I’m really excited to have my Aunt Kim guest posting on the blog today. She has raised three outstanding children who were my best friends growing up. Kim has not only been a great example of a good mother, but she’s also invested in the lives of women in her community by hosting in-home Bible studies and always maintaining the house people want to be at. She continues to inspire and challenge me, and I know she’ll do the same for you today in her post.
It seems that the need to mother is one that every little girl possesses. I remember very distinctly feeding, diapering, rocking and bathing all my baby dolls. My mom taught me how to swaddle, and I spent a long time swaddling and re-swaddling – a skill I was happy to know when my real babies came along!
Mothering is a good thing – to a point. The real skill, however, is to know when NOT to mother, when to take your hands off and let your child learn for himself. For someday your 18 years will be accomplished, and it will be time to you push your little bird out of the nest. It’s a tough job letting go and ending that stage of mothering, but it would be an unhealthy relationship if the mothering continued at the same capacity our entire life. I would like to encourage you to begin this letting go process while your children are young, little by little.
It’s equally important to learn to let go of mothering when it comes to marriage. Marriages where the wife won’t let go of her assumed mothering responsibilities will always be difficult and should be avoided at all costs.
Because mothering is in our nature and some of us feel the need to do it so strongly, we might (just maybe) tend to mother someone who already has his own mother. Our husband! Men call this nagging but really, it’s mothering.
“Honey, do you really need to get up in the middle of the night and eat ice cream? It’s not good for your stomach and it will make you gain weight!”
“Please wash your hands before you eat that!”
“Maybe you should unplug that before you work on it.”
“You don’t drink enough water… You use too much salt… That costs too much.”
On and on the list could go. In our mothering minds, these all seem like pretty common sense things, but our husbands don’t seem to know any of them, and we believe it is our job to make sure they do!
This tendency may get worse as we get older. Maybe it is because we don’t have our kids around anymore to mother. Maybe it is just because we care deeply for our spouse and only want the best for them. Regardless, we have to relinquish this need to mother our husbands just as we have to cut the apron strings from our own children. God’s Word tells us to submit to our husbands in the Lord (Ephesians 5:22). It’s pretty hard to submit to someone we see as our child.
For those of us who have the desire to mother those we love the most all of the time, it’s important that we keep our actions in check. Children should be submitting to moms and dads, and wives should be submitting to their husbands, not mothering them.
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