I recently read a Facebook post written by a proud Aunt describing all of the amazing “motherly qualities” her niece possesses. She talked of the way her niece cares for her 4 children while she keeps her home immaculately clean, with unbelievably organized closets. She talked about how she cooks and cleans, takes her children to dance and music classes, talks and plays with them, and dresses them perfectly with French braids and the works. She even mentioned how her niece cares for herself with polished nails and hair do’s.
We all have to admit that these are excellent qualities to possess, and most of us as moms look at women like this with awe, admiration and a teeny bit of jealously.
But, I have to ask. Is this the true measure of a mom? Is this truly what makes a mom a “good” mom and worthy of praise?
What about the qualities that are inside a mom that you can’t see from the outside? Like her patience, self-sacrifice, worries and prayers for her children? We live in a world that is driven by what we see on the outside. As long as you look like you have it all together then it must be true. We’ve bought into the lie that the better you look, the better your house, the better you “do”, the more you have, the better the person…. So what are we suppose to do?
Should we work ourselves to the bone to achieve the ‘perfect’ look? Should we go out and buy new clothes and color our hair to look more like what we see on t.v or magazines? Should we pretend to be something we’re not so people will look at us with admiration, awe, and a teeny bit of jealousy?
Well, we could. Or, we could listen to what God has to say about who we are. In 1 Samuel 16, God reminded Samuel that He bases his decisions on inward character and a person’s heart alone. God told Samuel, “looks aren’t everything, don’t be impressed with his (Saul’s) looks and stature, because I have refused him. God judges differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
It’s so hard and tempting to want what the world says we should have but if that’s what we are trying to achieve then I’m afraid the sad truth is, we will never measure up. While having a clean house, well-groomed kids, and good self-hygiene are important, they don’t define who you really are when no one is looking. Perfection isn’t real, it’s a disguise for the ugly, unkempt, messy, human-being that is loved unconditionally by an all knowing, all seeing, God that loves who and what you really are.