Parenting is HARD.
Many days you feel inadequate to raise those energetic boys God has given you. Sometimes you feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of training your boys to be strong, courageous young men. You often feel like your efforts are futile. You may even feel like a fraud.
Sound familiar? I know I have felt like this often. But what do you do on days when parenting just feels overwhelming, when you feel bombarded with lies that you’re just cut out for this job?
What Lies Are You Believing?
Today we’re talking about lies. Lies from the enemy that tell us we’re inadequate. That we’re terrible at this parenting thing, and that we might as well give up.
I believe there are three lies we moms often believe. The Bible is very clear that we have an enemy who wants to destroy our faith and our family. In order to stand firm against the evil one, I want to help you identify a few of those lies, and then we are going to replace those lies with the truth of God’s word.
The three lies are:
Lie #1: You are failing as a mom
You feel overwhelmed by the big emotions and the chaos that goes along with raising boys. You feel like you’re not enough to meet all the needs of your family.
Well guess what? You’re NOT enough to meet all the needs of your boys. Nor do you need to be. Only God is enough to meet the deepest needs and desires of the hearts of our boys. Sometimes we work ourselves to the point of exhaustion, trying to make sure everyone in our family is happy. But it’s not our job to make our kids happy. It’s our job to train our boys to be godly.
And it’s definitely a job we can’t handle. We desperately need God’s grace and strength to do the job well.
So what truth from God’s word can we use to combat the lie that you are a failure?
Psalm 103:13-14 says: “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.”
2 Corinthians 12: 9 says: “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
Psalm 46:1 says: “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”
Lie #2 Your Efforts are Futile
The second lie we believe as moms is that our efforts are futile. We work hard, we teach, we train, we disciple, we discipline… and so many times we see very little difference in the lives of our kids. Our boys still argue when we tell them to pick up their shoes. They still whine when it’s time to mow the yard. They still hit their brothers out of anger. They still scream and stomp when they didn’t get the biggest piece of cake.
And you wonder… will they ever change? Is anything I say to them going into their hearts? Are my efforts useless?
Let me remind you, mama, that parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. You will likely need to teach your kids the same principle over and over again. And they may be adults when they finally get it! But don’t give up and don’t grow weary.
Remember, God is working in our own hearts as well. How many times have you had to learn the lesson of “being patient” or “being content.” Just as God continues to refine us and make us more like himself, so he will also continue to work in the hearts of our children.
And when you see small glimmers of change in your child’s life, evidence of the holy spirit working in their hearts, be sure to celebrate with them!
Galatians 6:9 says: “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
I Corinthians 15:58 says: “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”
And remember that God is working in the lives of your kids too! It’s not all up to you! He has begun a work in their hearts and he will continue to draw them closer to himself.
Philippians 1:6 says: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
If God has begun a good work in the hearts of your boys, he will continue to work in their hearts and draw them closer to him.
Lie #3: You’re a fraud
I think for me, this is the one I struggle with the most. When my kids are struggling with a certain character flaw or sin issue in their lives, I find it easy to blame myself. “If only I were a better mom, he wouldn’t be acting this way.”
We fear the condemnation of others. We fear that people will judge our own character based on the behavior of our children. And you know what? They might judge you! I mean, haven’t you judged that mom at the grocery store whose kid was screaming and throwing a tantrum? I know I’m guilty! You’ve thought: “Why doesn’t that mom get her act together?”
But when it’s YOUR kid throwing a fit and rolling around on the floor in public, it’s so easy to believe the lie that you’re a fraud. How could you call yourself a Christian when your child is acting like that?
Well, I have good news for you. Your value is not determined by the behavior of your children, or by the opinions of others. Your identity and value come from Christ. He knows your heart.
And guess what else. Our kids are accountable to God for their own actions. Yes, we do have a responsibility to train and teach our children, but ultimately they make their own choices. They were born with sin in their hearts that separates them from the righteousness of God. They are in need of the redeeming work of Jesus, just like you and I.
None of us are perfect parents. None of us have it all figured out. Myself included! I don’t ever want you to think that just because I have a podcast about parenting, that I’ve got it all together. Nope. I mess up. A lot. I am walking this journey beside you, mama. I’m right here in the trenches with you. I need God’s grace and strength and wisdom every day.
And you know what, if my kids were perfect little angels, and I was the perfect mom, I’m not sure you’d want to listen to my podcast or read my blog. Because you would say, “Oh, she doesn’t get it. She never has problems with her kids. She doesn’t understand what I’m dealing with.” Haha. Oh, but let me tell you, I DO understand. And I’m here to walk along side you on this journey.
Hebrews 4:15-16 says: “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
Romans 8:1, 33 says: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus….
Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”
Psalm 94:19 says: “When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
How Do We Combat the Lies of the Enemy?
So, what should you do, mama, when you are bombarded with the lies of the enemy, the evil dragon who is out to destroy you?
First, we need to recognize the lie. Second, we need to replace the lie with the truth of God’s word, just like we did in today’s post.
This is how we put on the armor of God. This is how we defend ourselves against the attacks of the evil one. We fight his lies with the truth of God’s word. We take up the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit. We put on the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness. We wear the shoes of the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6)
And above all, we pray. We pray in the spirit on all occasions. We pray for our boys, that God would protect them from evil and that they would grow up to be strong, courageous warriors for the Kingdom of God.
We pray for ourselves, that we would recognize the lies of the evil dragon. We pray for God’s grace and strength and wisdom to raise our boys to follow Christ.
Replace Lies With Truth
This practice of replacing lies with truth is so powerful. It’s an exercise I do on a regular basis. And it’s something we can teach our boys to do as well.
This exercise is actually one of the journal entries in my new devotional book for boys, Rise of the Enemy. The book teaches boys that we are in a spiritual battle and we need to be prepared to fight the attacks of the evil dragon.
Book Launch November 2nd!
Speaking of my book, I have some exciting news for you. You all know that my book funded successfully on Kickstarter back in May. And I am so grateful for all of you who supported the project and ordered a book through my kickstarter campaign.
Well, for those of you who missed out on the campaign, I’m excited to announce that my book will be available for purchase on Amazon on November 2nd, 2023! That’s less than 2 months away!
I would love to invite you to join the launch team for my book.
Join My Launch Team!
You may be wondering: what is a launch team? What all is involved? Basically a launch team is a group of people who are excited about my book and are passionate about training boys to be strong, courageous warriors for God’s Kingdom. You will help me spread the word about my book in whatever way you are able. If you have a blog, or a podcast, or a large mailing list or social media following, or if you have connections with someone who does, I would love for you to join my team!
But even if you’re not interested in being part of the team, you can still support the cause by purchasing a book on November 2nd! Mark your calendars! I will of course be sending out email updates and reminders on the podcast as the date approaches. Sign up for email updates HERE.
Upcoming Episodes on Redeeming the Chaos
Interview with Katie J. Trent—Author of Dishing Up Devotions. We will be talking about how to help our boys navigate relationships. Katie’s new book: Recipes for a Sweet Child: Creative, Bible-based Activities to Help Your Family Thrive released last month. Check it out on Amazon.
Interview with S.D. Smith—Author of the Green Ember Series of books (rabbits with swords!) and we talk about how to train our boys to be dangerous to the darkness.
Interview with Tim Shoemaker—Author of the Very Best Hands On Kinda Dangerous Family Devotions – talk about why dad’s often struggle to be spiritual leaders in the home.
Meaningful Manhood Ceremonies—How to celebrate your son’s journey to manhood
I hope you’ll join me this fall as we continue to raise strong, courageous boys for God’s Kingdom.