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I have had a couple of conversations this week that make me wonder: why are we so judgmental of other parents?
Last year a huge controversy erupted when “fit mom” Maria Kang posted a picture of her, very toned, self and her three young children with the caption, “What’s your excuse?” She went on to author an article about how she really wasn’t sorry, and that its not healthy for women to accept their fat bodies. Is a fit mom a better mom? Is a fat mom a better mom? Does it really make a difference?
Or lets visit the all-time-favorite parental judging hot topic – working moms vs. stay at home moms. Stay at home moms are lazy. Working moms hire other people to raise their children. I have been a working mom since my daughter was three weeks old. Sure, I know some seriously lazy stay-at-home moms who need a dumpster backed up to their driveway to clean their house. I also know some seriously lazy working moms. I know working moms who are nonexistent in their children’s lives. I know stay at home moms who don’t spend any quality time with their kids. One’s occupation does not define who they are, how they act, or the quality of their parenting. Everyone’s situation is different, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation for every family.
What is particularly disturbing to me is that these conversations and situations go on between Christians. Friends. People who go to church together. James 4:11 says …
Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.
Ephesians 4:29 is familiar, so why don’t we apply it more often?
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
How would the culture in our churches change if we stopped judging each other, and started encouraging each other? In The Cost of Discipleship Dietrich Bonhoeffer says,
By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.
Whether you homeschool or send your kids to public school, feed your kids all organic or out of a Mc Donald’s bag, the important thing is that you are listening to and following God’s calling on your life and parenting – not living up to someone else’s expectations.
I am making it a goal to consciously be aware of the negative, judgmental comments coming out of my mouth, and to replace them with encouragement. Will you take that challenge with me this week?