Life was simpler in decades gone by.

Having talked a lot with my mother, grandmother, and other mothers throughout the years, it’s
clear that while life is more convenient in many ways today, that convenience hasn’t necessarily
made life easier.

In the past, mothers relied on their God-given instinct and intuition (Job 38:36, NLT) and own
upbringing to inform their parenting strategies and decisions. While nowadays, we tend to let
culture and social media inform our parenting decisions.

This isn’t bad in and of itself . . . unless the advice we’re taking is bad. More than ever before,
Christians need to be able to tease out cultural messages that may be unhelpful at best and
harmful at worst.

Here are 4 cultural myths that will confuse mothers and what the Bible says instead:

#1 – Connection will erase sin or misbehavior

Connection between a mother and child is important. It’s critical for development, attachment,
and a sense of security. Children need to know their mother loves them, is on their side, and will
protect them.

But now there’s a large movement saying if our children misbehave, act out, or otherwise do
something sinful, that it’s due to a breach in the parent-child relationship. Or said differently, it’s
a mother’s fault if her child acts out.

Scripture, however, tells us we all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23); that the child will not
share the guilt of the parent, nor the parent the guilt of the child (Ezekiel 18:20); and that we are
each tempted to sin because of our own desires (James 1:14).

You being perfect (which is impossible) will not make your child perfect.

#2 – More is more

Regardless of whether we consider ourselves greedy or superficial, we still have to admit the
obvious: we live in a consumerist society. More storage, bigger house, more extracurriculars,
more routines, more habits, more goals, more, more, more.

I need a nap.

Okay, I’m back.

Aside from the self-evident fact that being overly busy makes us stressed and worn out, it also
lulls us into a false sense that we are living purposeful lives. Sure, we have to work to pay the
bills and take care of our responsibilities, but a manic lifestyle is a recipe for burnout.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 says, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard
work and chasing the wind.” 1 Timothy 2:2 exhorts us to lead a tranquil and quiet life with
godliness and dignity.

Doesn’t that sound more inviting than a “more, more, more” lifestyle?

#3 – We need to fill our children’s lives up so they’ll be well-rounded and successful

There’s a fear among mothers that if we don’t give our children every opportunity, they will miss
out or fall “behind” others in various skills. Many mothers have their children in gymnastics,
music class, and swim lessons before they have even turned one year old.

Sometimes, of course, this is fun for mom and that’s why she does it. More often than not,
though, it’s out of an underlying sense of guilt or worry that other kids will end up better or more
well-rounded than our own since we didn’t give them every opportunity.

The truth is that kids don’t need a lot to be happy; it’s us parents who think we do. We must be
wary of filling our children’s lives up in a way that leaves little time for us to teach them about the
Lord (Ephesians 6:4). It’s not that letting our children participate in sports, lessons, or hobbies is
bad, it’s just that it shouldn’t be a Christian parent’s primary objective.

Our primary objective should be to raise Godly offspring (Malachi 2:15) and to teach them the
ways of the Lord (Proverbs 1:8-9).

Our children’s extracurriculars won’t save them; a relationship with the Lord will.

#4 – Loving yourself will solve all your problems

Self-love is a big buzzword, and honestly, it’s appealing at times. It’s hard to always feel not
good enough, not perfect enough, not skinny enough, or not peaceful enough. We easily see
our lack and are quick to point out our faults to ourselves. Who doesn’t want a free pass from a
constant sense of defeat?

But the key is not to love ourselves, our selfishness, and our imperfections more, but to love
Jesus more. To focus on loving him and others well.

God can take the burden of our imperfections. In fact, Jesus says in Mark 10:18, “Only God is
truly good.” So you can lay down the burden of trying to be perfect. When you feel the urge to obsess over your own self and failings, instead follow Matthew 6:33 and “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

When you feel like motherhood is confusing and you don’t know where to turn, turn to God.
Drop social media for a time, drop the burden of perfection, and focus on the Word of God.

Motherhood still won’t be easy, but it’ll be much simpler.

For tips on how mothers can live within their limits and create boundaries that are life-giving,
check out my new book If Mama Ain’t Happy.