Recently I saw a quote on Facebook that said “Cheerful mothers who love Jesus make Jesus attractive to their children. Grumpy mothers who love Jesus make Jesus unattractive to their children.”
Let me just tell you, dear reader, that this quote really bothers me. It frustrates me and even angers me. As my children tease me for saying… it really frosts me.
On the one hand, there’s some truth there. A mom who is always talking about Jesus but then spends all day every day grumping out does not really demonstrate the joy of the Lord. We have to be honest… not only is unrepentant grumpiness and irritability a sin, but God’s Word says that the world (including our children) will know we are His disciples by our love for each other and because of the joy that lives in us.
The quote doesn’t bother me because there’s no truth in it. The problem I see is that it’s a woefully (even dangerously) incomplete truth, as memes and quotes often are by nature.
It too easily thrusts heaps of guilt and shame on moms. The moms who aren’t naturally bubbly. The ones who are sincerely wrestling with the sin of constant irritability. Or the moms who are struggling, exhausted, confused, frazzled, and just want to do better. I’m just going to raise my hand here. I’ve struggled with all these things, and while I’ve made much progress by the Lord’s grace, He’s still working on me.
Of course, I don’t know who said or posted the quote and that doesn’t really matter anyway. Perhaps it was taken out of context, and either way I’m sure the intention was conviction rather than guilt. I know I’ve shared things without realizing how they might be read!
However, we can still do our best to make sure that when we share things on social media or make casual comments in conversation with fellow moms, our messages build others up rather than tear them down. Especially those hard but necessary lessons where we mamas need a nudge in the right direction.
Speak truth in love, friends. That goes for how we speak to ourselves, too.
Important Truths for Imperfect Moms
Here’s more truth to hold on to, dear fellow imperfect mamas:
- Mothers who model true confession, repentance, and forgiveness make Jesus attractive to their children.
- Mothers who don’t hide their shortcomings but instead submit to the Lord and seek transformation in Him make Jesus attractive to their children.
- Mothers who preach the gospel of Jesus Christ who came to save sinners make Jesus attractive to their children.
- Mothers who don’t demand cheerfulness at all times but instead show grace and point to Jesus in all circumstances… they make Jesus attractive to their children.
- Moms who realize they need the JOY of the Lord and take steps toward growing in that fruit of the Spirit make Jesus attractive to their children.
What really makes Jesus attractive to children — or anybody, for that matter — is the Holy Spirit, who draws them to the Lord and brings them to repentance. It’s the free gift of salvation in Christ alone.
Being saved and loving Jesus doesn’t make us perfect moms — it makes us worship a perfect Savior who loves, redeems, teaches, guides… and does an ongoing sanctifying work in our hearts that is only complete on that day when we stand before Him.
Goodness. Our Savior is beautiful.
Joy of the Lord for Moms
The joy of Lord is a deep and unshakable joy in spite of our circumstances. The more we know God and spend time with Him, the more we are transformed by the Holy Spirit. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, after all, and not something we just drum up on our own effort.
And, yes, the more joy we demonstrate in our lives, the more our children will be attracted to Christ in us and to the promise of salvation in Him. So, keep preaching the gospel, dear moms, even if you don’t quite have it all together. Keep showing your kids what it looks like to confess, repent, and walk with Jesus. And keep pursuing the joy of the Lord.
30 Days of Praying for Joy (Read Pray Love)
I know I need more of the joy of the Lord in my life, especially in my mothering. Will you join me and pray for joy?
Our 2021 Read, Pray, Love Scripture and prayer challenge in the Proverbial Homemaker community is kicking off with 30 days of prayer for JOY! Here’s what the joy printable pack includes (in ESV and KJV):
- Scripture calendar – 30 verses to read in your Bible, pray through, and write out if desired. I like using these these spiral notecard packs to write the verse and my prayer each day. A main memory verse is highlighted. There’s also a spot for you to record prayer requests you’re praying for and a place to jot down practical actions the Scripture inspires you to do this month to love God and others.
- Kid’s journal page – Your kids can use this page to create a drawing based on the memory verse. There are also places for them to write down things they can thank God for, ways they can love others this month, and things they are praying for. I recommend posting it on the wall or fridge and helping them come back to it a few times during the month.
- Coloring page – This year we’re doing a custom-illustrated Scripture doodle coloring page each month for you and your kids!
(I’ll be updating the main RPL page each month as new 2021 printable packs are published.)
I hope this resource is a blessing to you as we pray for joy together!