Friday, May 4, 2007

How do you define a "good mother"?

Sure, I'm trying to be a good mother, but in my pursuit of being a "good" mother, I have realized that I don't know what that is. I know what a "bad" mom would look like, but because we don't do all the things a "bad" mom does, does that make us good? Are we supposed to be better than the bad moms (is there really such a thing?), the best that I can (but does that make the "cut" of being good?), or is there something else?

So, if I havent confused you already, what do you think makes a good mother? Or should we be asking, "what makes a mother good?"


  1. Renata,

    I'm glad that you asked this question. I've been thinking about it since your first posted this. I also enjoyed discussing it tonight. I'll share here what I said tonight.

    When I first read this question, this passage came to mind:

    And a ruler asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone." (Luke 18:18-19 ESV)

    A good mother (like a good father, good child, and any other good person) is one that dies to herself and reflects God. The goodness in any person is directly related to to how that person denies himself or herself and allows the Holy Spirit to live through him or her.

    In fact, "goodness" is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. We cannot create goodness by our behavior. The Spirit creates goodness as we submit to him.


  2. I agree with Alan's comment, and would add that the characteristics of a "good" mother would be the same as those of a "good" (insert any profession or trade or role inlife here) if the person is a Christian. Our "goodness" comes in being like Christ, which is a work of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we grow and mature. There are many times I don't feel like a "good mother" but usually those times are the same times that I don't feel like a "good" Christian--my failings as a mom are really failings in my walk with the Lord. Alan hit the nail on the head when he brought up the fruit of the Spirit. These are the traits we are striving for: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They are all that we need to be a "good" anything.

    Love you and miss you. Alice

  3. Thanks Alan & Alice (ciao babe, what's up?). You both are such GOOD and dear friends to me

    Those passages are some I often refer to when I am thinking about what it means to be a good mother. I didn't want to include them in my post because then there would be no need to comment. I wanted to be sure I was not alone in my thinking and I wanted to get other people thinking about this too.

  4. Renata: Hello. I came over by way of Heather's blog. I liked what I read there, so here I am. Super thought-provoking post!

    Alan: So the only good mother is a dead mother, huh? :) Just kidding. I love your thoughts. Throughout my Christian walk I've tried so hard to die to myself and live to my Savior. At the end of each day I realize how much of me was living inspite of my efforts. Seems like I kept crawling up out of my grave. Maybe I just never was quite dead to the things I sought to kill.

    I think of "Her children will rise up and call her blessed." And while I don't think my children ever rose up to call me "blessed", I've gotten some fairly good reviews occasionally from them. I think sometimes we moms live to hear our children's approval. And that ought not to be.

    I remember telling my, then, testy teenage daughter when I heard the all-too-familiar "that's not fair", that I didn't have to account to her when I stood before the Lord, but that I did have to account to Him for what I taught her. I didn't win the popularity award in those days. And to be honest, I didn't like it. I wanted to be the "best" mom in the world. And I thought my children's critiques was most important.

    But truly, at the end of the day, it is the Lord we must concern ourselves with. If we put Him the right place, then all else will fall into place. I still long for my daughter's approval. But not as I once did. Today I long to hear her say, "my mom loves the Lord and shows it".

    Little else matters. One thing I have learned. I need to die in the morning. Not at night. By morning I've forgotten about yesterday's burials.

    Renata, thanks so much for allowing me to post. And especially for provoking me to think. selahV

  5. Selah,
    Thanks for sharing what you have learned. It is true, we often measure how good we are by how our kids respond. Thanks for reminding me who I am accountable to.

    Well, I am feeling pretty dead today -- dead tired, lol!.