Our church is doing a 40 day series on 1 John. Sermons, small groups and daily devotionals are all focused on that one small book of the Bible. Our small group meetings this week focused on confession and forgiveness.
Whoa. That is a lot of topic for one small group meeting. These are big topics that are talked about so much in the Bible. Our discussion made me realize that we, moms, have a way of avoiding these two aspects of our Christian walk. Momwalls. Ways to block others from seeing our struggles. We excel at what we think is protecting ourselves but really we are building a wall that will keep the Holy Spirit out. Whether it’s fear about what others will think, an unhealthy expectation that everyone should share all their grief and struggles with you or pride in how you present yourself to others – Momwalls are a real thing and they can hinder the work of God in our lives.
I love social media. It is a great way to connect with people and stay in touch. But it can also be damaging if you struggle with a fear of judgement. Seeing how others “have it all together” (side note: no one has it all together) can be a real stumbling block for a mom that only sees the social media, shined up version of someone. I’m pretty sure we’ve all struggled with this to some degree. How do we move past that? Confession. “Seriously, Carol. I really struggle with how perfect everyone else seems on Instagram. Can you pray for me?” Admitting that you’re struggling is the first step towards being free from that very thing.
Jesus had crowds of people that followed Him. We all know the stories, right? But how many did He spend the majority of His time with? 12. How many saw Him on the Mount of Transfiguration or the Garden of Gethsemane? Even smaller numbers. What does this have to do with confession and forgiveness? I’ve seen the damage that can come from having an expectation that everyone was going to share all their sins and struggles all the time. It can create a bitterness and toss up Momwalls faster than a master carpenter. Well, they seem so perfect. If they’d just air a bit of their dirty laundry once and awhile, I wouldn’t be so intimidated by them. Blame shifting and false expectations (which is really a boiled down sense of pride) are just as damaging to our walk with God as any thing else. They are things we need to confess to God and ask trusted friends for prayer in overcoming. We can’t expect to be in everyone’s inner circle. We can’t hold onto that unrealistic expectation until in has created a bitter root in our hearts.
So maybe you’re that mom. Maybe you know just how to arrange the Instagram photo or word the status update so it makes you look “perfect.” Maybe you stress over your hair, makeup, and clothes before leaving the house. Maybe the idea of letting someone see you at your worst drops a boulder in your stomach. The walls of perfection that you’re building around yourself aren’t making you a better mom. They are Momwalls of pride and vanity that will only destroy in the end. And as nice as you look and as pretty as your house is – these things are an area that needs to be confessed so they can be forgiven. Let people in to see the real you and the rich rewards of true fellowship will be worth it.
Let’s believe God, mommas. Let’s trust that the forgiveness and confession that He calls us to will indeed bring freedom, joy, and peace.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9