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Three New Year's Resolutions for Moms

“Mommy, I know you can’t wait until we are grown so you can do whatever you want.”

The words of my four-year-old daughter still ring in my ears. I had no idea the impression my harried, stressed-out life was imprinting on my kids.

When my children were young, each new year I would resolve to be a better mom in the coming year. “I won’t raise my voice. I will be calm and kind.” Around February, I’d realize my resolution had been lost somewhere between the monotony of motherhood and the piles of laundry.

Can you relate? So what’s a mom to do? Here are three resolutions every mom, and dad, can make this new year:

Resolutions Every Mom Should Make

1. Stop promising to do better.

Stop beating yourself up by making internal promises that are impossible to keep. Determine to create realistic opportunities for long-term change. Decide on two things you would like to change about the way you parent. Then, do the following:

a. Find a Scripture that speaks to this change and memorize that verse. The Bible says, “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. Use the light of Scripture to light your way toward becoming the mom you hope to be.

b. Pray. God’s Word says, “You have not because you ask not.” Don’t let this be said of you. Ask God to show you daily how to love Him properly through–His Word, prayer, and fellowship with other believers–so that His love will wash over you and transform the way you love your children.

2. Create an environment for your kids to fail.

Contrary to what you may believe, it is not your job to keep your kids so sheltered from wrong that they leave your home unscathed by consequences for bad behavior. We are not trying to raise perfect children. We are trying to raise kids who know how to recover from their mistakes. Helping your son or daughter learn how to recover from a difficult situation is one of the most important skills a mother can teach. In my book, Moms Raising Sons to Be Men, I help moms discover how even video games can be employed as a resource to train your kids toward autonomy.

3. Put away people-pleasing.

Learn how to break free from the internal people-pleasing thoughts that plague most moms. Stop being your own worst critic. In Isaiah 43:7 God says, “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory.” To glorify God means to magnify, or make great our God. Believers are called to live in a manner that reflects the character of God so that others–even our children–will have an appetite to know Christ.

All-too-often we are glory stealers. As moms, we say things like, “You can’t wear that, what will the people at church think? You need to do better in school, what must your teacher think?” What we mean is “...of me. What will they think of me?”

Mom, when you learn that the most important One to please in life is Christ. Once you learn to delight in His Character as the priority of your life, you will be set free from people pleasing. Living to reflect the glory of the One who has saved you, rather than concerned over the impression you, and your children, are leaving on those around you will be the most liberating experience of your life! And in-so-doing you will liberate your children from having to perform well, so that you are affirmed by your peers.

Mom, you are the architect of the next generation. It’s a noble calling ordained by God. You are not alone. He says to you, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Won’t you resolve to look to God for His help this year? After all, He began the good work in you, and He is able to complete it.

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