If I think about it, there are a lot of circumstances I might regret as a mom–how I handled something, how I responded–the list might fill a book.
But I’m convinced I’m supposed to live with no regrets–especially when it comes to motherhood. And I’m convinced you can live with no regrets too.
The New Testament offers many examples of people who might be crippled under the weight of regret. Take Peter, for example. When Jesus was walking on the water, Peter asserts himself, asking to walk on the water too. He was confident until he saw the strength of the waves. He was sinking and would have drowned had Jesus not stepped in to lift him up out of the water. I’m fairly certain he regretted being afraid of the waves.
But Peter’s story doesn’t end there. In fact, one of the worst things Peter is known for is found in all four gospels: he denied knowing Jesus–after he had ADAMANTLY stated he would never do such a thing and was ready to die with Christ.
Can I interject and say that I’ve been known to say that “I would never be that kind of mom…”
Luke records that as Peter denied Jesus for the last time, the Savior turned and looked at him. Ouch. I can absolutely feel his regret emanating from the lines of Scripture.
And I would add that I have felt the Holy Spirit’s gentle tug on my heart after an explosive response to my family. Owww!!!! Regret hurts.
Peter’s life and ministry didn’t end with those stories, and with that, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. You see, in Acts, Peter preached confidently to the Jews who had killed Jesus. Yes, you read that right. In. Their. Faces. Knowing full well what they were capable of–he preached his heart out anyway.
Paul’s story began with regretful circumstances. He started out as Saul, the great persecutor of the early Christians; he was tasked with throwing them in jail. Everyone knew his name and, just like “Mufasa” on The Lion King, people would shudder in fear at the sound of his name. But God changed his name–and after a conversion of epic proportions, Saul became Paul, the great missionary and encourager of the Christians.
I don’t know what you’ve done as a mom–the things that have happened within the walls of your home–but this I know: He is a great Savior. And He doesn’t hold our regrets against us.
There’s a perfect example in John 8. The Pharisees dragged a woman caught in the act of adultery and brought her to Jesus. Get ready: His response was EVERYTHING. Because Momma? There are always going to be people around us, just waiting for us to slip up. Those guys didn’t just “happen” to see this woman–they were waiting around, hoping to catch her. What they didn’t know is that instead of dragging her to judgment, they were actually dragging her to her Savior.
Jesus told her accusers that those among them without sin should be the first to cast stones. Let me let you in on a little secret: no one who is accusing you is without sin. No one.
After the crowds had left, Jesus asked her where her accusers were. They had vanished.
But….for me, anyway, the accusers are rarely actually out there. The “accusers” are actually my own thoughts. If you were a better mom, your kid wouldn’t struggle in school. If you were a good mother, your kids would faithfully complete their chores. If you were actually a godly mom, you not have blown up at your kids before school the other day. Good moms don’t yell.
But listen to the response Jesus gave that desperate woman: “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
The weight of my own regrets could threaten to paralyze me in every area of my life. If I let them, my regrets could choke out the voice God gave me to share His truth to moms. Regrets could leave me unable to crawl out of bed each morning. But He says He doesn’t hold those things against me. He tells me to “go and sin no more.” He didn’t condemn Peter for his lack of faith and lack of courage. He didn’t condemn Paul for the wickedness he committed before he met Christ on that road to Damascus. He didn’t condemn the woman caught in sin. And He’s not condemning you. Ask forgiveness at His feet. Then go. Sin no more. No regrets.
Lamentations 3 reminds us that God’s great mercies are new every morning. Sometimes, instead of going and sinning no more, we go on and sin again. But He is faithful, waiting ready with fresh mercies for today, tomorrow, and forever. Don’t live under the weight of regret. Rest under the gentle weight of the mercy of God. No regrets.