New Mama, Don’t Ask God If You’re Doing the Right Thing

The following has been adapted from a devotional I gave at my daughter’s baby shower. I hope it can encourage you as it has my daughter.

You are expecting a baby! Or perhaps you’ve already given birth or adopted a child. How exciting! You’ve been given the honor of introducing your little one to a God who is bigger than the universe. You will do that in obvious ways, like going to church, praying, and reading the Bible. But you will also do it in unseen ways, such as caring for your own soul. Your child will see Jesus in the way you speak to your friends and family and the way you treat the checkout lady at Walmart. He will be taking it all in all the time.

No pressure, right?

And while it’s true that the grace of God covers our shortfalls and will prevail as you parent your child, it is every bit as true that God has you at the center of His plans for forming your little one’s heart. At first blush, all this could be more than overwhelming. If we aren’t careful, it won’t be long before doubts and the guilt that comes with them invade our mother-hearts.

One doubt has haunted me as a mother, and it’s a question I asked many godly friends over the years: am I doing the right thing?

This question tempts us in a thousand ugly ways to second-guess our husbands and drown ourselves in anxiety. It can invite tired advice and criticism from others. When I asked, “Am I doing the right thing?”, the focus was on me and not on the Lord.

What if the answer was “No, you aren’t doing the right thing”? The guilt that followed when I received that answer rarely transformed me or changed my behavior. So, I’d advise you, when you are tempted to ask that question, go to the chalkboard in your mind and erase it. Then ask another. “God, will You remind me what You have already done?”

Move the focus off yourself and onto the Lord. Instead of self-critiquing, remind yourself that He has indeed begun a good work in you, and He will surely complete it (Phil. 1:6). Because you know He can be trusted, place your full confidence in Him. Flood your mind with memories of His faithfulness, even when you feel you have been faithless.

Recounting God’s faithfulness allows us to serve and obey Him out of love and not mere obligation. This is precisely what David does in Psalm 40. He gives thanks for God’s past faithfulness and then acknowledges his own present need. But note what David says in verse 8, “I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”

I have no guarantee that if you do this all will be well. Perhaps like me, you’ve already come “through many dangers, toils, and snares.” But in the dangers, toils, and snares of motherhood, remember to recall the faithfulness of God in the past. How?

Remember What God Has Done By . . .

1. Keeping a Journal

Perhaps you only have time to jot a few things in your phone. You don’t need to write an epic novel, just enough for you to refer to from time to time to help bring specifics to mind. After all, God repeatedly commands us throughout Scripture to “remember.” He knows that we, like the children of Israel, are prone to forget.

2. Telling Your Children

We can remember by telling our children of specific ways God has been faithful to us in the past. Saying these things out loud to our children will strengthen our feeble hearts. It can also help our children establish a pattern of remembering their Lord. Scripture is filled with similar exhortations:

One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts (Ps. 145:4).

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done (Ps. 78:4).

Ask the Lord to remind you of what He has already done. Allow it to inform you of your future. When you seek to teach your child left from right—and then wrong from right, you will inevitably need this assurance, for you cannot do the task apart from Christ.

3. Worshiping the Lord

My husband and I determined to teach our kids a great many truths, trusting their knowledge would transform into good behavior. We insisted on making them do a great many things. But we quickly found a few things that we couldn’t force upon them. We couldn’t insist that our kids worship. We couldn’t even make them sing in church. We could raise an eyebrow, tap them on the shoulder, and warn them there would be consequences if they didn’t pay attention, didn’t stand and sit on cue, or bow their heads. They could display all the outward elements of compliance, yet we couldn’t make them sing, at least not the kind of singing that comes from the heart. I asked the Lord to give my children what I could not, a full heart to sing. He answered that prayer.

Every time my daughter, Anna, and her young friends gathered, there would be singing flooding the house from her room, followed by joyful laughter. The great thing about singing? It’s another way to remember.

Next thing I knew, Anna was wearing a white gown, and I had on something that looked just like the dress my mom wore when I got married. Anna sang her heart out that day. She promised in front of all of us to love her husband, Glenn, no matter what, and now their love touches a child. I have already begun praying, “Lord, give my granddaughter a heart to sing! We’re working on a full choir here!”

So when you are tempted to ask, “God, am I doing the right thing?”, ask Him another question as well: “God, will You remind me of what You have already done, and will You allow it to inform me as to what You will be doing in the future?”


About the Author

Gaye Clark

Gaye Clark

Gaye Clark is a nurse case manager for Parkridge Health Systems in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has written for The Gospel Coalition, Servants of Grace, and many other online media outlets, including Revive Our Hearts. She is the widow of … read more …

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