In selecting a major in college, you also have the option of selecting a double major, or a minor. In college, I began as an Elementary Education major with a Spanish minor. In the end, I graduated with a double major in Elementary Education and Spanish. I realized that with a summer spent in language school and another summer spent on campus taking a few classes I would be able to actually change my Spanish minor into a major. I worked really hard to accomplish this.
My constant temptation in parenting is to allow the “minors” to become the “majors”. A single day of a mom is filled with: loving, playing, cooking, cleaning, fixing, hugging, calling, disciplining, laughing, teaching, organizing, mending, and building forts. It is so easy to allow any of those tasks to become the “major” of my parenting.
I often trick myself into believing that parenting can have a “double” or “triple” major. If I just WORK really hard (like I mentioned I did in college) then everything will be just “perfect”. The house will be clean, my boys will develop Godly character, my husband will be encouraged and happy, our turtle will be fed (yes, he accidentally gets neglected somedays), and I would be well rested and refueled. In my few years of parenting, I constantly come back to this false reality.
I was recently challenged to refocus my major as a mom by our pastor, and through this passage in Romans 12:1-2.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2
My “Mom Goal” Components:
Goal 1: First and foremost, I need to make sure that Jesus Christ is first in my life. Not my children, not my husband, and not all those little “minors” I mentioned earlier that my days are filled with. I need my children to sense that their is something else more important than them in my life; my personal relationship with Jesus. As I pursue Him, my children will see my example and that my satisfaction comes from the Lord not them and their performance.
Goal 2: Second, that my parenting would be grace-based and not law-based. I love Tim Kimmel’s book Grace-Based Parenting which introduced my husband and I to this concept a few years ago. Law-based parenting says, that “you have to be perfect, ” and forces parents to live in guilt and bound by the burdens of their failures. Grace-based parenting says, that “I’m not perfect, but God’s grace is sufficient!” Grace-based parenting says that God purposefully chooses to use broken, flawed, hurt, people as parents because in the end HE gets the glory not the parents!
Goal 3: Third, can be found in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” The world around us tells us to strive to raise the smartest, most athletic, most gifted, most beautiful, most community service oriented child we possibly can, and then compare our children to those of others to make ourselves feel better. How about aiming to raise children for the one reason they were created for: to love Jesus the most. If we are going to compete in anything what a great race to enter our children in right!?! Let’s focus on WHO our children will become and not on WHAT they do.
Goal 4: Finally, follow God’s model of parenting. He parents us with truck fulls (yes, I have 2 boys) of both LOVE and GRACE. In order for God to flood us with love and grace, He does so by creating clear boundaries. Just as young children need and long for clear boundaries so do we as parents without realizing it. God pours his love all over us but He also reminds us who is Boss!I thank my pastor for these 4 clear biblical goals for moms and invite you to come along side me as I daily attempt to “transform and renew my mind” as a mom and CHOOSE the right major: putting Jesus first .