There are some friends you make in the blogosphere who are just extra special. One of those I have had the blessing of getting to know is my sweet friend, Angel Penn. She has been a never-ending source of encouragement to me from the time we first became friends, and I am thrilled at the opportunity she has given me to share a guest post on her blog!
We are overwhelmed by her. We are discouraged by her. At one time or another, however, we all try to be her. Who am I talking about?
I’m talking about the mythical “Perfect Mom.”
While deep down we know we can never be perfect, that doesn’t stop us from trying! We strive for perfection on a daily basis. Our hearts are grieved when we believe we are witnessing perfection in another mom, all the while believing ourselves incapable of reaching that coveted “perfection status.”
More than simply being something that exhausts us or depletes us of our joy, this pursuit of “perfect motherhood” is far more harmful than just that. If we know the truths of God’s Word and desire to follow the Lord, we are going to have to let go of the idol of perfection.
5 Ways the “Perfect Mom” Pursuit Negates the Gospel
When viewed through the lens of the Gospel, our striving after “perfect motherhood” comes with many adverse consequences for our parenting.
It results in unnecessary mommy guilt.
One of the biggest issues with our pursuit of perfection is that we are not defining perfection as the Bible does – as holiness, righteousness, set-apart living, etc. Instead, we’re incorporating worldly definitions into our picture of what “perfect motherhood” is. We tend to believe the end goal to not be a mom who teaches her children the truths of God’s Word, but a mom whose life is Pinterest-worthy. We mistakenly believe “perfect” mothering to consist of cooking all-organic meals, throwing elaborate birthday parties, making homemade playdough, crafts, and decorating our homes to the nines for every holiday.
While each of these activities is fun and can be wonderful for aiding us in our mission to provide our children with a memorable, special childhood, they are not God’s standards of what constitutes a good mom. Therefore, they should not make up what we view to be “perfect” mothering while we inadvertently ignore what actually does – mothering which consists of loving our children, serving them, and pointing them to Christ on a daily basis.
It negates the good news of the Gospel.
Despite this never-ending pursuit of perfection, the fact of the matter, sweet mama, is that you are already perfect! You can cease your striving and rest. At the moment of your salvation, God removed your sin from you as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12), and in its place imputed the very righteousness of Christ (see Phillippians 3:9). When God looks at you, He sees Christ. Christ’s perfection is your perfection. You can believe the amazing truth of Romans 8:1 which says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Did you catch that? No condemnation at all!
The problem with our endless pursuit of perfection is that we inadvertently negate the good news of the Gospel. We are essentially telling the watching world that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was insufficient. Our conduct implies that it wasn’t powerful enough, and so we must seek perfection on our own.
This empty pursuit of mothering perfection grieves the Lord’s heart. The Word says His desire that we “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
To read the rest, head on over to Angel’s blog!