Are there days when you need encouragement desperately- but after a phone call with another Mom you don’t feel comforted, maybe you even feel condemned, judged, misunderstood?
Do you feel alone?
How can we love each other more fully in our differences? Because there isn’t just one right way to be a Mom.
We all have different gifts, different strengths. Why do we end up making each other feel bad more often than we effectively encourage and lift each other up?
Even among friends, how can we listen and talk with more grace?
I admit it- I get caught up in the comparing sometimes- and I make judgments about other Moms based on limited information-usually incorrect.
Sometimes, we even assume that a Mom has it all together- and that is not true at all!
And that can alienate us from each other b/c we may end up thinking- she will never understand me b/c she probably never yells at her kids or gets impatient and she probably is a really great cook and keeps a really clean house and….fill in the blank.
We all need to be loved and encouraged right where we are. In our unique places along this journey of life- kids at different ages facing different challenges- with our own unique strengths and struggles- we need to love each other!
Here are some ways we can start extending grace to other Moms today.
- Pray for each other. When a Mom shares a struggle, ask to pray with her about it. First thing, before anything else. Seeking God together can season our conversation and remind us that our help comes from Him.
- Listen- and then ask questions– help her to talk through it- ask for examples of some of the things she is struggling with- it is easy to just go into the routine of taking turns talking about ourselves and our kiddos- try to make a conscious effort to make sure she knows you are listening and that you care.
- Pay attention to the strengths of other Moms– the things they do well with their children- or gifts that you see in their life- and tell them about it- compliment them- give glory to God together for her gifts and that she is using them to glorify Him. Less complimenting about appearance, more complimenting about character.
1 Thessalonians 5:11-18
11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,just as in fact you are doing.
12 Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us,so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
When God convicts us of something and we make changes- sometimes it is easy to forget how it was before we felt the conviction of Christ in that area. We must be kind and patient with other Moms who may still be struggling with sins that God has convicted us about.
Pray for each other, don’t gossip or even have conversations about that area where you see someone else as “deficient.”
It may seem innocent- but that’s how pride sneaks in- and we forget that every good thing in our life comes from God, including those sins we have surrendered to Him (1 Cor. 4:6-7, James 1:16-18).
God has forgiven us and extended grace, therefore we also should extend grace freely to each other. Everything must be done with love- thinking of each other first.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I pray that as we pray, listen, compliment and share with other Moms that we will build each other up- that our conversation will be fruitful and bring a smile to our Savior’s face- b/c He sees our love and devotion to each other- and we are a witness to those around us.