I went shopping in downtown New York City when my first-born son was pretty tiny. My husband was on a business trip so we went along. I decided to do some shopping to kill time while he was tied up in meetings.
I roamed around some fancy smancy store, I don’t recall the name, I was traveling up the escalator to the third floor when a woman behind me cried, “Aw! Do you have a boy or girl in there? I can’t quite see.”
I turned slightly so she could take a better look. I answered, “A little boy!”
“He’s so precious!” She commented. “Well, good for you to be out and about with him so young. It’s a beautiful day.”
As the escalator reached the top we parted and I immediately took a sharp right. Fortunately, my feet were the one thing that didn’t’ change during my pregnancy so I thought… Hmm? Shoes, I can look and shoes and try some on pretty easily with a baby. Sounds fun!
I no more than hit the carpet area of the shoe department, when a woman asked, “How old is your baby?” I answered her query.
She then gasped, “I cannot believe you have that baby out here amongst all of these people and all the germs! WHAT were you thinking?”
I’ll never forget this day. I received such different views and unsolicited advice was thrown at me in a matter of seconds.
I recently was asked to address an audience of young mammas on the topic of “Boldness in Parenting.” I began with that story. Here is just a taste of what I talked about. I want to share it with you too.
I heard this term “Mom-shaming” recently. The top definitions is: Criticizing or degrading a mother for her parenting choices because they differ from the choices the shamer would make.
It’s a bit like what I encountered in New York City while out shopping. The scrutiny moms feel I’m sure is exacerbated by social media. The comments people leave on “friends” Facebook pages and opinions fly around from all angles all the time. The incessant barrage of thoughts and messages may leave some debilitated.
Here are a few things I suggest:
- Filter what you hear. (Maybe even FAST from social media for a time or season)
- Fix your eyes on Jesus.
- Fulfill what he’s calling you to do.
- Finish the race!
These things you can do because you have the Spirit of God in you.
Parenting requires wisdom and discernment. Trust God for strength while raising children:
- God has given you your children. You are their mother. They are your children. He did not place them in another family for a reason. We may throw a dice, but the LORD determines how they fall. Proverbs 16:33. Nothing with God is random. Your kids are your kids.
- Ask for wisdom from on high. Then dispense what you believe to be the best decision, with the information you have at the time, with a surrendered heart, for the child you shepherd and simply do what you do. Then…leave the results to God.
Joshua 1:8,9 “Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous do not be terrified do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Do not be discouraged do not be terrified? I believe fear is paralyzing people on every side.
BUT Perfect love cast out fear. You are perfectly loved by the Father. Right now, in Jesus name. I want to pause for a moment and ask God the Father to lavish His love on you. Will you receive it?
Father God, thank you for loving these readers. Thank you that you love them with an everlasting unending love. You don’t just love them collectively you love them individually. Allow each one to feel the love of the Father right now. Thank you for each one. Thank you for who they are. Let your perfect love cast out any fear. In Jesus name, amen.
You can be bold. It comes from knowing who you are and whose you are. It’s an identity thing, really.
Your God knows what the future looks like because He is outside of time and He is all-knowing and omnipresent. He is Alpha and Omega the great I Am. He sees you He sees me. He knows the purposes of some plans He has for you and they are good, and only good. He has purposes and plans for your children, those plans are good and only good.
If we believe anything else about His character or about His ways we have partnered with a lie. The lie, in and of itself, has no power but to believe the lie and agree with it empowers the liar.
What does God think about you?
- He thinks you are lovely.
- He knows you’re His masterpiece, He formed you.
- He believes that you are worth dying for and He sent his son Jesus to save you.
- He sees in you what you are becoming, not just who you are now.
- He sees you as righteous because of Jesus Christ if you have accepted Him.
When David saw himself as a shepherd boy, God saw him as a king! When Moses saw himself as a mumbler God saw him as a deliverer. When Rachel Inouye sees herself as a wobbly mama. God sees her as one who has come, in His Spirit, to deliver captives, bring hope, release peace and encourage people all over the world.
You have a circumstance but you must have a stance in that circumstance. Your stance is in Christ. So you can be bold as a Lion!
People all over are watching you. Your children are watching you. I hope that brings you encouragement to be bold. They pay more attention to what you do than what you say. They are watching you. If you cower, if you are not as bold as you can be in who you are, they will not be as bold as they can be and who they are.
But when you break down and pull down any strongholds in your life and move forward in boldness it actually releases your children and others to live in greater freedom. It’s a beautiful thing! You get to partner with God to be a way-maker in your children and other people’s lives.
When it comes to Mom-shaming, no one can make you feel small. You only feel small if you believe a lie about you. The one who is offended and embraces the offense will quickly have a strong hold of being the victim, that thinking will play out in their life.
The fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25
We need to filter what comes at us, even criticism. When criticized do you focus on the criticism or your creator?
The criticism may have an element of truth maybe that’s why it hurts. Bring comments and criticisms to God:
- ask God what to do about it
- change what needs to be changed
- make modifications
- but don’t stay stuck or believe a lie
- continue to move forward and use whatever was spoken or said to make you a better person
- let it sharpen you rather than paralyze you
“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1 The righteous are as bold as a lion because God loves them, they have a savior, their sins are forgiven, their conscience is clear and there is no condemnation.
- I can do this!
- I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
- I make good decisions-in all my ways I acknowledge God and he will make my path straight.
- If I need wisdom I’ll ask God.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
Can you receive the love of the father and allow him to speak and sing over you?
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst he is a mighty warrior he saves. He takes great delight in you he will quiet you with his love he will rejoice over you with singing. This is who God is for you. This Gods makes you brave and bold in Him.
He rejoices over you with singing. He is proud of you. He is with you every moment of the day. He does not expect you to handle things on your own. You can be bold in HIM.
He is with you.. If he commands something than he plans to give you what you need to fulfill the command. Have a not commanded you be strong and courageous do not be terrified do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.! Joshua 1:9. God IS with you wherever you go. I don’t know about you but that makes me bolder.
God gives us this promise. I will never leave you nor forsake you. So when you are:
- in the garden God is with you.
- doing laundry God is with you
- waiting in the carpool line God is with you
- shopping and your kids are hungry and they’re acting like wild monkeys in the store and you wish they would all calm down, God is with you.
“If you are in Christ so are all your circumstances.” This quote is from Graham Cooke. This emboldened me that gave me hope and courage in a time when the enemy wanted me crushed and defeated and discouraged. Reader, God sees you, He knows your circumstances and he loves you.
So, don’t let anything cause you to shrink back. Step forward into the plan that God has for you.
Ephesians 2:8, maybe very familiar to you, For by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not of yourselves it is the gift of God not by works so that no one can boast.
Verse nine goes on to say, for we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. So relax, do not fear the future but step into it with boldness because God has planned things in advance for you.
I pray that as you step forward in whatever you do, you will be bold.
With my God I can advance against a troop. With my God I can scale a wall. Psalm 18:29
I’d love to pray for you:
Father, I release boldness and courage from you! I release the boldness of the Father over these readers. I release the love of the Father over them in order to step into their true calling. In order to take up the mantle of being the people you’ve called them to be. I speak rest over them at night. I speak health over their bodies, I bless their marriages, if they are married and I bless their spheres of influence in Jesus name!
I bless their children to know who they are as they go through life. I pray that the discovery process would be exhilarating and not exhausting. I pray, in the name of Jesus, that you would be the shield around each person and the lifter of their heads.
I pray when they look up they would feel your hand under their chin as you are looking on them with eyes of love. Would you right now, lift up your countenance upon each one and give them your peace. In Jesus name. Amen.
Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Reader with God…You got this! God does not command us to do something that he does not equip us to carry out.
I pray that you will be encouraged with these words and you will be as bold as a lion.