Finding Freedom as a Grace-Based Mom (Part 1 of 2)
Contemplating divorce in a place of despair, if your marriage is there than focus on the family's hopers stored. A marriage intensive experience can help scholarships are available. Call one eight six six eight seven five two nine one five or hope restored dot com. I never thought. I'd be the perfect mother yet. It always seems to surprise me when I'm not maybe you're like me someone who never tries to be perfect, but get sidelined each time. You fall short of some unspoken standard for maybe you absolutely try to achieve perfection. But then feel like a failure each time. You miss the Mark as moms it seems either aiming for perfection that we feel shame. When we miss are. We simply hope for the best in crumble when reality leaves us defeated. Then what? Well, many women can echo those seem thoughts in no matter. How hard you try to be a good mom. It just seems like it's never enough in your bad days outweigh your good ones. If that's been your experience hang on. We've got some great encouragement for you. Coming up on focus on the family, your host is focused president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller. John what a heavy burden it is for moms. I've seen it firsthand. You have as well as husbands wonderful moms and really that that burden that they carried that they're not doing enough the guilt. The shame everything that gets loaded onto a mom because she feels like she's just coming up short in Mant. We want to help you today. Mom, and we're going to talk directly to these areas of your heart that you may not even be expressing to your husband, or maybe not even the Lord we want you to feel empowered as a as a parent as a mom not to be taken down by the enemy of your soul. Who whispers those lie? Is to you that you're just no good. And I think we have some wonderful content for you today. And here's the truth of it. I've experienced it as a parent. There is no formula. There are things you can do to have a better predictable outcome, but it's not guaranteed because guess what God has made these little ones with self determination. They get to decide what they do. And we can struggle. His parents to keep them in the boundaries to get the right response to get the right behavior. And I'm telling you at the end of the day. It's about your relationship with them the love, they feel from you even when they blow it and how that expresses the love of God's heart and wild. Today's conversation is really a primarily for moms. I think Jim there's a lot of good stuff here for dads as well. Some really good core parenting concepts to discuss throughout the conversation. That's absolutely, right. And doesn't let us off the hook. I mean, we're probably more distracted than we should be. Our parenting. We're a little more distant, you know, they'll get over it. They'll clean it up though, wiped it off whatever it might be. That's not too healthy either. I mean, the to really make a great team almond dad, and I feel for the single parent, but there's going to be content for you here as well. And how to do this better? So strap up let's all become better. Parents after today, and we have genie Kenyan here. She's back in the studio with us. She has a great heart for her. If we can call them this fellow moms, and she is right there in the trenches with UCS four boys ranging in age from toddler hood, two teenagers. A janey. Welcome back. It's so good to be here. It's true. I mean, this is such a topic. In you've written a great book. Mom, set free every mom's going. Yes. Yes. Set me free. How I'd relief from the pressure to get it. All right. Well, in in what's great about the way, you've written this in the way, you're expressing it is you lived it. You were that mom that had high expectations things quickly became difficult for you. We want to cover all of that. But in the parenting space, particularly what begin to happen when a plus b that nickel. See I think there's a formula that we believe works, which is good parenting in good kids out. And I joke about how you know going into motherhood. I thought you know, how hard could this be right? A wonderful mom and dad, I have a background in social work. I'd actually done some parenting training before I became a mom. I I read several books did my fair share of highlighting. I was so I went into motherhood going how hard can this be? And then I had children. Then I had kids I had three boys in five years. And I was like this is really really Harf. Lemme ask you to really cemented in the hearts of the moms listening, and for us dads when we say this what is the hard part. I mean, you did it you prepped yourself. You came from a great Christian home. You were sounds like a very good young lady. A teen daughter. You probably did all the right things and our many of the right things. Let's slack. But you probably a good student all those kinds of things. And then you become the mom, and it doesn't quite work that way, what is the hard part. I think the hard part which I discovered several years into parenting is that God doesn't just work through us to grow our children. He works through our children to grow us. Now. Why is that is absolutely right? I've got the biggest grin on my face. Because that is what's happening. That's what's happening. And and parenting is designed to deepen our dependence on God. That's what it does. It deepens our dependence on God in the book, you remind moms about that verse in Second Corinthians twelve about God's grace empower. What exactly do we need when we feel week? I mean what what is it that? We're looking for in that weak moment. What are the king for strength? Obviously. I mean, but the thing is I think is mom's one of the biggest things I hear moms say is. I don't feel like I'm good enough. That is the number one struggle when I speak when I meet friends, I just don't feel like I'm good enough. I'm not measuring up. I'm not good enough for my kids. And what's so interesting about that? Because I really struggle with that too. And I have this isn't something I've mastered him, and I have to keep going back to the good news of the gospel everyday to be reminded of my freedom in Christ. But you know, if you think about what God says, no where do we find God saying, hey, Jeannie? Hey, jim. Hey, john. I'm going to need you to be enough for your kids. He doesn't say that he says my grace is enough. I m enough in my grace is sufficient for you, you know, Paul talks about if we even had a shot at being enough then Christ died for nothing. And so this is really good news that can radically change our parenting. I didn't call us to be enough for our kids, but in that, emotional and spiritual battle that goes on mother's heart and the mother's head described that tug of war though. I mean, the scripture it's so interesting because the scriptures pretty plain he saying, my Grace's sufficient for you. And then we say, no, it's not right. You don't know my life. You don't know. My parenting battles your grace cannot cover this. I mean, that's really what we're saying. Yes. And what's so interesting Paul's response to when Jesus said that was now I can boast about my weaknesses now, you are straight can be magnified in me. But as a mom what I say is no Lord. I don't wanna be week. I want to be strong a lot to be awesome. And so it's a humbling of okay? I don't have to be perfect for my kids. I don't have to be there savior, God called me to be their parent and the opportunity from me is deployed them to Jesus genie. Just depression on that. So that we can have some practical handles for moms listening right now. That's so common. You have petrous. You've got social media. Here's my kids. Six birthday party. Isn't it perfect? I mean, that's what you're trying to project. What does it look like practically speaking to be weak as a parent? What does that look like is it messy or in? What emotionally how do we move to a comfortable miss with that when everybody else around us, including our Christian friends are really the petrous parent there. It's everything perfect. Mike is the quarterback. You know, my daughter plays the flute at three there's this constant competition about how good my kid is. And how well behaved they are. How do you get comfortable, right? How do you get comfortable going? That's nice. And my kids kind of average right now that sounds like you're not doing your job. Now. I love the s that because that's really the whole premise of moms. Set free as we have to know our own freedom in Christ is moms. We have to know who we are Jesus. We have to know the way that he loves us and welcomes us on our worst day as mom, so whether we crush it, and we get it. All right, or whether we've had our worst day as moms, and and we've thrown our own temper tantrum and we used shame instead of grace. And and we've disciplined in anger. We have to know the grace that is available to us as moms. We have to know the way that Jesus welcomes us when we run to him in repent and receive his mercy, and he gives us a fresh start the next day. Jimmy, there's a saying I don't know who to attribute it to. But you can only give what you've received at so speak to that with that mom that's constantly in the shame mode. And I'm not good enough. And I'm terrible. There are a lot of different inputs. Your husband could be doing that. And may have been your upbringing, your own mother and father may have given you that sense that you don't you're not adequate speak to that. Turmoil in the mom's mind, how can she break that cycle of? I'm I'm okay got loves me. Right. You know, what we live in is what we live out. So as a mom when I was living in shame over mistakes of my past which I brought into my marriage with Mike and it overflowed into my parenting and one of the big things for me as I discovered how much shame. I was parenting with and it was because I was still carrying shame from things in my past that I hadn't received God's mercy and forgiveness for because I think my perspective was Jesus took my sin on the cross. But I have to carry my shame. That's how I was living. He paid for my sin, but I have to carry my shame. I have to in some sense pay for it. And Jesus is so clear. No. I I or your sin and your shame. And I really I want you to surrender that to me. I want you to live in freedom from that. I want you to know the depth of my grace for you that he died for us while we were still centers. I want you to receive that. Because it will overflow if you were living in shame as a mom on a here. This all the time. I write a story about it in the book where she says I'm living in shame therefore parent was shame. And then I in it's this vicious cycle than I just feel worse and worse and she wanted to be set free. And it's a sang Lord helped me see myself through your eyes of grace helped me receive that grace in parent with it, which is exactly what we wanna do today. And next time is to give moms hope that they can break that cycle. You've made a list of quote things. I wish I'd known before becoming a mom, unquote. What does that list give us an idea and the list is so much about just how hard mothering can be? And how God really does want to grow us through that mothering that this is really an opportunity for us to deepen our dependence on. God, I think moms need permission to say this is hard. You're talking about it earlier. You know, there's this. We feel like there's this pressure in our society to look like we're put. Pulling it off in really what another mom wants is to sit down with another woman who can say, this is hard, isn't it, and I need Jesus. And I make a lot of mistakes. And I I need a lot of do overs and two in that's not to celebrate our weakness arson, but it's an opportunity for moms to gather together and say his grace really is sufficient for us. And what does that look like in our in our daily parenting? Here's more middle connect with moms listening the way you Ella. Straighted the hide and seek game. It was funny. When I read it, I laughed out loud because it's so practical, what do you do with your kids? And you say, you know, you guys go hide all count to five hundred. And that's the goal being Nicole being I just need. Thirty seconds alone. Takes thirty seconds. Go. Hi, confined, you this afternoon. Really good spot. You know? House haven't used before. But I want to feel like they have permission to say that you know, to recognize that they do not have to be perfect. But it is a pressure. It is there are so many pressures. I mean moms are under so many pressures, and we lift I list those out in the, but because I think we're not even acknowledging a lot of those pressures, and then they stay in the dark, and if we don't bring them into the light and expose them, and then speak God's truth and promises over them. Then they just stay in the dark and shame festers and mom's hearts genie onion is our guest today on focus on the family with Jim daily, and you can get her book mom said free find relief from the pressure to get it. All right. And to see the or download of our conversation our mobile app as well. So you can listen on the go all of that available on the website. Just click the link in the episode notes for this podcast in genie. I like to know what does it look like for me? Not to put my anxieties on my kids, given what you. Said there, right? What? So I think, you know, we talk about how our kids what we model has a profound impact right on our kids are watching us. And so if they are saying us as parents finding our significance in success or failure there watching that. But if they see parents whose significance is in Jesus whose souls are satisfied Jesus, and they see the fruit of freedom in our own lives that also has a profound impact on them. So is a mom if I'm chasing significance. And how long doings mom or how I'm doing is a writer or how even doing as a spouse versus I am who got says, I am I start the day. And I end the day knowing that my identity is firmly anchored in the goodness. And the perfection of Jesus Christ covering me. And I am free to live out of that identity. They see that. And it produces fruit in our lives. The fruit of the Holy Spirit. Jimmy among might be saying boy, this woman sounds like she just has it all together. Perfect. Well, I'm going to put you on spot a little because I know in the book, you you did a great job of being real share a story about a bad day that you had of parenting. But in that case, she made, you know, I was again, I was laughing because the mistakes that you confess that you made that day described that day this will hook so many most there this is the one. The one where you were caught saying unkind things about someone else's gossip, and you were spewing about that my words, not yours. And then you weren't modeling how to love your enemies, and then you yelled at the boys. But there I don't want to continue to incriminate you. Okay. That's ironic when we yell at our kids to stop yelling. And generally were yelling view that don't we? We are. And so I, you know, at the end of that, I said to one of my boys the child, I was with I said, son. I'm really sorry. I'm really sorry about the way. I'd just behaved. I let my sinful nature win. And I got angry. And I'm really sorry. Will you forgive me? And my son said, of course, mom, I forgive you. And and then he said, but mom, I don't think you have a sinful nature. I think you have a loving nature, but it opened up the door to such an awesome conversation. Because in that moment, I was able to remind my son again that I am free to confess my sinful nature because I know I have a sin less savior who has me covered. And so this is the kind of freedom we can give our kids even when we mess up every day. It's to be able to say, I know that Jesus Christ has me covered. And I want you to be able to live in that freedom to and that's not a license to send. Because if you if you really have experienced the grace of God, you know, that it doesn't make you want to break the rules or break God's heart with your sin. It really gratifying. Attuned breeds obedience. Gratitude makes you the grace of God braids his gratitude that really makes you want to live and appreciation for what he's done for you junior. Appreciate that in. It's it's a neat. The way the Lord gave you an opportunity to kind of have some closure. We've had moments where you know, what the kids go to bed angry, and I go to bed angry, and it doesn't rep up. So well, what do we do in those moments? I've had those two days when I've sent them off to school. You know where they've got them off. Exactly. And I may or may not have gone back to the school and taken one child out to get ice cream because I felt so guilty for the way I behaved, but I think it's never too late for grace. And I think that's a really important message for the mom who just went to bed angry and the kids went to bed angry for the moms that I hear from whose kids are twenty or thirty in. They're saying it's too late for me now, and it's never too late for grace. And I tell story in the book about a young woman who was telling me about how she had a pretty tumultuous upbringing. And even though she was raised in a Christian home. It was very complicated, and she and her three siblings in their twenties. One night their parents had everybody over for dinner, and they sat them down. And they basically said we want to repent we want ask for your forgiveness. We're discovering things about God's grace. It. We never understood before we did the best we could do and we raised you under the law. And we wish we had given you more grace and. We're really sorry. And we wanna do better from this day forward, and she talked about being one of the most healing beautiful days in her life, and how that impacted her going forward as a mom showing her how her parents ability and willingness to say, I'm sorry was so healing and really transforming in her life. Will you know, I think temperament plays a part in this in the parenting temperament where you have an often we marry opposite. So you might have this in your relationship with your spouse. But the the point of that is that hundred million dollar question, you know, grace can be made cheap and then expectations are reduced and children will rise to the expectation. But there is kind of that green zone in that balance between grace and truth, and responsibility. And then it begins to get yellow on both sides. If I can describe it visually like that. Like if you have too much legalism you're going to hurt your child in if you have to. Much grace. It will hurt the child as well. So where is that balance found how do you strive to hit that middle ground? That's the healthy green where Jesus wants us to live. I think it's having a an understanding of what grace actually is. Right. So, you know, one time I was disciplined my boys and my son burn said mob. Just give us grace. Please. Every center would say that that is he's really articulating though that common misunderstanding of what Grace's because what he's saying. Is, you know, cut us some slack. You know, just let it go forget happened. And let's move on. And if we understand what grace actually is. Then it really empowers us in our parenting because grace is the unconditional love of God given to us in Jesus Christ. Right. And so if we apply that to our parenting, then the question is how do I weave the unconditional love of God into the way that I established my thority into the way that I disciplined my kids into the way that I train them. So Grayson parenting is not a free pass to do as you, please. Write grace and parenting is every day. I have to ask the question. How do I reflect the father's heart and the way I lead my kids today, and I get that wrong all the time and there's grace for that too. So what I'm hearing you say, I wanna make sure the listeners are hearing this, you know, there is firmness in the boundaries. And those kinds of things there's consequences with kids actions in what they do. But the way you deliver that come let me talk to you about this. This is what I see happening your grades seem far lower than what you're able to achieve. How are we going to work together to overcome that? What can we not defined by your grades? It doesn't change my love for you. But I'm I'm calling you to a higher standard because I know what God has created you to deal what he's at quipped you to be able to do. And so, yeah, it's this very God. Disciplines those he loves he gets us boundaries. For are good. You know to to lead us in the phone. In abundant life. And so again, that's just another opportunity for us to think. Oh, God disciplines those he loves he's given us boundaries to help us flourish. And that's what I wanna do as a mom. But I think we have it's important articulate that to our kids because there's a language of grace. And there's a language of shame run. They're very distinct languages words to help me understand that what did the to sound like. Yeah. So language of grace is I give you batteries because I am for you. And because I love you, or I'm disciplining you out of my love for you. And it's you know, it's it's reflecting the heart of God all the time. We I just said that but how at the Lord discipline those. He loves shame has a language which I've used and I've had to repent of with my boys is how could you do something like that the ghosts of their character? It acquaints what they did with who. They are how many times have to tell you. How can you keep getting this wrong? And so, and I and I've used those words in there. It's a very precise moment with one of my boys. When the Lord convicting me about that in in change, my parenting because my boys were in the backyard fighting, and I went to my oldest son. And I I kind of lifted him up, and I looked at his eyes because he was hurting his little brother. And I said who does something like that? And he looked at me with tears in his eyes. And he said, I guess someone like me so you were defining him. I was defining him in. We've all done making him feel like, you know, worthless. I guess someone like me, and that was an invitation in that moment from Jesus to say, I'm sorry. You know, who else does something like that me, I need Jesus to I sent everyday to and we can go to the cross alongside each other. It's a radical difference. You know that alongside parenting? It's called the broken together approach you need Jesus. I need Jesus genie. We can understand we could be bible smart know, that to be. True. But why will some parents and I'll throw dad's in here as well. Because we're all guilty of this to some degree. Why did we go to that? Well, pretty consistently to shame. What what is it in us? That is creating that need to say, you know, good and you need help. I mean, we don't say it that bluntly. But that's what we're saying. When we say, you know, who would do that. And again, I appreciate your openness. But we're all guilty of it. If we're honest, we've said something like that as a parent, you know, Bobby would never do that. Why did you do it? But wh what's driving that behavior in us as parents to go to the bucket of shame. I think we touched on it a little bit. Which is what we live in is what we live out. I think it's just our constant need for Jesus and refinement and growing in his grace as parents like we're never going to get this. All right. You know, we're going to grow and God's going to continue to shape us. There are kids, but we're going to stumble every day, and it's going to be reminder of our beautiful need for him. But you know, I mean, it's an imitation of you at that way. It really is. Because I think a lot of times we understand growing in our relationship with God is getting better and stronger. Right. That thanked if occasion. But in a lot of ways it's really about growing in our awareness of our need for the Holy Spirit to keep shaping us in molding us into his like in this comes in his likeness. And this is all the way back to the point you made earlier that what has got intend for us as parents in the role of parenting. What do we need to learn? We're right on it. This is the stuff which is to learn his grace, and you're gonna see it in parenting. I mean, if we said it many times God is God of teenagers. I mean, all of us miss. Hey, we do things that displease him. And then hopefully, we're mature enough in him to say, Lord, I blew it. Please help me not to do that. Again, that's the Christian life. But that is the Lord to he's he's got a lot of teenagers these dealing with. Let's in here on a high note, and I wanna come back next time and talk about your tragedy, and how you begin to become more aware through a broken marriage that happened early in in your life. But let's end on the high note speak to the importance of family warmth. Studies have shown this I was really encouraged by this reading the material but say it, why is family warmth. What is it? And why is it so important pal talks about this? It's from filler doctor pal good friend. She's been on the broadcast, and what her research showed and I find this. So encouraging is that family warmth is the number one faith transmitter to our kids. Did she give the adjectives that go with that? What is a household that has? Family warmth. Look like she talks about how it's in our tone. It's in our body language because I can use really sweet words, but I can have a tone. That tells you something different, you know, or a face that says, I'm not buying what I'm saying. And so the invitation because as parents who want to nurture and disciple our child's faith, we get very focused on the things we can do. And that's important, you know, reading God's word together memorizing scripture doing all of those really important things that plant seeds. But the question is are we doing it in an environment that has family warmth? And if somebody listens that goes nowhere, not I want them to be encouraged because here's the thing. It's never too late to change the thermostat in your home to think about how can we change the thermostat? So that our home is a place of warmth. So good genie. This whole discussion. It's got me. And I'm looking forward to tomorrow when we come back and talk about this. Again, you're great book. Mom, set free. Refined relief from the pressure to get it. All right who wouldn't want that resource? Great title. And hopefully, we have helped many moms and some dads glimpse. The light at the end of the tunnel. Kind of looking at the big picture, which we often talk about and for you, the listener, I don't know how much more strongly I could recommend genie's book other than this is one of those resources as apparent you need it, and we all need it and to read it and digest it, and we'd love to send you a copy of that today. And you know, a great way to do that is for gift of any amount. Because it helps us you know, prepare these broadcasts pay for the airtime. Do our our marriage ministry counseling efforts when you purchase the book with a gift of any amount. All the proceeds go to do that. It doesn't go in anybody's pocket. So help us in that way. And we'll say thank you by sending along a copy of genie's book. You'll find great encouragement in it. And so you can donate and get that book mom, set free. We'll have the details in the F. Episode. Behalf of gym daily and the entire team. I'm John Fuller, thanking you for listening to focus on the family inviting me back next time as we hear more from genie. And once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.