Welcome to the mother ‘hood’: Where you will forever be chasing how to be a better mom. Motherhood is a place where you have no control over anything. The time and day no longer matter. Your purse has officially become a dumpster fire. Showering is optional, coffee is not. Sleep will be nonexistent for the next 18 years, and everyone will have an opinion on how you handle the hood. You will repeat yourself a hundred times just to get shoes on. You will never get to pee alone again and now you get to cross your legs when you sneeze.
This should be the official welcome declaration that is read in the tone of the Miranda Rights to every new mother as she waddles to the bathroom in her hospital mesh underwear just after birth.
Perhaps, then we as a community of women wouldn’t feel the need to forever chase perfect in the realm of motherhood. Perhaps then, we would embrace our flaws and realize we cannot do everything and be everything to everyone. Perhaps. But since this is clearly a pipe dream, we do need to come to terms with the pressure to be the perfect mom.
There is so much pressure to be a good mom, a great mom! The pressure to be all things to everyone. The pressure to get it right. The pressure to do be the best. I know this pressure well. But what if we focused on doing the best we can instead of being perfect?
I became a part of the ‘hood’ at the age of 17. I felt like a failure on a daily basis with my first child. I felt like other moms judged how young I was and felt I could do nothing right. Seven years later, my husband and I welcomed our second child. I thought motherhood would be easier since we were older, educated, and established. I was so wrong. I felt the pressure more than ever until one day, I fell apart. The day I fell apart was the day I learned I could be a thriving mom instead of just surviving. I only needed to look to God about the character and qualities of a good mom instead of the world.
What Are the Qualities of a Good Mom?
The day I learned this harsh and yet freeing lesson was the day my daughter dumped salt all over the table and floor. It also happened to be the day my son painted our little white dog with blue sparkle toothpaste…and the carpets. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I plunked my kids in front of an educational show that happened to be investigating salt mines in Ethiopia.
Then I went to work on the salt scattered like sand first. I rolled my eyes at the irony and continued cleaning until something about the show pricked my ears. The salt they were mining was unlike anything that graces your typical table which is chemically processed. The salt they were mining was pink Himalayan salt, the kind chefs prefer because it brings out the full flavor in dishes. This salt was utterly and incredibly rich in minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium all hewn with differing percentages of these minerals based on where it’s been mined.
In between broom strokes, I sensed God’s quiet voice telling me how I was a better mom because of Him.
Matthew 5:13 says, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” While Colossians 4:6 says, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
When Jesus was calling us to be salt of the earth, he was saying we are divine agents of helping others flourish through our love of Jesus himself. You and I are the salt of the earth. We are the preserving agents of God’s word.
As moms, we preserve the ways, the life, and teaching of Jesus to our children. As moms, we are also the flavoring agent that brings the taste of heaven into our homes.
A further look into the word salt, I found salt and salvation come from the same Latin root word, salvare, “to save.” There was the answer! We, as mothers are the saving agents of our children’s souls. We are the saving agents, preserving, and filling our children’s hearts with all of the flavors of His WORD!
The answer to being a better mom in God’s eyes: be the salt and light to our kids.
What Does the Bible Say about Being a Better Mom?
Motherhood is spoken of throughout Scripture as a high and important calling. In his letter to Titus, Paul the Apostle says that women are assigned to love their children, to love their husbands, be pure-minded, and take care of the home. Children are viewed as a blessing and a heritage from the Lord and a reward from Him (Psalm 127:3) And motherhood is also viewed as a blessing. It is intended to bring happiness. (Psalm 113:5-9)
The difference between a good mom and a better mom is godliness.
This doesn’t mean perfection, but she has a quality that serves as an important model for her children. She puts her trust, her worth, her hope, and her faith in God. This trust produces the salt that she sprinkles throughout all she does. Motherhood is a gift, a journey, and a sacred relationship of raising up God’s children in the way that they should go.
Note, not how we want them to go. Proverbs 4:22 actually means that we know their gifts, their temper, their character, and we help them pursue the life God has naturally created them for. We see tiny pictures of who they are supposed to be and we draw in out with the saltiness God has given each of us.
How to Be A Better Mom according to the Bible
Let’s dive into seven different ways we can be a better mom, from a biblical perspective.
Possesses a Keen Sense of Discernment
“The discerning heart seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 15:14).
A better mom uses the power of discernment in teaching her kids right from wrong. She also uses it to discern what God is calling her to versus what the world is pressuring her to do.
Persists in Prayer at all Times
“…they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).
A better mom brings her anxieties, cares, and worries to God. She prays over her children on a daily basis. She also asks for wisdom, insight, and patience with her kids.
Cultivates a Joyful Environment
“In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11, NKJV).
A better mom doesn’t let the world taint her joy of knowing and serving a mighty God. Those who enter her home sense her joy. She teaches that her joy comes from the Lord, not her circumstances and it is contagious to her children.
Trusts in God
“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10).
A better mom puts all her trust in God and God alone. She treasures the Bible and stores Scripture in her heart because she knows that they are the very words of God and He uses them to accomplish His powerful plans (Isaiah 55:10-11). Because she has been changed by the Gospel, she teaches the Word to her children all day long in ways that are caught, instead of just being taught.
Brings Order to Chaos
“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27).
A better mom is the powerhouse of peace in her home. When the world is spinning out of control, she allows God to work through her in the circumstances–not from her ability to make everything work outright. She keeps her home free of the spiritual and emotional clutter of the world. Her concern isn’t the perfect home, but rather a healthy home full of love, laughter, and order.
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7).
A better mom loves unconditionally. Her love is not conditionally based on the behavior of her kids but is given without reservation like the cross. By her example, she demonstrates to her children how they too can love at all times. She also loves herself and her family enough to take care of her needs too.
“Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle” (Psalm 144:1).
A better mom fiercely defends her children and home from the enemy. She ensures he has no hold over her home. She guards the gates of her home, via social media, magazines, movies, tv shows, and what is on everyone’s devices.
How to Become a Better Mom
It’s easy to say give advice on how to be a better mom. It’s entirely another thing to put words into action. But God doesn’t want us to survive, he wants us to thrive. But you can do this because God knew you could in the first place. He chose you to be the mom to your children. No one else could ever mother them the way you can. The trick is to let go of perfection and let God carry you. There is no such thing as the perfect mother, but a better mom continues to be perfected by the grace of God.
This article first appeared on Crosswalk where Heather is a regular contributor.