Every mom has days where she feels like a total failure. Dealing with that failure in a godly way comes with hidden blessings that can’t be received without falling first.
I’ll never forget the day I completely lost it in front of all my children. A little one spilled my precious coffee over new school books, and my calm composure was replaced by wrath that was truly unfitting for the offense.
I’ll also never forget what it was like to sit with them, sobbing, apologizing, and finally praying.
To say I felt terrible would be an immense understatement. I felt like an utter failure. Yet as I sat there praying with my children and showing them what heartfelt repentance looks like, I knew that something powerful was happening.
Momma friends, when you fail epically, it is so vital to know that you aren’t alone in making huge mistakes. The guilt after a major mistake can be overwhelming, but knowing you’re not the only one can be somewhat soothing.
It’s also incredibly helpful to recognize the potential blessings that lie in mom-failure when we approach our fall with a teachable heart.
Hidden Blessings of Failure as a Mom
It hurts to fail as a mom. Our hearts break to think we’ve let down our children and our husbands. We don’t want to fail. We want to create a safe haven filled with warmth and love for these precious people.
It’s hard to think that our worst failures might have a redeeming quality. But I’m convinced that after our hearts have healed a bit, once we’ve been able to take a deep breath and a big step back, we might be able to recognize the hidden blessings that come from our failures.
When we make mistakes as moms, we have a huge opportunity to show our children what repentance looks like. I want my children to really know how to apologize to their family, friends, and especially future spouses! Seeing me model a genuine, heartfelt apology teaches that lesson better than any verbal instructions could.
When they see us really apologize and repent, they also learn that repentance is more than just saying sorry. Change is involved. Grief is involved. Humility is involved. And that’s all okay to experience. In fact, it’s vital!
Our children can’t have healthy relationships without learning how to apologize and repent. Even more crucial, they can’t come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ without without experiencing grief for sin, humility, genuine repentance, and a changed life. My failures provide an opportunity to model these things to them.
Being forgiven is powerful. It is humbling and relieving and encouraging, all at the same time.
Typically in the home, children receive the forgiveness. They’re learning how to behave, and along the way, they make plenty of mistakes. A large part of parenting involves forgiving them for these shortcomings.
But when we are the ones who mess up, our children get to be the ones to offer forgiveness. They are the givers, and we become the receivers.
Knowing how to both offer and receive forgiveness is a valuable lesson for everyone.
Growing in Grace
After I apologized to and prayed with my children in the story I shared above, I was a very quiet and thoughtful mom. I was very guarded so that I wouldn’t make the same mistake that day, and I tried to remain on guard for a while after that.
When we fail, then turn around and work on that area of weakness, our children get to see a Christian growing in grace, right before their eyes.
Maybe they won’t realize it all right away. But looking back, they might be able recognize that what was once an area of frequent failure isn’t such a weak area anymore.
When I fail, there’s an opportunity to show my children what repentance, forgiveness, and grace really look like. I show them what it is to be a Christian.
When mom-failure gets the best of you, what helps you recover?