Motherhood, the Christian life, and life in general offer many opportunities for feeling flawed and hopeless.
- When we sin, we feel unworthy of God’s love.
- When we make parenting mistakes, we feel our children deserve better.
- When family and friends reject us, we feel despised.
I am beginning to realize how much of my adult life I have spent feeling these things and it’s because I rarely focus on what God says about me. I focus instead on how people treat me or how I feel about my performance as a mom, wife, employee, or whatever.
While self-examination is healthy, it has to be coupled with unwavering knowledge that we are loved lavishly and unconditionally by our Father in heaven. This is a difficult concept to grasp if we have spent years seeking approval from specific people in our lives.
Our parents, for example, may never love us the way we need them to. But that’s why God says,
In love I predestined you to be adopted as my children through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1.5
We have a new family in God that can compensate for love we may not receive from blood relatives.
Or consider that Jesus – who was perfect – was nonetheless forsaken and denied by his friends as he faced the greatest trial of his life: the cross. Needless to say, Jesus was secure in his calling and confident about God’s will for his life.
He was also a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. And so are we. There is real sorrow when those we love or serve don’t value who we are or what we do. God made us social beings, so there is nothing wrong with our desire for acceptance or disappointment when we don’t receive it.
But our worth is not tied to how we perform or how we are treated by others. God wants us to grow in our security that his love, and his approval are all we need.