Who defines who you are?

Why is it that what people think matters so much to us? Why do we listen? When someone cloaks their words with honey, yet they stab at the heart. Why? Who are these people that throw these barbs thinking that they are offering helpful insight, but really are tearing through our tender hearts?

The only one who matters, the only one whose thoughts about my performance, my success, my choices who really matters is Jesus. So when those sweet people (unsuspecting I trust, some are) offer their opinions I really need to start responding with a gentle rebuke “thank you for your opinion, I will take it into consideration the next quiet moment I have to analyze my life” – or something to that affect.  Not to be mean, but to remind them that they are not walking in my shoes and they do not know what my life is really like.

Dear friends, does it matter if another thinks your choices wrong? That your children wild? That your house messy? Does it really, honestly, truly matter? Without a minutia of hesitation NO!! No – no – no!!! Can I say it again NO!!!

We, you and I are not defined by what we do, how we look, what we accomplish. We are perfectly created just the way we are. Issues, problems, quirks and all! I know I can be rough at times, I am not a lovely, sweet, huggy person. That is okay. I can bless those around me by my honesty (at times). I can offer words of truth and encouragement and that is who I am. 

I recently had family in. My uncle and aunt. They love my kids – they are like grandparents to them. They are so wonderful to play with them when we are all together – many games of Q-Bitz, ColorKu, Baseball, and more, were played the last few days. I love that they will take time to build that relationship.

In a conversation my uncle was talking about the kids and said “they can be wild, but…” I cannot remember what followed, but I remembered the wild remark. Then I thought, should they be wild? Are they too wild? (Please understand, the only reason I remember this is because I am always waiting for someone to insult my parenting, homeschool choice, etc.  It is a normal part of my life – not a healthy part.  I was not insulted when my uncle said this, I simply slipped right into my mode of “is he right?  Am I wrong?” etc.  My uncle was not insulting my kids of me.  And as I continue to grow in who defines me I am dealing quicker and healthier with this issue of mine!)

I started to doubt myself and my “accomplishment” of parenting. But after a moment or two I realized, I know they are wild. They are boys. There are 3 and there is much group think involved in life in our home. Do I love the wild? No. I wish they were only occasionally wild. But I cannot pick and choose. I cannot want them to be BOYS outside : fishing, playing, climbing trees – but come in and read quietly all afternoon. It is a package deal. They are true boys all the time. Do they know their manners? Yes. Do they always demonstrate that? Of course not. They are kids. They are supposed to run too fast, talk too loud, hit too hard – all that. They are supposed to push the limit so that I can redefine it and and help them learn where the limit should be so that some day they will choose a safe limit. But if they modeled perfect behavior now, but in their hearts did not understand – this is a dangerous combination. Those disconnects can lead to major rebellion – and BIG mistakes later in life.

{Disclaimer – if your guilt over an issue is rooted in the other person’s opinions it is not a worth dwelling on it is guilt. Jesus/God does not use guilt to motivate us. If your guilt/feeling is over the fact that you are not doing your job (i.e. parenting, housekeeping, etc) then God may be nudging you to reassess where you are and what you need to be doing. The source of these feelings is vital to knowing which actions to take. God does not deal in guilt – Satan does. God inspires, motivates, and encourages – even in areas of change and improvement}

So, will I take my wild boys today? Yes – and I will continue to trim their wings as needed so that when they choose to fly this coop, they will know where the limitations should be and will make mature and wise choices.

I honestly feel like this same logic applies to so many areas of our lives. My clean house only demonstrates that I chose to spend time cleaning versus reading a book to my kids, fishing at the pond, or taking some time to myself. A clean house is can be calming, but again – a stable without an ox is tidy – I have oxen! I have 4 messy oxen and I will try to teach them to pick up – but I do not expect a clean stable for many years!

I know Satan uses these areas in our lives to hold us back, to draw our mind to dwell on our inadequacies. He likes to make us feel less worthy, not so good, imperfect. While we are imperfect – Jesus looks at our crazy messy life, and HE knows we are loving our kids, doing our best, and being who we are. He loves us through the messy floor, through the wild kids and through our crazy personality flaws! Thank goodness He does!!

God is good – let’s look to HIM to define who we are and not the wonderful friend with the words with daggers. Let’s trust that we are doing what He wants us to do.

2 thoughts on “Who defines who you are?

  1. As a mom of sons, I live this. Moms of daughters without any sons tend to be even more judgemental. Trying to please everybody so they think you're doing is great job is just throwing seeds into the wind. Do what you think is the best job plants those seeds – and makes those boys want to come home. I wish I had been able to let go of a lot of things when my oldest was younger – but God knew what I would struggle with and gives me grace. Yeah for moms of Wild Boys!

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