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Eliza Shares What She Learned the Hard Way about Being a Godly Mother

 

Oh if only I had known then what I know now and what Eliza is about to share with us! Listen up ladies, this is CRITICAL, life-changing information you are about to learn! It will save you untold heartache if you apply God’s wisdom to your life ASAP!

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Greg (April’s husband) with our son as a newborn

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND, LADIES!

This post is a priceless treasure for those of you who are mothers. May God richly bless your walk with Him, your marriages and your children as you seek to honor, wholeheartedly love and obey Christ! (Warning – you may need tissues for this one )

From a precious sister in Christ, Eliza:

I don’t feel like an old lady speaking to younger women. I still feel very young and find it pretty hard thinking of myself as a woman in her early 50′s. But I definitely am an aged woman as I have raised my family from beginning to end. So, I’ve experienced the end result and know the full spectrum from sowing to reaping. I really hope my life experiences can help other women be the mothers God wants them to be. And HE can accomplish it in our lives if we simply submit to His principles with our children as we also diligently submit to the principles we are putting into place regarding our husbands. They really go hand in hand. To God be the glory for all He has accomplished in my life!

For some reason, however, it isn’t necessarily the pain of what hurt I caused my husband (although I deeply regret hurting him and it breaks my heart that I hurt him so much), but it is the pain I caused my children that hurts the most.

They were innocent and weren’t part of the dynamics of our marriage. You just absolutely cannot imagine how painful it can be to have your children tell you the hurts you caused them. Not sure the rest of my life is enough time for healing for that. I agree that you cannot have a testimony without having first had the trials. I’m not trying to make anybody feel bad about that… I just wish I had learned a lot sooner. But, I’m choosing not to lament over it because it isn’t the attitude God wants when He did so much to accomplish forgiveness for me.

MY STORY:

Because my husband has a very meek spirit and he also has the gift of mercy, he was very gracious towards the kids’ “mistakes, sins, disobedient behaviors.” I was very militant with the kids, and lacked greatly in the mercy department. I was really strict and was always trying to keep control of everything and everybody.

  • It hurt the kids to see me control their dad ~ they thought he was the best dad ever.

But I was really tough on all of them too because I was so controlling. They did not feel loved by me. (did you hear what I said??) Imagine your kids telling you that!!

I was blind. All those years I thought I was a good mother. Then they sat me down and told me otherwise. I thought I was going to die of a broken heart. I was devastated. The truth is that the Bible advocates Mercy AND Truth. God always puts the two together. You can’t have Mercy and no Truth, and you can’t have Truth with no Mercy. Look up mercy and truth and you will see how God puts them together in His Word.

I needed somebody like Debi Pearl  (“Created to Be His Helpmeet”) to wake me up and show me what I wasn’t seeing. Her book did exactly that. And I am confident that that is the kind of book God ordained that I read because I needed that to wake me up. I experienced great conviction, as I said, and I repented. I apologized to everybody and now I am trusting God to heal all of our relationships. (For Nikka’s review of this highly controversial book, please click here. April has not read this book as of yet.)

Slowly, He is doing that, and I am grateful. But I will go to my grave knowing I caused such pain and hurt to my precious babies. I am so so so thankful God got a hold of my heart through this book. He has changed my life. Praise God, my children have all forgiven me and we are now working on building new relationships with each other. I know they are shocked to see me so calm and so peaceful. It has given them hope. I know God will accomplish much in His timing.

I should have relied more on God’s Word, strength, and Holy Spirit power when I was raising my kids. I was prideful; I thought I was doing great. I don’t recall ever asking God for His opinion. Yikes! It’s just nuts how you can think you are A-OK and then God shows you otherwise. It’s pretty humbling. But I praise God for His humbling me and showing me who I was and the hurt I was causing. I never want to act like that again…I am determined to continue to learn and grow and trust in God’s power and not my own. I am so dependant on God now and don’t trust in myself. I was so high strung before because I was doing it all on my own. And now, I have God’s peace and He enables me and keeps me on track. It’s a night and day change in my life. And I am eternally grateful to the Lord to lead me to April and Nikka’s blogs because they have been such a blessing to me. Thank you, Ladies!!! And praise our awesome God!!

I DIDN’T SUBMIT TO MY HUSBAND’S AUTHORITY WITH DISCIPLINE

One area I feel I really negatively impacted the kids is in the area of discipline. What I would do differently now is submit to my husband’s choice or method of discipline for the kids. Resisting his authority in front of the kids by taking over was SO disrespectful!! For whatever reason, I always thought I was pretty good at it.

  • Time has brought the truth to light that I wasn’t so good at it! I was too militant and harsh as a woman.

I think it was a contradiction in itself to be a woman and be that way. It confused the kids.

  • They really wanted their mom to have a meek and gentle spirit.
  • They wanted me to submit to and respect their dad.
  • They wanted to me speak few words.
  • They wanted lots of hugs and encouraging words from me.
  • I was too busy being in control of everybody to be a soft place for them.
  • They needed mom to be softer and dad to have full control.

He also always disciplined in love, and he definitely had a lot more self control than I did. I could get pretty upset and emotional. I 100% believe now that the husband should make the decisions regarding this area of parenting.

I just did whatever I thought was best — I didn’t take my husband’s preference into consideration.

When this happens, the kids can see that the parents are not in agreement. That’s never a good thing either. It makes the kids feel insecure. They need to see their parents in agreement; and if the parents are not in agreement, they need to see the mother defer to the father.
Not being respectful to my husband in other areas also really caused the kids some deep hurts. “No man can serve two masters.” The kids should not be torn between having to please both parents & when they are not in agreement, that makes it very tough on the kids. God wired the kids to thrive in the environment that He ordained for the family. There is a chain of command that God set into place, and if we do not follow that, we will have problems and it will affect the children in negative ways.
Debi Pearl also said something that impacted me. She said that control and dominance are masculine traits and that a woman’s calling is to be submissive and yielding to her husband. I never lived like that and that was NOT a good testimony to my children…now that I am living according to God’s Word, I see the kids noticing and I hope they learn from what I am practicing now — not what I practiced when I was in rebellion to God and His Word.

Unfortunately, I now only have one child left at home. Maybe I will be a better grandmother than a mother! I’m trusting in God’s goodness and mercy. I want Him to use all my mistakes for good, and I do know and understand that He can use all this for good if I use it for ministry to help other ladies. I want to be used by God to warn women that there is a day of reckoning and it just might be extremely painful. It doesn’t have to be that way. God can change us before it is too late.

“A child’s view of God is formed in the likeness of his dad.”

I read your article on “Respecting our Husbands as Fathers,” April, and it was point on!

I am extremely thankful that your statement (above) is 100% true and my own experience confirms it too. I can tell you for certain that God allowed our children to take on more of the character of their father, not me. They all love and adore their dad and are very similar to his personality and temperament. God graciously allowed them to learn to emulate him, not me. It is as though the Lord caused the children to retain what he taught and set by example and reject all the negative, unBiblical stuff I was doing. God put it in children’s hearts and minds that the father is meant to be the head of the household, and they seem to want to live that out whether or not the mother and wife applies it herself.

God honored my husband’s behavior and rejected mine.

You did such a good job teaching the children to treat their father the same way you did. That is how it should be!! In your situation, God honored your teaching because it was Biblical and so He allowed the children to emulate it. Mine NEVER emulated my behavior — thank God!! You have saved yourself so much unnecessary pain. I encourage you to continue to apply these principles no matter what! Thank you for seeking God in your life and learning the proper order for the home before any major hurts occurred. I praise your efforts and am so thankful for all the wisdom the Lord has given you. May God do this same work in homes across our land and even throughout the world for His honor and glory!!

19 thoughts on “Eliza Shares What She Learned the Hard Way about Being a Godly Mother

  1. Wow! It is amazing what God can do. He has to break our stony hearts in order to replace it with a heart of flesh. It hurts to know ou are wrong but awesome to know that the Great I AM is the one who told us and the only one who can heal us.He might take us aside for a ‘heart to heart’ chat or maybe ‘out to the woodshed. Both show mercy and truth. His grace is truly sufficient.

    “Praise God, my children have all forgiven me and we are now working on building new relationships with each other. I know they are shocked to see me so calm and so peaceful. It has given them hope. I know God will accomplish much in His timing.”

    Thank you sis Eliza for the testimony. It is VERY ENCOURAGING. I am so glad God can heal the collateral damage we cause.

  2. Pingback: Today’s Post | Peacefulwife's Blog
  3. Faithful instruction spoken like a Proverbs 31 woman. Thank you Eliza for the gift of your wisdom and perspective. Beautiful.

  4. Eliza,
    This touched me and I wept as I read it. I didn’t realize until I got to the end that I was raised in this same environment (thus I relate to your children’s perspective). I knew at a young age I did not want to be anything like my mother whose words cut deep wounds to those she loved. Our home never included biblical instruction or talk of God and it wasn’t until my mid 30s that I had a radical experience with God (during marriage struggles) that brought me to my knees and everything began to make sense. I never held anything against my mother as an adult, but my sister still struggles to this day over it. My mother is also a changed woman, she no longer acts like she did when we were growing up, she is a wonderful grandmother full of remorse for how she treated us as kids – and it’s hard to get her to understand that it’s okay, that was the past and I’ve forgiven her…it’s clear she hasn’t forgiven herself.

    Because of the way I was treated as a child, my understanding of emotional suffering is so much more robust and I can relate to those that experience emotional suffering today – whether it be through their marriage, their family, their friends, etc – and can be a source of encouragement for them. It’s hard to see how God could use things for his Glory, but Eliza he is! Your children witnessed both Godly and unGodly reactions to situations and circumstances, and God will use that to work in their hearts to lead them down a Godly reaction path.

    My child is still young (8) and I struggle daily to not react in an ungodly way – I don’t always get it right, but man it sure does feel great when I do! We can only strive to keep growing and we must forgive ourselves so we can move on and up.

    I pray the Lord brings you peace regarding your past behaviors and that you continue to grow in the Lord’s ways.
    Much love Eliza!

    1. AtPeace,
      I love your screen name!! 🙂

      Thank you for sharing that you experienced this environment as a child – I think your perspective brings a whole new dimension and clarity to Eliza’s story. Praise God that He drew you to Himself and that He changed your mother. WOOOHOOO!

      It is so hard to forgive ourselves. That is the hardest forgiveness to learn, in my view. But – thankfully, Jesus’ blood is more than sufficient to cover all of our sin! And if God is satisfied, we, too, can be satisfied that what Jesus did for us on the cross was more than enough to pay all of the sin debt we owe to God. Every penny of the “billions of sin dollars” – Jesus has paid on our behalf in full, if we will but receive His grace, mercy, forgiveness and new life!

      Praying for wisdom for you! I lost my temper with my children last night myself. We ALL have a lot to learn and much room for growth. I know I do and always will have plenty of room to grow in Christlikeness until the day I die.

      Much love!

  5. In my journey to become a godly wife, I have indeed become a much more godly mother. My eight year old wrote me a note just last night before bed …. “I love the books you are reading mommy, they are making you a better mommy and you don’t even yell anymore”. (Exerpt) Um, hello wake up call!!! Thank you God. Thank you all for sharing your stories. Even if I am unable to restore my marriage, I have indeed restored my relationships with my three daughters. Amen.

    1. Oh goodness, Catherine!

      This brings me tears of joy, too. WOW!

      Well, there’s some motivation fro you!!!!

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. I love how Eliza is living up to the Titus 2 elder call and how I am learning so much from her. Her story shows how our disrespect impacts our children, not just our husbands. Being human, no man is an island. Every action we do affects others positively or negatively. Her story validates me and my decision to let go and let God and to submit to my husband, Dong.

    Thanks sister Eliza! You will be one spunky Grandma in the future! 🙂

    Love,

    Nikka

    1. Nikka,
      You are so right – what we do affects many others – more than we probably will ever realize here on earth. Isn’t Eliza’s story so powerful?!? I know that would be my story, too, if God didn’t wake me up 5 years ago.

      Much love, my friend! I hope you are feeling better!

  7. I just want to share a comment my pastor makes occasionally…its not how we start our race in this marriage and family arena in this case….It’s how we finish…God knew we were going to make the messes we did before He in His infinite grace and wisdom let us raise our precious kids…Eliza I relate all too well…I am mid 50 and lament at times my rebellious and unsubmitted attitude toward my husband that rubbed off on my 3 girls…yup but its under the bridge and now its up to how we finish and call on Him to undue the messes we’ve made…It’s all by His grace anyway…bless you ladies this mother’s day!!!

    1. Pearl,

      Love this! Thank you for this great encouragement.
      One thing that encourages me is to know that nothing can take my children out of God’s loving, sovereign, holy hands – not even me! I love to rest in God’s sovereignty and trust Him – it brings such peace. And I know that He is able to use even my mistakes, failures and sin for His glory – in my life and in the lives of my husband and children. Praise God that He is GREAT and He is GOOD and He is completely trustworthy and faithful even when we are not.

      This has to be ALL about Him and His power working in us. Amen!

  8. Eliza, I have such a hard time with wanting to control my kids! I have gotten better about letting go of control with my husband. I realize that most of the issues with my kids are because they aren’t doing what *I* want them to do! I fear that my pre-teen daughter does not feel very loved by me. it seems like a daily struggle. She’s the “perfect student” at school and all her teachers praise her, but she seems like such a different person at home. She doesn’t want to do her simple, few daily chores and I seem to be nagging her about them all the time. I’M SO TIRED of it all! I’ve felt like I’ve been up against a brick wall for so long. All she seems to be concerned with at home is her self and wanting to play and good off all the time. We’ve tried so many different approaches to try to get through to her, but nothing has.
    So, what am I suppose to do? Just back off and be a kind and gentle spirit and just smile when she blows off her responsibilities???? HELP!!!!!!!

    1. Gottaletgo,

      A mother/child relationship with children still at home is NOT AT ALL the same as a husband/wife relationship. A mom does have authority over her children and it will be a very gradual process of letting go. There do need to be boundaries, rules, consequences, etc… for children. Your husband may have much wisdom to offer as you seek to find the right balance (which changes over time and is different with each child) of love, nurturing, loving discipline, firmness, instruction, consequences, responsibility, etc.

      I’m sure Eliza could add more. My goal is to use a gentle tone of voice with my children, but if they don’t obey and don’t obey, I will eventually raise my voice. I also check with Greg to see if he feels I need to change my approach. How old is your daughter?

      Are you giving her chores and limiting screen time?

      Much love! Praying for wisdom for you!

  9. I was so blessed by all the gracious things people said when they commented after reading about my journey. Thank you to all who posted a comment. It was really therapeutic for me to see how gracious people could be when they read about the hurt I caused my own children. That’s been very healing for me. 🙂
    The ironic thing about my testimony is that despite the fact that I didn’t have a hold on having a meek and gentle spirit (that does not give way to FEAR), and being submissive and respectful, the Lord STILL allowed me (us) to do a great job raising our kids. They all love the Lord and are serving Him faithfully. People praise us all the time about them (isn’t God good!!). We have learned a lot about child-rearing because we sought the Lord and He taught us. People would ask us for advice all the time; we were even told by people that we should write a book. That’s why I was so blind. I thought it was okay for me to be so militant and controlling because there was a lot of fruit in our kids. But I missed the very critical component of being the ‘kind’ of woman God wanted me to be – loving, gracious, meek and gentle-spirited, submissive and respectful to my husband. It just shows that even when a sinful person applies God’s principles, they will still bear fruit. I find that very encouraging, though! The problem with me was, I think, that I listened to the praise of men rather than seeking God for His approval. If I had asked Him for His opinion, I think He would have showed me a lot sooner that, although the principles were point on, the vessel applying them was still missing the mark. Kids just really need to see the parents fulfilling the roles that God created for the family. Even though we have great kids that love God, I would not have to carry the pain of knowing that I hurt them by not loving them the way a woman should love her kids. I wish on top of all the wisdom that we applied, I could have been the kind of mom that didn’t give way to fear (that’s where most of my control came from) and just trusted God and my husband more. I think a lot of us as mothers are fearful for our kids and try to control things because we are trying to protect them. My husband didn’t have those kind of fears. He was capable of dealing with them (and their sin natures) a lot better than me. I just know now, though, that the kids really needed and wanted to see me be more relaxed and at peace and trust my husband enough to let him have the control. I thought we should be more “equal” in that area but now I realize I wasn’t created as a woman to carry that kind of weight…I am the “weaker vessel.” I know that’s why I have so much peace now – because I let my husband carry the weight he was created to carry and I give him the support and encouragement he needs to do it.
    I have been so encouraged reading this blog – the posts as well as all the comments. And it is such a blessing to know that we have a gracious heavenly Father who stands with us and helps us and is so longsuffering towards us. Knowing that makes me want to be more longsuffering towards others. God has shown me so much mercy and I want to extend that to others now too. God is so good! 🙂 Knowing He is working all this together for good has given me the strength I need to continue on this journey by faith and trusting in Him. God Bless you all!

  10. Eliza and Peacefulwife, thank you so much for your godly mentoring. Eliza, I needed that reminder about not disagreeing with my husband in front of the kids. That has been a HUGE issue in my past an something God has shown me since I’ve been reading Aprils blog. I didn’t realize how enormous my pride was and didn’t even think of that as pride!
    God bless both of you

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