By Erin Davis
Before baby I was a pretty cool cucumber but motherhood has a strange way of bringing my claws out. Sometimes I want to yell. Sometimes I want to stomp out of the room. Sometimes I want to get all up in their faces. But then I remember that they are two and four. I am the adult and what they see, they will eventually do. No matter how my children behave the Bible doesn’t allow me to sin in my frustration, exhaustion or anger.
Motherhood is not an excuse to lack self-control in any area. This is a lesson perhaps best learned in pregnancy. Consume a few extra calories while pregnant and you will get a healthy baby and manageable post-baby body. Use pregnancy as an excuse to send your man out for midnight ice cream runs and eat nachos for breakfast and you may still get a healthy baby, but you’ll also still be on the treadmill when he hits kindergarten.
Motherhood has a way of making us raw. It hooks those areas where we might lack in self-control or gravitate toward sin. Once hooked, we must depend on God to reel us in and re-direct us toward righteous behavior.
When we lack self-control as moms, it tears down walls of security for our children. If they do not know how mom will react, they won’t feel safe. If we cannot model self- control for them, they won’t be able to demonstrate it themselves. No matter what challenges you face as you mother today, how tired you are or how much you may want to scream and yell God calls you to self-control. If that feels impossible, here is the good news.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” Galatians 5:22-23.
Self-control (along with many other good qualities we need as moms) are evidence of God’s work in us. We don’t have to drum it up or make it happen, it is fruit that God will grow in our lives if we ask.
Action step: Self-Assess
Determine one area of your mothering where you lack self-control. Perhaps it is anger, like me. Maybe it is stress eating or failure to follow through on discipline. Ask God to produce the fruit of self-control in your life in this area.
A Mom’s Prayer: Father, thank you for producing fruit in my life. Teach me how to have self-control as I mother. Show me how my lack of self-control damages the walls of protection and security for my family.
(You need a makeover! No, I’m not referencing your mom wardrobe or the fact that you haven’t had your roots done since before your oldest started kindergarten. I don’t mind those things one bit. I’m talking about a makeover of your heart. Sign up to take our 30-day Mom Makeover Challenge and receive a month’s worth of devotions tailor-made to the demands of motherhood delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up here.)
ERIN DAVIS is the founder of Graffiti Ministries, an organization dedicated to addressing the issues of identity, worth, and true beauty in the lives of young women. She is the author of Beyond Bath Time, which addresses the importance of motherhood as a sacred role. A popular speaker, author and blogger, Erin has addressed women of all ages nationwide and written several books including Beyond Bath Time, Graffiti: Learning to See the Art in Ourselves, True Princess, and The Bare Facts, co-written with Josh McDowell. Her quest for the perfect scoop of ice cream is never ending and her children Eli and Noble are her constant source of entertainment.