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by Mark Driscoll
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Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Forgiveness for Moms Who Fail
In my 25 years of pastoral ministry, I don’t think I have met a mom, including a mom of a preschooler, who feels like she has done a good enough job.
Most mothers labor under the weight of guilt—of frustrated ideals, imperfect performance, and deficient production. The laundry remains undone, story books unread, and tempers flared . . .
If this is you, the guilt you feel may be distorted guilt. We may wrongly place ourselves under a law we erect: “Good mothers should do X, Y, or Z,” even though X, Y, or Z may go beyond what God’s Word commands. I think of my friend—a good mom by any fair standard—who believed that all good moms should take their kids to the library three times a week. Sometimes those false standards come from outside of us—the ideals of your church or small group, your mother’s model, your mother-in-law’s advice, or the latest book or blog post from your favorite Christian author.
Instead of endless drips of guilt, God bathes believers in Christ with forgiveness.
Sometimes they come from our own perfectionist hearts as we seek to establish and live out our own legalism and self-righteousness (Phil. 3:3–9).
On the other hand, your guilt may be true guilt. You and I certainly fall short of God’s standards every day. We fail to love the Lord our God with everything we’ve got and we fail to love our spouses and children the way we selfishly love ourselves. Whether you are mother of a pair of preschoolers or a dad (like me) with two grown children, the Apostle John reminds us, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. . . . If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8, 10).
God’s Answer for Our Guilt: Christ
What is God’s answer for your guilt? Jesus Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection for all who repent, believe, and follow him. Sandwiched between John’s two convicting verses above is 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” For those who honestly own their sins, God grants free pardon and thorough cleansing.
Daughter, while you may find it hard as mom of a toddler to even get time for a shower, let God’s personal promises of forgiveness spray over you today as you turn toward him in repentance and faith:
- "Your sins are forgiven.” (Mark 2:5)
- “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11–12)
- “Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? . . . He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:18–19)
- “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
- “In love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back.” (Isaiah 38:17)
- “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.” (Isaiah 44:22)
Instead of endless drips of guilt, God bathes believers in Christ with forgiveness. His promises of daily grace cascade upon you like an invigorating waterfall—especially on those days when you don’t feel good enough.
Whether you’re a mom of preschoolers, an empty-nester dad, a single parent, a single adult, or an older teen, how can you turn to Christ to be bathed in his forgiveness?