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I grew up in a stable home, and I’m grateful for the way that my parents raised me. Mom always gave me enough space to become a man, enough rules to learn responsibility and enough grace to understand just how unconditional God’s love is. She also raised me imperfectly, learning as she went. While these may not be the principles that she had in mind as she raised me, they are characteristics that I observed in my mother, when I bogged-down the pickup, shot my first deer illegally, fought with my sisters, disobeyed, rebelled and got into all sorts of trouble.

Good Mothers Aren’t Overly Protective

Good mothers let their sons grow in masculinity and responsibility, by allowing them to play with knifes, guns and sharp sticks. They let them roll in the dirt, eat mud, bugs and other unappetizing things, simply because it’s what boys need to do. Good mothers worry less about their kids hurting themselves, and buy more boxes of band-aids. Kids heal and they learn from their experiences.

Good Mothers Aren’t Overly Controlling or Fearful

Good mothers understand that God is sovereign and to fear is to seek control over their own future and the future of their Children. They understand that creating their own vision of the future and trying to enforce it, is a physical overruling of God’s individual plan for their children that will never succeed, so they let go and stop pushing their kids towards a perfect future.

Good Mothers Aren’t Easy

Good mothers know they need to correct their children. They know that children need to be raised with respect for authority figures and they see that God correct His children as well. They know the 5th commandment, the first with a promise- that children who honor their parents will prosper and live long lives.

Good Mothers Aren’t Always Right

Good mothers recognize that they are fallible and have to apologize to their children. They realize that they’re going to get upset, they’re going to lose it over a piece of broken china (which good mothers learn not to have until their kids turn 30), and they know they’re going to have to say, “I’m sorry.” Kids need to know that their moms aren’t perfect, because kids are far from perfect.

Good Mothers Aren’t Ever Good

Good mothers aren’t good. The sooner they learn that they’re not going to get it right, that they’re going to fail, that their parenting won’t always work, that their children will still rebel no matter how sheltered they are and that they’re not in control, the sooner they’ll find a deep trust in Christ, who is faithful to forgive mothers in their shortcomings and conform them to His image. The fact is, it’s not about a mother’s ability, it’s about Jesus’ faithfulness.