Do you wrestle with mommy 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 in my free resource collection.
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 Facebook group 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?
Banish Mommy Guilt with Scriptural Truth
“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 guilt, whether you legitimately screwed up or are worried that you did, meditate on these truths and put their teachings into practice.
I’ll be honest: I did not plan on having this section when I started thinking about this topic! 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.
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.
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.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper,
but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
On Being Enough
That feeling of “not enough”? 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.
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.
1 John 2:1b
But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…
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!
On Moving Forward
I think this is the hardest part for my guilty conscience 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.
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.
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.
[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.
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.
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Your turn: how do you wrestle with mommy guilt and what are your favorite scriptures to combat it?
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