Do you wrestle with mom guilt—that nagging feeling that you’re not doing enough or that you’re screwing up? Then you’re in the right place! Be sure to grab the printable download of these Bible verses below:
I screwed up again. My son’s eyes spilled over in tears and he turned away, a little embarrassed. “We just did what you wanted to do, not what I wanted,” he confessed. “It wasn’t fun.”
Mixed feelings of guilt, shame and anger heated my face. I had taken him to the mall on a special outing with just the two of us to get him some new shoes and a special snack. It didn’t turn out as planned because or local mall is shutting down stores like crazy. The shoe choices and the snack options were very limited.
I was hurt that he wasn’t more thankful, yet at the same time I felt horrible that I had let him down. My efforts weren’t enough.
It’s this condition I’ve battled with ever since I heard his first cry. This impossible question lingers constantly: Am I doing enough?
I know I’m not the only one with this issue, so I asked members of our community what made them feel guilty. The answers weren’t surprising, things like:
- Not spending enough time with the kids
- Not meeting their emotional needs
- Taking time away from them for self-care
- Not playing enough with them or doing what other moms do
- Not feeding them enough healthy food
Do you see a pattern here?
Related post: Yes, You’re Failing at Parenting (and Why That’s a Good Thing)
Confront Mom Guilt with These 11 Powerful Bible Verses
“Not enough” is a pretty sneaky little lie that we mamas give undeserved brain space.
It’s sneaky because, in one sense, it holds just a kernel of truth: we fall short of perfection. So in that sense, no we’re not “enough” and never will be. But on the other hand, because Christ does immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine, we are more than enough through all of our weaknesses.
So the next time you are wallowing in mom guilt, whether you legitimately screwed up or are worried that you did, meditate on these truths and put their teachings into practice.
Related post: Want to Be More Patient with Your Kids? Take a Mommy Timeout (Here’s How)
For quick reference, here are the 11 Bible Verses on Mom Guilt, followed by the full text and explanations of each of them by category.
- James 5:16
- 1 John 1:9
- Proverbs 28:13
- Colossians 2:13–14
- 1 John 2:1b
- Romans 5:1
- Hebrews 9:14
- 1 John 4:18
- 2 Corinthians 12:9
- Hebrews 10:22
- Philippians 4:6–7
I’ll be honest: I did not plan on having this section when I started thinking about how to address mom guilt! But the more I dug into the word “guilt” in the Bible, it was apparent that the first step to healing is confession.
So be honest with yourself, with God and with other believers about those things that are weighing on your heart.
1. James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
2. 1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
3. Proverbs 28:13
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Related post: 10 Encouraging Bible Verses for When You’re Overwhelmed (for Moms and Everyone)
On Being Enough
That feeling of “not enough” that goes hand in hand with mom guilt? It’s a lie because Christ is more than enough. His love for you and intervention on your behalf give you a brand new start each and every time you feel “less than,” with your parenting and so much more.
4. Colossians 2:13–14
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
5. 1 John 2:1b
But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
6. Romans 5:1
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…
7. Hebrews 9:14
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Related post: 10 Bible Verses About Stress, for Moms Who Need a Break
On Moving Forward
I think this is the hardest part for my conscience which is plagued with mom guilt to accept. I know that I am forgiven and cleansed through Christ, but the truth is I still fall ridiculously short when it comes to loving my kids.
These verses help me remember to live in faith instead of fear, anxiety and guilt. God’s grace is sufficient; he fills in the gaps where I fall short. And because of this, my heart can be at peace.
8. 1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
9. 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
10. Hebrews 10:22
[L]et us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
11. Philippians 4:6–7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Want to keep these Bible verses about mom guilt handy? You can access them and other Bible verses for moms!
Your turn: how do you wrestle with mommy guilt and what are your favorite scriptures to combat it?
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I really appreciated the verse in 2 Corinthians. While I was walking this morning, I lost something out of the stroller, and I thought to myself “I suck at being a mom”… obviously it wasn’t just this one thing that made me think that- it just triggered the thought, but also I know realistically that the thought was a lie. Anyway, this verse is a good antidote. (p.s. in answer to your question about what makes me feel guilt- one thing is when my child is misbehaving in front of others- I can feel responsible for it & guilty).
Hi Esther, thanks for the comment! 2 Corinthians 9:12 is pretty much my go-to verse for not just mommy guilt but any time I’m feeling inadequate–and yes, I’ve circled that lie “I suck at being a mom” more times than I’d like to admit.
There are sooooo many things that trigger guilt. That’s why I love the Bible’s power in changing the way we think.