The Gift of Grace

Being a young mom can be overwhelming.

We are faced with so many decisions, little and big, that we have to make for our children.  Suddenly there is pressure. No longer will a decision affect only me, or even my spouse, it will affect a child.

For life. For eternity.

Photo by niXerKG

That thought alone is enough to keep us awake at night. When we add to it the opinions of others coming at us from all directions, our stress level reaches a peak.

One mom feels strongly about homeschooling. Another feels strongly against homeschooling.

One mom feels strongly about eating 100% organic. Another feels strongly that doing that is a misuse of her family’s resources.

One mom feels strongly about using all natural remedies. Another mom feels strongly about using doctors and medicine.

One mom feels strongly about involving her kids in organized sports. Another feels strongly about only allowing free play.

One mom feels strongly about a certain discipline method. Another mom feels strongly against that same method.

What we must remember is that behind the doors (or computer screen) of each home there are many things we don’t know.

  • We don’t know what couple is still working through its own family values and the marital stress it is incurring. Adding an outsider’s very strong opinion to the equation is detrimental.
  • We don’t know what kind of financial stress a family is really under. The issue may not even be eating organic vs. non-organic; the issue might be eating.
  • We don’t know what each family holds as valuable and important. Each home will look different.
  • We don’t know what issues each family is working through from their past. What to keep. What to do differently. What family pressures are on them.
  • We don’t know what physical, emotional, or spiritual struggles each family is under.

Having a strong opinion is not a bad thing. In fact, it is good when a family knows its values and makes decisions for its family based on those values. Feeling strongly about that isn’t wrong. But aside from a couple of foundational truths, there are many, many variables. Those foundational truths can be summed up in the two greatest commandments:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:37,39)


So let’s share. Let’s discuss. Let’s disagree. We have so much to learn from each other. But while we’re sharing, discussing, and disagreeing, let’s not forget the second of those great commandments, “to love our neighbor as ourselves.”

Let’s extend to each other the gift of grace.

This can, of course, be applied to all realms and stages of life, but I am currently in a community where I have seen first-hand the particular pressures that young moms experience.

Comments

  1. Thank you SO much for this post, Johanna. At times I’m still pressured by others about certain decisions we’ve made for our family. But, as you said, they don’t know the details, and certainly they don’t know how much prayer has gone into our choice(s). It’s also a reminder to ME, to be kind and love others…even if we disagree on certain things. Wonderful and timely post. Again, thank you!

    • Will we ever get away from the fear of man? I struggle on both sides of this issue and am grateful for God’s grace.

  2. YES, and AMEN. I was at a co-op a few weeks ago, and the mother’s were talking about buying organic and eating organic. I sat there thinking–I am just thankful to be able to put food on our table!! Balance, balance, balance.

    • So true. As someone living on a part-time income right now, I can totally relate! Wouldn’t it be nice if we would all be balanced :)

  3. (I found your blog through a post your sister shared on FB…) Thank your for this post! It was not only a great reminder for me to be gracious in communicating and sharing my thoughts with others, but was also an encouragement to me as well. I must simply rest in the fact that my husband and I are doing our best to raise our children according to the values we believe the Lord has directed us to do and not to worry what others may think.

    I am looking forward to following along in reading your blog.=)

  4. elva farrell says:

    So very true!! I would love to send this to _________________ but then that wouldn’t be showing grace!! :)

  5. Amen! I think this is particularly true in ministry– not only are there lots of opinions thrown your way, there are also lots of opinions asked of you. I find a constant need for grace, discernment, and a great dose of “keeping one’s mouth shut.” 😉

  6. Excellent reminder for all situations of life. I try to keep that in mind when I read blogs as well as try to keep an open mind for something. I’m quick to say in my head “that works for them, but they don’t live in my situation”, but often not so “Quick” to think that when forming my opinions about others…

    • So true. It’s easy to see it so clearly on one side and not so clearly on the other. It’s a constant struggle. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. HEY!!! You have TWO blogs! Just found this one over facebook! I love it. And I REALLY like this post. And your limiting the clothes post. Laundry is my hugest downfall in the housekeeping arena, and I really think your ideas will help. Thanks, and adding this blog to my yahoo reader!

    • Yes, this one is just getting up and running! Thanks for reading along. It seems strange to say but simplifying has literally changed my life! Just passing on things that have worked for me :)
      And, yes. This particular post is heavy on my heart. :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] that it would be wrong to put any one approach as superior or better. And we always need to be gracious toward others who choose something different than us. After all, you might change next […]

  2. […] God meant for me to have relationships beyond simply ‘my stage.’ They often remind me to give others the gift of grace. When I do not have other friends in various stages, it is quite possible that I might be making a […]

  3. […] The choices our family has made have been carefully considered. Now it is time to proceed confidently. And when it comes to how we view other people’s decisions for their family, we should always extend the gift of grace. […]

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