I’ve never heard of a mother who doesn’t worry about her children. Some of us are obsessive worriers, others are a little less concerned but all of us worry to some degree. It is just a part of a mother’s job description!
When they are infants we worry if our baby is seriously ill or just has a cold. We agonize whether another doctor’s visit is worth the hassle or not.
We worry if we are using the right method of discipline. Are we too lenient or too strict? And it is harder when our spouse has a different philosophy. We worry if we are pushing a child too much. We worry about safety issues. Should we let him go to a play date when we don’t really know the parents? We worry about diets.
As they get older we wonder if a child is telling the truth. Is he doing something really bad that we don’t know about? We worry about strangers. We worry about the friends they hang out with and in today’s world we worry about their sexual identity. We worry they’ll get hurt in certain sports. We fear their self-image will be harmed if they don’t get chosen for something special. We worry about our school choice and if they’ll get into the “right” college. We worry if they’ll ever get married and we worry about who they might marry.
And we worry that we have ruined our kids in some way.
You can add to this list!
There is a lot to worry about. But the fact is that worrying only makes us miserable, our home stressful, and our kids anxious.
Ok, we know we ought not to worry but instead simply trust in God.
But that’s not so easy is it?
We do try to trust Him with our child but then we begin to worry again which makes us feel guilty because we think we should be able to trust him and we aren’t. It’s an emotional roller coaster-ups and downs but never ending.
So what do we do with our worries?
Four things will help:
1. Remember this is HIS child first. God knows this child better than you do. He formed him in his mother’s womb. (Psalm 139). Read this out loud as a prayer inserting your child’s name in every pronoun.
2. Recognize that God chose our exact children in the exact birth order with the exact personalities not merely so we could raise them but also so that they might be His tools in our lives to grow us up into the women He created us to be. Ask God to reveal to you what He wants you to learn from your child. His lessons are motivated by His perfect love for each of us.
3. Focus on someone else. When and how can I actively care for someone else? Do it this week. When we do something that takes us out of our own world our perspective is restored.
4. Count on the prayers of Jesus for your child. As moms we often feel it’s all up to us. But it isn’t. Jesus Himself is sitting at the right hand of God interceding for us and for our child. (Hebrews 7:25). It is a comfort to mentally picture Jesus talking to our heavenly Father about our child!
And remember: Your ability to ruin your child is not nearly as great as God’s power to redeem him.
“For nothing is impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)
Susan Yates has written 15 books and speaks both nationally and internationally on the subjects of marriage, parenting, and faith issues. Her books include And Then I Had Kids: Encouragement for Mothers of Young Children; And Then I Had Teenagers: Encouragement for Parents of Teens and Preteens; Barbara and Susan’s Guide to the Empty Nest (with friend Barbara Rainey) and Raising Kids with Character That Lasts (With her husband John). Her two new books are Risky Faith, Becoming Brave Enough to Trust the God who is Bigger Than Your World and the One (Devotional) Book.
You can read Susan’s blogs on a variety of topics at susanalexanderyates.com.