We officially entered “the terrible twos” at my house recently. My daughter now screams “NO!” in response to 70% of what I say to her, she throws a fit when she doesn’t get what she wants, and she looks right at me while misbehaving, just to see if I will say no for the hundredth time. My friends with older children tell me it does get better, but then it gets hard again.
Motherhood is like a rollercoaster ride, lots of ups and downs and even some loop-the-loops. Children are sweet and then a terror. They seek to please you but also drive you crazy testing every boundary you set. They demonstrate great love and loyalty, and then lie to your face.
Even though I am only two years in, I already know one thing to be true: mothers need an extra dose of meekness.
10 Traits of a Meek Mother
(Based off of Matthew Henry’s definition of “those who are meek”.)
1. Meek mothers submit themselves to God and follow his directions.
In today’s media driven society, mothers are bombarded with advice on raising children. A quick google search will bring up hundreds of different opinions on sleep training, feeding, safety, schooling, and anything else that keeps us awake at night. The information can quickly become overwhelming if we do not submit first to God.
The meek mother acknowledges God as the ultimate authority on raising children, and so she studies His word. She also asks the Holy Spirit to give her wisdom and discernment concerning the world’s advice.
2. Meek mothers bear provocation without being inflamed by it.
The definition of provocation is “action or speech that makes someone annoyed or angry, especially deliberately.” (Doesn’t that sound like a toddler and a teenager?)
At times, children love to provoke their mothers. Sometimes it is just to get a reaction out of us, but more often it is a test. The child wants to know, “can mom remain in control if I misbehave?” For their benefit, and our own sanity, we must prove to them we can.
In the midst of frustration, the meek mother remains calm. She does not allow her child’s misbehavior to enrage her.
3. Meek mothers guard their tongues.
As parents, we play a prominent role in shaping our child’s self-concept. Our words either convey that our child is worthy, loved, and precious, or that they are insignificant and unworthy of our time and attention.
A meek mother speaks softly to her children, even when she is upset. She also knows when it is best to remain silent, and refuses to argue when her child picks a fight.
4. Meek mothers can show displeasure when appropriate without falling into sin.
A lack of anger does not mean a lack of discipline. As mothers, we are to guide our children, teach them right from wrong, and demonstrate proper behavior in our own actions. When we respond to sin with sin, we are sending mixed messages, and confusing our children.
A meek mother disciplines her child with love instead of anger. (If you are wondering how to do this, check out[affiliate link] Love and Logic Magic.)
5. Meek mothers can be cool when others are hot.
When your child starts yelling and screaming, it can be tempting to yell and scream right back! But that response does little good and a lot of harm.
A meek mother understands her child’s anger doesn’t give her permission to respond with anger. She understands her child is still learning to control their emotions, and it is part of her job to demonstrate what that looks like.
6. Meek mothers use patience to keep possession of their soul, even when they can scarcely keep possession of anything else.
All moms have days where they feel like they are going crazy. We misplace items, struggle to manage simple tasks, and nothing is under our control anymore. Yet, even when it feels like we are losing our minds, we cannot afford to lose our souls.
A meek mother takes serious the task of preserving her soul. She regularly draws close to God, and acquires her patience from His abundant grace.
7. Meek mothers are rarely and hardly provoked.
Are you noticing a theme here? A meek mother is slow to anger and does not allow it to get the better of her.
8. Meek mothers are quickly and easily pacified.
As mothers, we will not be perfect at remaining cool and collected when our child throws a fit in the middle of the grocery store (or any other provoking situation). In fact, becoming angry or frustrated with our children from time to time is inevitable. Therefore, we must learn to respond to ourselves with meekness as well.
A meek mother quickly deescalates the situation and seeks to restore peace among her family.
9. Meek mothers would rather forgive 20 times than revenge once.
When Peter asked Jesus how many times he was to forgive someone, Jesus told him seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21-22). Most scholars agree that Jesus’ response implies there is no limit. We are to love unconditionally and forgive always.
The beautiful part about forgiving our children and never seeking revenge is that it teaches them to do the same—to be like Jesus.
A meek mother offers unending forgiveness, which points her children to Jesus.
10. Meek mothers have rule over their own spirits.
As believers, we have the upper hand on sin. By Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we can repent and be restored, by the Holy Spirit, we can discern right from wrong, and by God’s grace we can be kept from sinning.
A meek mother never claims to have no control over her actions. She recognizes her sinful nature, and asks for the Lord’s help in standing strong in His ways.
Reading this list may feel intimidating, and perhaps convicting (it sure felt that way writing it!). So I want to add one final trait: Meek mothers accept the gift of God’s grace.
In a previous post, I defined meek as being “content with just who you are—no more, no less” (Matthew 5:5 MSG). Because of God’s grace, He accepts us just as we are. He knows we will not be perfect mothers. He knows we will get angry, and we will make mistakes; but He continues to offer us grace again and again.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
So draw on God’s grace, and seek to be meek.