Saturday, July 07, 2018

Comparison, Worry, and Fear

[This post is a devotional I wrote for a baby shower. I hope it's an encouragement to you.] 

One of the biggest struggles I faced as a new mom was wanting to do everything exactly right and being certain I'd do everything exactly wrong.

This self-doubt led only to comparison, worry, and fear. I compared myself and my children to what I perceived of others and always found us lacking. I worried that I was too harsh, too lenient, to strict, too lax, and always that I was failing my kids. I feared that others saw just how lacking I was -- I had never even changed a diaper before -- and would judge me and see me as the fraud I thought I was. Worst of all I feared I would ruin my relationship with my kids and husband and theirs with the Lord. 

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." 

My fear was misplaced -- often still is -- but in this parenting role the Lord has tasked me with, I do it best when I look to Him first.He comforts me with his love, not a list of "do this."

Educational Philosopher Charlotte Mason says children are born persons -- they are whole, able-minded, fat souled persons. We know this from the Psalms. But they are immature persons and require guidance, support, and love to reach maturity. Even our Lord grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and with man.

As your new little one is in your arms to love and protect to guard and guide, to feed body and mind -- trust the Lord. Look to Him. As I was writing I kept thinking of the Sara Groves song, Keep Your Eyes on the Prize, which is, of course, Paul enjoining us to not compare but run the race set before us - looking neither to the right nor to the left but straight toward Jesus.

I'm certainly not saying to not ask advice or read books or ask for help from your brothers and sisters, family and friends -- we have been given to you by the Lord. As a community we support and help one another. But I encourage you to be wise: look first and last to Christ the Author and Finisher of our faith. Compare all advice to Him. The Holy Spirit is yours; trust Him when he prods. Cast your cares on Him.

This little child is a blessing -- love him bountifully, show him your faith in deed and word. Jesus came to make you free -- trust Him. Be confident that you are on the rock and He will help you. Trust your husband as he works with and supports you.

Sift through the advice together and look for love; do not be constrained by the "right" or "only" way to raise a child, to educate a child, to discipline a child. Do not be afraid. The Lord is for you. Look to Him.

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