are all your children need, they will also believe exactly that. When they are hurt or disappointed they will learn that all they need to do is run to mommy and she will make everything better. How tragic for a child to grow up never learning how to run to the only One who can solve their problems!
No matter how much I love my children, there is a place in their life that I can never fill – that I was never meant to fill. That is the honored place that belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ. I want him to be my children's best friend. When my children need somewhere to run when they are hurt or disappointed, I want them to learn to run to Him – not to mom. Will I always be there with my arms open? You better believe it! But mingled with that fierce embrace will be the knowledge that I can't make it better because I am not enough. That is when I go with my child to the throne of Grace and lead him to the One who is enough!
What a precious gift to give your child — the gift of teaching him to put his trust not in an imperfect human, but in a God who will never fail him!
Mom, you are not enough. But you can have a personal relationship with the One who is enough. (If you don't know him, please read this page to find out how you can!)
If you do have a personal relationship with Christ, remember that you can live each day victoriously through His strength! You can teach your children to run to him with every hurt and difficulty. You can end each day without feeling frustrated at your failure.
Because HE is enough.