"Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 (NIV)
It was another one of those days when I wondered why God ever thought I was capable of being a mother.
I haven't always thought that way. When my children were younger, parenting seemed easier. I nursed their little wounds, played their favorite games, helped with homework and tucked them into bed each night with prayers and goodnight kisses.
But years passed and my sweet little ones started maturing, with their own opinions, hormones, friends, social lives and tempers. My heart broke with each disagreement. Frustration rose with every disrespectful word. My fears elevated, worry became my middle name and at times it seemed every ounce of patience had dripped out of my body.
So on that particular day, when it seemed I could do nothing right, insecurities and doubts flooded my mind.
With a heavy sigh, I slipped away to my room, sunk onto my bed, rested my head in my hands and prayed. I asked God for guidance, understanding and patience (lots of it). I prayed for the strength to continue standing strong in my parenting beliefs, even if they made me unpopular with my children and their friends. I prayed for peace and joy to fill my heart, even when our house didn't seem peaceful or joyful.
But then a confession slipped from my lips: "Lord, I obviously don't know how to be a parent now. I feel painfully inadequate and incapable of doing it right."
Through a quiet whisper to my spirit, the word "confidence" popped into my thoughts. God gently reminded me that depending on my own strength would eventually shake my confidence because deep down, I know my weaknesses.
Despite how hard I tried to be the mom God called me to be, I always fell short in my own eyes. Plus, I allowed difficult situations or comparison to other parents to shake my confidence. I needed to start depending on His strength to find my confidence instead.
Later that day, I searched for scriptures relating to "confidence" and came across today's key verses, which soothed this mama's heart. The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians reassures us that although life can cause us to doubt our capabilities, we can always find strength and confidence by trusting in the Lord.
When we rely on God in everything we do, including raising our children, we can be confident He will equip us for this calling of motherhood.
On those days when we doubt our strength, we can ask God for His strength to persevere.
On those days when we feel like the least-liked person in our homes, we can ask for confidence to stand strong in our beliefs.
On those days when we question whether or not we're cut out to be a parent, we can find assurance knowing God will surely stay beside us during the journey.
Most importantly, on those days when we find ourselves hiding in our bedrooms, we can boldly approach the throne of God, knowing with full confidence He hears our prayers and will give us wisdom to carry out this task of parenting.
That was not the last day I felt inadequate and insecure about my parenting skills. But now when those feelings creep in, I remember to pause and seek holy confidence.
The question we should ask ourselves when doubt creeps in isn't whether we're perfect parents. Instead, we can ask whether our children will look back and be thankful we loved them enough to pray and persevere through the hardest of days.
And that alone will be a rich reward.
Jesus, please strengthen me to persevere through the trying days of parenting children. Let me not waiver, but stand firm in what I know to be right, despite peer pressure from children, friends, other parents or society. Help me remember to be confident by believing You have equipped me to be the parent my children need. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond: Have I allowed the challenges of parenting to cause me to doubt my abilities?
Consider the most difficult struggles weighing on your heart today with respect to raising your children. Pause and talk to God about your feelings. Seek support and confidence in Him.
Power Verses: Jeremiah 17:7, "But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him." (NIV)
1 John 5:14, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." (NIV)
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