Finding Freedom as a Grace-Based Mom (Part 2 of 2)
Hi, I'm John Ericsson Totta. And I am pro-life no matter if you are disabled and wheelchair like may or a pre-born child with an impairment, people are not better off debt than to say. Build to be pro knife is to believe that life is worth living, whatever limitations so take a stand for life with thousands of pro life citizens. Register for a live from New York on may the fourth all the details at a live from New York dot com. Nowhere. Do we find God's saying? Hey, jeannie. Hey, jim. Hey, john. I'm gonna need you to be enough for your kids. He doesn't say that. He says my grace is enough. I am enough in my grace is sufficient for you. That's Ginny Kenyon. And she knows all too well about the grace that women need God's grace in order to do motherhood wealth. Genie is back with us today on focus on the family. I'm John Fuller, and your host is focused president and author. Jim Daly, John we had a great conversation last time about the pressure. So many mom's face to get everything. Right. And I see this in my own experience with Jean and I'm sure Dana is similar because their moms, right and even bands have this desire to do that. But I think moms bear bigger burden in this regard. And maybe to be that perfect parent and check off all those expectations in. If we do then our children will turn out exactly how God intended everybody. Here's the wakeup call. It doesn't necessarily work that way sometimes it flows that way. But it's no guarantee genie. Kenyan has a great message for moms and dads to and it is this it's about God's grace for us. And for our children in win. We know how much God loves us in delights in us. Then we don't have to work so hard to prove ourselves or earn that grace from the Lord or from anyone else. But it's a tough lesson. It is in. There was so much good practical bible based encouragement from genie last time. Oh, encourage you to get the CD or download of the conversation and her book mom, set free. Find relief from the pressure to get it. All right. Just look for the contact info and details in the show notes. G welcome back to focus. I've got some energy people can hear it in my voice because this topic is so critical. And my heart aches for the moms that have that burden that I gotta be perfect. My kids have to be perfect. And they'd say, no, no, it's not that. But the evidence is the action's kind of show that it is that and that is such a hard burden to carry. It's impossible. It's not about perfection. It's about drawing closer to God. Make that distinction. I think the number one pressure that moms feel this myth that we go into parenting with is that parenting is about God relying on me to get it. All right. That's big. That's what I carried into parent. He's relying on me to get it. All right. He is entrusted these kids to me, and he's relying on me to not mess this up. I think that's the burn that a lot of moms and dads carry. Okay. Let me say that's not all bad is it? I mean is there an element that there is some reliance that you are the parent and there's lots of scriptures at talk about parenting what you should do. So is it all bad? Or a heaviness in that that steals? The joy in the wonder from your parenting because parenting isn't about God relying on me parenting is about me relying on God to get it. All right to be sovereign who he says he is despite all of my mistakes. So yes, we are so significant in our kids lives motherhood is and fatherhood is such a high and beautiful calling. It is a privilege. We are. So significant what we say. And do matters are words can hurt or they can heal. They can build up or they can tear down. But this has changed my life. I am significant but God is sovereign. It's changed. My parenting. Literally, I am significant in my kids lives, but God is sovereign over their lives. He is they're all knowing all powerful father. He is not me. So I can trust him with the kids. He's entrusted to me. And if I can keep going back and remembering that, God is sovereign. He knows what he is doing and I did to partner with him. But I do not have to play his role. Jimmy, I wanna get to where we left off yesterday. This is a hard and tender part of your story, but you were raised in a Christian home. You know, I kinda just kid preachers. Kids a good girl. I could see in you that you try to do everything. Well, even though I'm sure like every human being you had your step your areas, and then that's fine. But you came out of that good Christian family, which was pretty ideal. But then something happened I want if you're willing to talk about that because it ties so closely into. The thoughts of this. How come you were more perfectionist dick in less grace based but speak to your marriage, and what happened raised and the funny thing is my parents are still married? So I I added that pressure which is I have this beautiful model of marriage to follow one that was about forgiveness and and fighting hard for marriage. You know, you stick it out. You may go. Yeah. You don't give up with God all things are possible. But in my early twenties, I found myself in a marriage in which I had no peace entering. And so I take full accountability. You have the gut check in before I had the gun check. But I believed I think is a lot of young twenties. Believe that I can change this. I can make it better. You're love. I was in love or I thought I was in love, and I was going to help him even grow in his relationship with God through the marriage that once we got married, I could change some things it would get better. It's hard not to laugh as I say that because it's mixed with a lot of. Grief. But it was only at the marriage only lasted eleven months, and it was over before it started. And I talk about that in the book a little bit. But the moral of the story really the point of sharing that in the book is that I walked out of that divorce so covered in shame and embarrassment because what I at that point thought was I have utterly let God down. He has no use for my life anymore. I am a divorced early twenties woman. And now my testimony holds no value. What can I do? How can the Lord use me now that I had a broken marriage that we were in marriage counseling every single week for those eleven months in some things. Cannot be saved. And I say that with a lot of sadness because I believe in marriage, and I wanted to be married once and only once and and so that was a very hard hard thing to walk through because the shame was so profound. I was so shattered by that experience and some are going to jump to conclusions. What happened you had biblical grounds for the divorce just to take that out of the, you know, out of the hands of the critics who might say, well, you should've stayed married, but there are certain biblical boundaries there. And and that happened in your case, but speak to the follow on. I mean, you're coming out of this again, this idyllic home, and he fallen to this marriage that doesn't work you're the preacher's daughter. What about that? Shame that you felt at that time. I mean, the the boatloads the truckloads, whatever. However, you wanna define it. What did that feel like if felt hopeless? I mean again, it just felt. Like what how can the Lord use me? Now, he must be so disappointed in me. I felt like in this is so not what I was raised to believe or Todd. It's so not what we read in scripture. But the enemy was relentless with me just covering me in shame. How could you who does something like that? And so I carried that shame with me for years when I ultimately met my husband now, Mike we've been married for fifteen years and just the greatest gift God's ever given me. And then we began to build our family pretty soon after we got married. Three boys. At this time. We have three boys in five years and then had a fourth boy seven years later. But why I tell this story in the book is because the shame. I carried into my marriage with Mike then I carried into my parenting with my kids. And so I was still living out of this place of thinking that I had. To earn back. God's love in favor that I had to make him proud of me again that the righteousness of Jesus Christ that never stopped covering me had always been there and that all along I couldn't see them. But I can see it. Now, the grace that covered me Jesus was saying to me, Jeannie, I loved you then. And I love you now, and I'm not done with you yet. And although your sin grieves me breaks, my heart. I love you. And I welcome you at your worst. I mean scripture says he welcomes us at our worst in our darkest. How long a process was that what was the recovery? Like, I mean, you don't wake up a week after divorce court saying okay God. I got it. How long did that process was about ten years in years mayors that I it was a beautiful unfolding intimate moments? Which is in the word where I started to. It was like he was highlighting passages in scripture for the first time that I'd all along Romans eight one. There is no condemnation for those who were Jesus Christ not a little there is none. And then you go onto one of my favorite versus which is Romans eight thirty eight th through eight thirty nine in the message, paraphrase, writes it so that it says absolutely nothing can get between you and God's love because of the way that Jesus has embraced you. But what I did. And what I think a lot of moms do is. I put a but in that sentence absolutely nothing, but Kim separate you from God's love for me. It was divorce for somebody else. It's addiction or adultery or an abortion or any other thing that we carry that we believe makes us unlovable in unworthy of God's welcome in a faction or so a momma's hearing, you say all these things, and maybe they've gone through something similar, maybe different. But they feel the same way that. You know, God's grace is not sufficient for me because God knows what has happened to me. You don't and it's too big ascend for God to cover. I mean, that's pretty arrogant in some ways to say at that way. If you think about it. But it's true, you know, God through Jesus can cover. Everybody else's big sends, but mine will minor too deep into big speak to that woman right now. In terms of how to grab the first rung of the ladder out of that pit too. So cable. The Lord has you listening now for your ears? I like that open your ears, and though our sin is great. His grace is greater it is so much greater and the invitation is to receive that grace and know that Jesus says you are clean you are free. You are covered in the righteousness of Christ. So one critical thing is they need to be in the word in the lard read the word, especially those scriptures that are talking about God's left Romans eight where it talks about. Absolutely nothing can separate you from the love of God. And then confessed to him those things that you believe have separated, you are separating you and ask him to open the eyes of your heart to see you the way he sees you, which is literally covered in the goodness of his son. So true. It's so hard to believe in accept because it doesn't seem fair we should have to work to get that back. Jimmy. I want to turn. Little bit two specific issues that some might be facing. There's other challenges that mom's face where their children are suffering in some way from rejection in the stake. They made or simply because life is hard. You know, it's not going the way the teenager wants it to go. Maybe they're not as popular as other kids, are whatever it might be you describe a time when one of your boys was suffering from rejection in how that broke your heart. So in this formula of grace and pursuing God in Romans eight twenty eight that all things work for good to those who love the Lord or call buys name. That's a tough way to parent too. Because your children's somewhere will suffer in some way in there is a benefit to suffering so tie that all up for me. Yeah. It is a big one. You know, I think when we think about that passage. God works all things together for good of those who love him and are called according to his purpose and the most beautiful part of that. I think is the next verse which talks about what is the good to which he's calling us, and that is conformity to the likeness of his son. And so if we can if if I can as a mom remember that that the that the hardships in the sufferings that my kids go through that I walk through alongside them that God is using them. He can be trusted to use that to conform them into the likeness of his son. You know, how counter that sounds to our culture, I know women, but it's the quarterback you're on top. It's me versus you. It's a zero sum game. And by the way, I'll pray for you as a Christian, but it's still the same gay. I mean, it's true. We're about being winners in this culture. We have to get on us as parents out. What is our greatest hope for our kids? That's a great question. It is back to what does that great has told? So what was that story where your your son when your sons, we don't need his name, obviously? But what was the suffering? He was going through. And what was your solution? It was parish action meaningful deeply painful, peer rejection, what age twain, okay, and one of the things that came out of that was a change in my prayer life because I kept praying to the Lord Lord, you know, obviously, I'm praying for relief. So where I could be praying Lord uses to, you know, create perseverance because perseverance crates character, but as a mom, I want to see my son relief from his pain. Right. Even though I know everything that scripture teaches me about how God will use that. But I was praying for my son. And I kept saying my son, my son, and I felt the Holy Spirit. Prompt me to start praying for him as your son got he's your son, I can surrender him back to you. So I'm praying for my son. But at the end of the day. Got he belongs to you. And you love him infinitely more than even I do which is hard to fathom but helped me trust you with the child you have entrusted to me because he's your son. So I started to pray for all of my boys that way, particularly in hardship Lord, helping your son in this painful experience or help your son as he struggles within temptation God. Would you help your son equipped him with the power of your word to fight against an attempt ocean? Don't you think Jimmy the lot of moms would despite what you just said want to get in there and fix this. You know, talk to the other parents, and I watch every exalt some this. Yeah. I mean, we're good at problem solving. But we do our best parenting through prayer. We do we do our best though. I'm a problem solver. It's my first Goto to fix fix fix. And thank God. I have a husband who says let's pray. Pray pray. Let's take this to God him for her. And so yes, I'm a problem solver, but we would our kids need for us to be. More than problem. Solvers is prayer warriors are kids need us to be prayer warriors because God can do immeasurable more than we could ever ask her. Imagine is hard as we are going to try, you know, he can blow us away. You know, if I can remember one of the really fun things that came out of writing for this book for me was if I can remember God's sovereignty, and his faithfulness and his goodness. If I can really hold onto that then I stop wanting to write my son story, and I become grateful that God never gave me the pen. Honestly, because I'm trying to write his story as if I really know what's best for him as if I can see the end game. So it's not like something you can hold onto. But honestly, if I can keep remembering God's sovereign. He is faithful he is good. Then it helps me unclench my fist that are trying to control outcomes because that's what I do and I can surrender the outcome to God. Because if surrender I we tend to think of surrenders like giving up, and it's not right like to saying art, I surrender them to you got I give up, but it's not giving up its giving over. So it's this constant handing over of my boys back to God. And saying you write the best stories you've always proven to be trustworthy. And I'm going to choose to trust you, and these things that feel like I sure would like to clench, my fist and control the outcomes. Will I want to get back to that success issue because I think again, our culture inculcates are good Christian thinking if I could put it that way. What what we can learn in suffering in losses pretty much in emphasizes success. And oftentimes, you know, our version of success doesn't line up with God's plan of success. What does success look like to God? And you've hit it. But man, it's hard as a parent to decouple success as four point three Valla. Victorian quarterback of the football team scholarship off or whatever it might be. And of course, goes to bible study every week, and you know, as the leader of the fellowship of Christian athletes club and all those kinds of things. Those are good things not bad things. If you've achieved those things that's good. But it has to always be in context of what God is teaching you are you humble about those things, etc. So when you're looking at success, how do we learn to let go of those expectations the ungodly expectations that we want the outcomes to be you know, that they're all those things not every kid can do that. There's only one spot to be the president of FCA there's only one role here. And how do we manage that as a parent to if our kids are just average if I could say it that way, and to be okay with the fact that God's lifting them up in different ways, not the way the culture would applaud I think to get okay with that? We I have to get okay with that in our own lives. I think that's always so often it comes back to that in parenting. How do I? Define success in my own life. And what do I anchor my worth in? And if we're anchoring our own success in our own value, and our accomplishments, we're going to be putting that same kind of pressure on our kids. And so it's that constant invitation from God to come back and say, I am who got says, I am he created me for a purpose. I'm going to stay in my lane. And I'm gonna watch him. Be glorified in it. Let me ask this as we are nearing the end. I'm thinking of the prodigal child, the the parents that have really struggled, and you're touching on that only God can do that only God can draw somebody to him only. God can knocked the scales. From someone's is if they're living in a way that is not honoring to him in his parents. You know, we feel like failures, I know, gene. And I we had a situation once and I mean, it was my goodness. We have done a horrible job here, and you start self loathing and all the criticism. It happens to everyone of us, and you have to think that through a couple pray about it painful, and it's painful, but I think especially for those parents who have a product child who are really killing themselves because there's all kinds of rationales for that. We didn't spend enough time with him or her. We didn't do the right thing. Things. We didn't apply the right formula. We only would done these things differently. They would've turned out loving God knowing God, what is that balance there? When you start talking about really leaving it and handing it over to God that these children are God's, and you have a twenty something who may be addicted to drugs or is far from the Lord in physical, purity or whatever the situation might be. What do you say God is not finished with that child yet? But I do think this. I think that there is a particular verse that that the enemy does so well and twisting and using to create so much guilt and shame in a Christian parents life and its proverbs twenty two six where talks about train your child up on the way, they should go. And when they are old they will not depart from it. And we've read that verse is a promise rather than a proverb. So if you read that as an if then promise, then you're thinking, it's all on me. And if I do it, all right? They'll turn out. All right. And it's all on me. If I do it all wrong. Long. They'll turn out all wrong because this is an if then promise, but it's not it's a proverb, which is why instruction for us to follow. And so the invitation even in a verse like that is to say that as a proverb and by God's grace. I will do all that I can to lead my children to love him and know him. But again, it goes at the end of it. It goes back to saying if we understand that though, we are significant we are not sovereign. We are freed up to say Lord I matter in my child's life. I matter what I do really matters. But I am going to trust you with the kids you have entrusted to me. I really want parents able to read that verse in find freedom in it because it's wise instruction. But at the end of the day, there is only one who will not fail our kids, and it's not me in gym. It's not you, and John it's not you. There's only one who has never and will never fail them. And that's Jesus in we are free to confess that. And that doesn't make us failures. It makes us people who know the extravagance of. God's grace and can parent our children with more of a lightness and more of a joy in more of a wonder wonder is this hopeful expectation of what God's going to do next will love that genie. Because I think as parents we failed to see the long view. I mean, I think with that proverb is alluding to is the fact that a person in their teen years and in their twenties doesn't have a lot of wisdom often. But by the time, they're all they'll have a lot more wisdom, and they'll understand what mom and dad were saying about staying close to God leaning into God, trusting God, I think life in its intention in why the Lord has done. This is that when we are old. We will know God is right in the world. It's wrong in that's the bottom line. And we as parents simply need to keep that conduit open to God's heart. The goddess for you. And I love that. I love. Can you will be faithful to complete it on a day when Christ Jesus returns, right? As parents. We want that heart changed by Friday. Right. We want it. But what we put in. We wanna see immediate change and Paul writes about how God will complete his good work on the day. When Christ Jesus returns, this is a lifelong process, so good genie. And I love the statement from your book mom, set free where you said God's grace taught you that you are a great center, but you also have a greater savior and intern. It's helped you relax as a parent and let joy live loud in your home. I love that description. What does that look like in your family on a daily basis? I think a big part of it is just that metoo mindset that willingness to come alongside our kids and say me too. I know what it's like to struggle. I know what it's like to knee Jesus. And there is a freedom in our house to be honest to take off our masks and let down our guards and talk about the ways in which we our weaknesses the ways in which we need the Lord to keep working in our lives. I do think that when we are clenching our fists in our homes and trying to control outcomes, which I'm really good at we still all the toy. Right. Where does the joy go when we're so focused on control? And I'm learning how connection is such a more beautiful way to parent my kids than control a connection over control mindset. How can I connect with them? How can I make sure they feel seen and heard in a way that opens their hearts up to the conversation row? Rather than just trying to control the way they're going to go through this hardship or through this experience. So well said, and I'm telling you, this is a great resource. If you're a mom that feels shame over your parenting mistakes or maybe unrealistic expectations for yourself or your children striving to control as genie's talking about. Maybe all that creating about your child's faith in future. I mean, this is the resource for you. I so appreciate Jeannie you being diligent and faithful to the Lord to write this down. And it it takes boldness because you're exposing your weaknesses in here. Just like the scripture says, you know, you become low. So that people will lift me up, and you have done a wonderful job lifting up the Lord and his principles and his approach to us as centers, both moms and dads there. But plenty of both in this book. I it's written for moms. But we're in there too. And I want to encourage you to get a cop. Of genius book through focus on the family mom, set free. I mean is there a better deal than this one and just support focus with the gift of any amount? If you can't afford it. We will get it to you someone will cover the cost of that. So we don't want that to be an impediment to you being a better mother just get in touch with us, and we will get this great resource in your hands. And our number is eight hundred the letter A in the word family, eight hundred two three to six four or five nine or to donate and get genie's book. Just look for the link in the episode notes for this podcast genie. Again, thank you for being with us. Thank you for your love of the Lord, and I can tell you or doing a great job being a mom. And again the link is in your episode notes for this podcast or call eight hundred the letter A and the word family. Well, coming up next time on this broadcast. Ken Davis takes a humorous look at why the bible compares us to sheep. Each other. There's still one cheap. That's something. The rest of them. Do it. They crowd into a corner. Pretty soon. They'll buy from supplication all get in the crowd. It's a party. Let's join they're just right there. We're not like that. On behalf of gym daily and the rest of the team here. Thanks for listening today to focus on the family. Join us again as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.