The Mother Idol

The Mother Idol

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I think I have an idol of mothering. Actually, I’m pretty certain of it. It’s not as if I built a room in my house and made a graven image of a mother to bow down to each day, but I have been bowing down to something other than God in this part of my life. It was really this past week when I became aware of how gripping this piece of my life had become. My daughters’ schoolwork (even though I homeschool), my daughters’ friendships, my daughters’ clothing and makeup choices…I let it all affect me too much. My mind is not where it needs to be, often because I am, in my head, thinking of how I can better mother them (aka “run their lives”).

Maybe some of you unknown friends out there can relate?

I remember my mom telling me decades ago that “children aren’t really ours. God gives them to us to steward.” At the time it made sense, since she was talking about her brother who died in car accident at age 13. He was too young to be out riding around with friends. He had disobeyed his mother when he went, and he never came home. My grandmother grieved for him the rest of her life. The only way she could find peace in it all was to believe God ultimately owned her son and had the right to do as He saw fit with him.

But when I consider that my kids aren’t really mine, it shakes me a bit. And it shakes me for a couple of reasons.

#1: God entrusts ME to do this job? WHAT? Ultimately, I’m raising HIS kids?

#2: I don’t like the thought that I can’t control these people I’ve been given to love and care for. They have hearts, minds, and souls of their own. Ultimately, God must capture their hearts.

I don’t know where you’re at today with mothering. Maybe you’re not a mom, but you see moms around you either shirking from responsibility, or being obsessive in their control. Maybe you are a mom and you continually doubt yourself in the role. Maybe you desperately WANT to be a mom, but God hasn’t given you a child. Maybe you’re a grandma now, wishing you’d done a better job with your own kids and watching as they now struggle through the same things you did.

Wherever you’re at in this, THERE IS HOPE! God wants us to be good stewards of these children He’s entrusted to us, but He also promises to help us. He’ll give us strength, and patience, and love, and wisdom for the task. We cannot be perfect in this role, but God can…and IS. He will love these kids through us. He will love us through these kids. Parents who need God raising children who need God. Pointing them to Christ, pointing them to God’s holy word, and loving and nurturing them the best we can…this is what we CAN do. We can’t control what we CAN’T do. But we can trust God.

He is the perfect parent. So why would I run to an idol, when I can worship the real thing? God is worthy of all my worship. No more mother-idols.

Kristin Bunting About Kristin Bunting

Kristin wishes you could pull up a chair, enjoy a cup of coffee, and talk with her about how amazing Jesus is. For 33 years she has walked with her Savior, and each year is a new adventure in learning how He is always "Enough" for her, no matter what the circumstance. Kristin is wife to one loving small-church pastor, and never ceases to be amazed at the 3 daughters God has given them to raise. Her one-day dream is to write a book for women, chronicling her walk with Jesus and encouraging them to never quit pursuing the God who loves them.


  1. So brave and beautiful to admit this, Kristin! Yes, we are stewards for everything God blesses us with, including children.

  2. Kristin, your post has so much wisdom in it and it sounds like you are well on the way to being a wise mother. I wanted twelve kids (had all their names written down) and ended up with eight in an unexpected way, but I remember the words of Kahil Gibran-‘our kids come through us, but are not of us.’ They are, however, God’s blessings and as such the word ‘legacy’ rings strong with me. Have a happy day.

  3. Toni Shiloh says:

    Beautifully stated.

  4. Janet K Brown (@janetkbrowntx) says:

    Thanks for sharing this honest, humble post. An idol doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is, quite often, a good thing, but we get it all out of proportion & put that good thing before the best thing; God. I doubt there’s a mother out there that doesn’t relate to this.

  5. It is so hard to let them go, knowing you aren’t in control. At all. How comforting to know who is in control. How scary it must be letting go when you don’t know that God has all in his hands.

  6. Thank you for your honest words, Kristin. I began motherhood in the early ’70s–at a time when the great debate between working moms and stay-at-homes was just getting fueled. I, and so many of my peers, felt we had something to prove. Whatever path we chose, our poor kids and how they “turned out” were the “proof” we’d done it right. That wasn’t fair to them or to us. If I had it to do over I hope I’d relax more and just enjoy those little people with their God-given personalities, and trust in–as you said–God’s perfection and His unfailing love for them.

  7. Thank you so much for this reminder! It’s so very true and I’m so thankful for it.

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