Everyone has an opinion on motherhood. Forms of feeding, sleeping habits, schooling choice, and discipline methods are just a few topics that people love to share their [in]expertise with mothers. Sometimes this advice is solicited and desired and sometimes it is very unwelcome and unhelpful. There is no one size fits all parenting style and there are no perfect parents. Yet, I still tend to call my mom, ask my seasoned friends, or search google for advice when I encounter parenting struggles.
Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor. He is our Paraclete, from the Greek word parakletos. This translates to “Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Strengthener, or Supporter”. Jesus says of Himself, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) He sustains all our needs and is compassionate with our shortcomings.
Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor. He is the Way. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16. When we feel like we are failing at parenthood and when the advice of the world is not working, let us look to the example of Jesus. Remember, Jesus had to deal with the disciples who sometimes spoke out of turn (Matthew 16:23), acted rashly (Luke 9:54-55), did not follow instructions (Matthew 26:40), and needed multiple reminders (John 13). How often must Jesus’ patience have been tried with His disciples? Each time He lovingly corrected them with the goal of maturing their understanding of Himself and His Father.
When I have been interrupted for the 600th time, when my children make poor choices, when my children have a hard time listening, and when I have to repeat myself again; am I using this opportunity to show them the patient, gentle kindness of Jesus? Am I using this opportunity to reflect the long-suffering love of their Heavenly Father? Through Christ, I am able to mimic the example of my Wonderful Counselor when I feel like my attempts at motherhood are failing.
Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor. He is the Truth. We can confidently ask Him to guide us in our parenting. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a guide book to raising kids? I have read and even recommend several parenting books, but we all know that all kids are different. As parents we will face individual struggles. Who better to turn to for wisdom and guidance than our children’s Creator? He is the only one who knows every hair on their heads, their past, their present, and their future. When we face our lack in parenting knowledge or skill, Jesus offers us wisdom and truth from our Heavenly Father, the only perfect parent.
Often we face temptations as parents. We are tempted to rely on our own limited knowledge and strength. What do we see in the example of Jesus when He was faced with temptation? Did He make excuses or provide prideful responses to Satan? No. He bowed to the truth and the Word of God. “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.”’” Matthew 4:10. Temptations showcase our idols. We may idolize our reputation as a perfect parent, place too much focus on our failures as a parent, or place our children on a pedestal. Returning our worship to God will properly align our hearts and minds to stamp out temptations and the tempter. Jesus speaks the truth and He is the truth.
Jesus is our Wonderful Counselor. He is the Life. We walk in the new life of redemption after salvation and are filled with the Spirit of God. “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7. Sometimes as parents we mess up. We lose our tempers or miss an opportunity and we fear that we have irreparably damaged our children. When we seek God and know Him then we will not quench the Spirit’s work in our lives. We will be able to act in the power of apology. We will be able to walk in the sacrificial love of our Savior. We will be able to practice self-control as we mature in the faith. When the Spirit of the Lord enters us, He takes over our lives. He is within us. He is with us, Immanuel.
So weary Mama, take heart. When you feel lost or confused or like a failure, grab hold of the knowledge that you have the most Wonderful Counselor to minister to your heart and soul. Rejoice in this season that celebrates His birth so that He could provide us with the Way, the Truth, and the Life.