“God – He clothes me with strength and makes my way perfect.”
When I was a young mom, I never liked reading books or articles that made me feel like a horrible parent. I already felt ill-equipped to fulfill this wonderful role God had given me. I would often beat myself down for every little or big mistake I made. Being a perfectionist by nature, this personal thrashing came pretty easy to me. Instead of writers who confirmed my defeats, I sought authors who would lift my spirits, give me hope for a better day.
The truth: parenting is hard work and you will make mistakes, but we serve a God who overcomes our failings, and His faithfulness can shine through our flaws.
Think of a cracked vase that is glued together. The cracks are never perfectly glued back together. Cracks are left here and there; but if you put a light in the cracked vessel, the brightness of the light will shine through the cracks giving it a beauty all its own.
You are that vase.
You may not be perfect, but you are unique, and with God’s light, you can be exactly what your child needs regardless of your many flaws.
I believe the truth that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). This includes our good and our bad traits – our successes and our mess ups.
I believe that the best gift we can give our children is not perfection; instead, we must clothe ourselves in strength – the kind of strength that overcomes the disappointments we have within ourselves. That strength is far more beautiful than perfection.
When your children see that you can overcome your weaknesses, you teach them that they can overcome theirs.
I love the example of the Proverbs 31 woman. She is not afraid for her household when the snowstorm hits or in our case when the downfall of self-criticism hits. Instead of falling prey to her setbacks, what does she do?
She clothes herself with strength.
She warms herself with the promises of Jesus.
She remembers that He is the One who leads her.
She knows that charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting. These only reveal the outward appearance; they tempt the perfectionist and create pits for her to fall in.
This woman chooses to be beautiful from within. She finds her praise in fearing the Lord.
In other words, she allows her cracks to be His window.
It is in this clothing a mother’s way is perfect.
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.