The Struggles of Moms

Before I dive into this part of the study, I just want to make this very clear: we are not facing trials anywhere near as harsh as our Christian brothers and sisters are in Iraq. I do not mean to downplay the trials we may be facing personally, but I also want to make sure we keep a fair perspective and remember to  pray for our friends in the Middle East.

They are in some serious persecution -- some of the most horrific seen in years. So, as we go through this study and learn how to cling to God during crisis, please also pray for the people in Iraq, suffering from executions, hangings, and beheadings because of their faith in Christ. They need our prayers now more than ever.

As moms, we face day-to-day struggles and sometimes year-to-year struggles through trials, tests, and temptations. How can we overcome?

James opens up chapter 1 by encouraging Israel (the 12 tribes) to stand strong during trials, recognizing that it is a testing of faith and produces patience.

Trials

Let's think about that for a moment. Trials test our faith. We will always face trials of various kinds and degree. How are we handling them? Are they strengthening or weakening our faith?

It can be very difficult to trust God through hard circumstances we don't understand. I think we truly have a knack for blaming God for everything bad that happens, when really, it's part of a fallen world; it's part of people's free will gone bad. God gives us choices and we get to choose how we live. Each choice comes with its own consequences, though.

Trials can range from small, daily trials, to larger scale, tragic trials. I think a lot of it truly depends on our perspective as well as our own personality, experiences, and faith walk.

What may be a trial to one person, may not be to another. For some people, every day is a trial. For others, specific circumstances may test them.

I went through trials in our adoption process, mostly just a heart game of faith. I had to remember what God told me and believe that He told it to me, even while our circumstances looked bleak.

Sometimes as moms, we face different fears about our children. We worry they will not follow Jesus or will not be successful. Maybe you have a teenager or grown child who has made poor choices or who's rejected God and you wonder what happened.

We struggle in the day to day, whether it's keeping up or keeping inspired. Sometimes, every day is a battle for joy. Not because we aren't happy with our lives, but because we struggle to see beyond the mundane or believe lies that tell us it should look differently or we simply don't know how to do this mothering thing. 

{I don't know about you, but sometimes, I'm at a loss when it comes to sibling squabbles. Can both parties be right? If so, how in the world do I handle that?!} 

Sometimes, it's our own anger and frustrations that become our trial and if we don't address it, it can be a trial that lasts for years.

In James 1:5 we are invited to ask God for wisdom. What a relief! God is willing to give us wisdom, if we would only ask.  Furthermore, we are required to believe that we will receive that which God has promised -- wisdom.

Those who doubt are tossed like waves on the sea and such a person is double-minded and unstable. (James 1:6-7)

Those are some pretty strong words. No wisdom of man can surpass the wisdom of God. Which leads us full circle to making certain we are spending time with Him daily, reading His word and praying for understanding from the Holy Spirit.

Temptations

Temptations are another thing all together. We may not be in control of what we are tempted by, but we can control, to some degree, how we respond. Sometimes the temptations are overwhelming and absolutely need God's intervention to help us overcome them.

I can tell you, as a mom, I have many, many temptations every single day.

One of the biggest temptations I face is believing the lie that my children will grow up loving Jesus without much direction from me -- they can just watch me and learn by example. But that's not always true.  Not to mention that's rather egotistical.

They only see half the story. They cannot see what's in my heart; what I believe about God; what God is teaching me. No, those things need to be brought up in conversations and teaching and training.

Another temptation I struggle with is anger and frustration. I didn't realize the depths of the struggles in my heart until I had children! Sure, I'm a patient person -- when everything is going my way and I can control all outcomes.

What a wake up call!!

Temptations will face us at every turn; some are easy to resist while others are more difficult.

Moms often have the temptation to compare themselves, their children, and their families with others. This brings about envy and discontent.

Did you know our temptations are based on our own desires? So those things that we desire will entice us, and we can choose to reject them and receive the crown of life, or fall to their lure and give birth to sin, which brings death.

Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

This week, focus on asking God for wisdom in those situations you need help, whether trials or temptations. There is no limit and you can ask as often as you need help.

When our own anger and frustrations go unaddressed, we can struggle for years. God invites us to ask for wisdom. -Christin Slade