Growing up, I thought my Mother was the greatest woman in the world. I wanted to be like her. I wanted to look like her. I wanted to act like her. As I grew up though, I realized that my Mother was not like most Mothers. My Mom had deep hurts and wounds from her past that I see now, she just couldn’t get over.
She was so hurt she didn’t know how to be a wife and mother. My Mother was living in her own pain and couldn’t see the pain and hurt she was pushing on to others, including her children.
She could lie and manipulate like nobody else and I’m not sure she even realized what she was doing. Sure, my Mom could be fun at times and seemed like she had it all together, but deep inside there was a gaping hole with merely threads pressed to it that was surely to come completely undone.
My Mother was a competing mother. She would tell me in one moment that I was pretty, then in the next tell me I looked like a whore the way I wore makeup. She would tell me that my friends liked her better and thought she was prettier than I was. I was told I would always be chunky because that was just how I was built even though everybody else would call me skinny.
When I began to grow breasts, I was shamed for having them. She would tell me to do something and then ridicule me in front of other people for doing it.
There are so many more things I could say, as you probably could from your own life as well. My Mom didn’t want an individual daughter, she wanted a miniature her; pain and all.
My Dad, well, he worked a lot, but he taught me about love and not giving up. He taught me to work hard and do your best. He taught me that God is a worthy God.
He taught me to laugh and that it was okay to be goofy and weird. Every single day I heard these words from my Dad, “Have I told you today that I love you?”
Why do I tell you this? I don’t want your pity. I don’t want you to hate my Mother. I don’t want you to think my Dad was perfect. I want you to look back into your own childhood and remember all those painful memories whether you have one or a billion.
I want you to remember what that feels like and then I want you to let go of it. I want you to forgive your Mother and Father. I forgive my Mother. I have struggled with her and I won’t make excuses for her behavior, but I forgive her.
Women giving strength to other women begins in our homes with our Mothers and our daughters.
Men teaching their sons to be strong, loving, and respectful men begins in the home.
As Mothers, we need to understand that we are the ones that teach them about strength and love. We play with dolls with our daughters and still teach them to be warriors. We play with superheroes with our sons and teach them that we get hurt and fail sometimes, but we always get back up and fight even harder.
We are all gifts to our parents. We are a blessing to them just as our children are a blessing to us. I was blessed with five sons. My parents were blessed with a son and a daughter.
It’s time we make a decision to honor God in how we teach our children.
I was taught that women compete with each other and aren’t to be trusted. What have I taught my sons about women?
If I’m honest, along with the good and Godly principles I have been trying to instill in them, I have taught them that women can be angry; women can yell…loudly; women can disrespect their husbands yet demand unconditional love.
I am not doing so well in certain areas, but I will press on and not give up. I will teach them about forgiveness and ask their forgiveness when I fail them. If they can learn how to forgive as children, they will have an easier time forgiving as adults.
I want my sons to be a part of a forgiving generation. I will teach them to search after God with all their heart, soul, and mind. I will teach them to live and learn. I will teach them many things that they, in turn, will want to teach their own children one day.
My sons will know that they are a blessing and not only does God love them unconditionally, but I do too.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate. – Psalm 127:3-5 NKJV
Trista Smith is a Pastor’s Wife, Mother of 5 boys, Worship Leader and the author of the blog www.fivesonsplusone.com. Trista has a first-hand understanding of issues common to stay at home moms, and has unique perspective on finding your identity in Christ. Her writing always provides words of encouragement to help readers live out their destinies.
Trista is also a contributing writer for Real Women Ministries.