Mothering isn’t easy when its gray. It seems that moral gray area is everywhere. If something is wrong, we seem to know it. Likewise with being right. But when our anxiety gets the best of us, gray becomes that place that we settle.
Gray = anxiety of not exactly knowing what’s right and what’s wrong.
Something that should seem so simple has become complicated.
For example, take food. Somehow moms have made food choices for our children into a potentially grave moral issue. Within the last 20 years, we have become completely confused about what is “right” and “wrong” regarding how to feed our children. Those that have children who will eat everything “healthy” are seen as superior, those whose children like a bit of “junk” are viewed as wimpy.
Putting our kids to sleep, at any given age seems to have found it’s way into making our decisions complicated. From the time they are placed into our arms, people tell you to “place them in their crib or they will get used to being held” or “let them soothe themselves”. Or vice-versa, hold them 24 hours a day so that they will emotional and physically bond with you and feel more secure later. It took me having four children to realize that it really doesn’t matter. Most moms don’t have that luxury.
Anything new must first be demonized before it’s accepted.
As an example, television. Just saying the word gets people riled up. “My kids don’t watch TV,” seems to be the equivalent to “I take my kids to church everyday.” Again, black and white thinking applied to an object or activity that has little or nothing to do with bringing up children. The same could be said for internet use, gaming or any other screen time.
Where’s the gray moral area? It’s that place that you occupy when you sit down and watch SpongeBob Squarepants with your kids and laugh right along with them. Or when you ask them to text for you while you are driving, or better yet — order pizza for dinner on the way home.
Compassion gets mistaken for complete acceptance of behavior.
Sin is sin. However, since we don’t know someone else’s heart and God is truly the only judge, why do we find it necessary to “throw the baby out with the bath water” when it comes to certain segments of society?
Try casting the first stone, if you will. I have found those stones to be very, very heavy when confronted with my “stance” on an issue. What’s God’s stance? He clearly states His in the Bible. I didn’t write the Bible. So, my alignment with it has to be completely voluntary and of my own reason and free will. God created us this way — thinking, reasoning and decision making reflections of His. It gets gray when I feel Christ’s burning heart of compassion burning within me and I can’t ignore its heat.
Motherhood brings a whole different dynamic to gray matter. We are supposed to be teaching our children what black and white is. There is no room for gray moral area.
We are supposed to clarify the world for our children. To darken the gray to black or bleach it to white. Our faith in God can help, but ultimately we have to surrender to His authority in discerning what to teach and impart to our kids.
What gray moral areas have you struggled in as a mom?
Where has God brought you clarity in a gray moral area?
When have you submitted to His authority?