Learning Curve

It seems everywhere I turn lately I am reading something on biblical womanhood and Paul’s charge to the older women to teach the younger women (Titus 2:5). I am reluctantly coming to terms with the idea that at forty years old, I can indeed be considered one of the older women of Paul’s challenge. The thing is, not only do I not like to consider myself one of the “older women” crowd, I honestly don’t feel as if I have anything worth teaching or training. I myself am a mess; how can I help someone else with that which I have yet to figure out myself?

It’s funny, really, that at this stage in my journey I am supposedly mentoring a young woman, a newlywed with more maturity in her walk with Christ than I ever dreamed of having at her age. Don’t get me wrong; it has been a tremendous blessing and I am more than thankful for the opportunity! But I sometimes wonder why now, at this point when I feel as if so much of me and who I thought I was lie in disarray at my feet, why would the Lord bring me to a mentoring relationship now? It seems to me that I would have been a far greater encouragement to her a couple of years ago when my conviction, passion and confidence were strong…

Anyway, I was thinking to myself this morning about what, if anything, I have learned in my nearly fifteen years as a mom and over seventeen years as a wife. Here, in no particular order, are some of those lessons…

Criticizing and berating your husband, whether to his face, in a “hen party”, or just to yourself, only makes you both miserable. Whatever is driving you crazy, just take a deep breath and get over it already. If it means you have to pick up his dirty clothes (or whatever it is that’s getting on your nerves) for the hundredth time, then just do it. It takes far less time and energy for you to do what you don’t want to do than to nag him to death about it.**

In fact, go ahead and resolve to never speak ill of your husband to others.

Buying different brands of socks and underwear for each son makes sorting laundry much, much easier.

Those stages of life you realize you ought to enjoy generally pass by before you realize you ought to enjoy them. So, enjoy them!

Especially enjoy those baby and preschool years. Soon–before you know it (really)–they will be teenagers.

Raising teenagers is the hardest stage of parenting. So far my mode of survival consists of hanging on tight and praying really hard. This stage, like the others, will pass. (Won’t it? Can someone help me here?)

Don’t sweat the house. I know this sounds like a rationalization for my lack of homekeeping skills, and maybe it is to some degree, but I remember as a young mom how much time and effort, worry and stress, jealousy and envy, and discontent and dissatisfaction I devoted to the decorating of my home. The more cynical older I get, the more I realize: it’s just stuff.

Take lots and lots of video.

Pray. Seek the Lord. I cannot be the mom my boys need and the wife my husband needs. I can’t. I need the Lord and I need Him desperately.

Your husband and your kids cannot be your whole life. You will only end up disappointed and frustrated. Find your life in Christ–He alone satisfies!

What about you? What lessons have you learned as a wife / mother / woman of God?

**I just want to say that I am married to a wonderful, amazing man of God who gives me very little to complain about or criticize!


Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

16 thoughts on “Learning Curve”

  1. “Pray. Seek the Lord. I cannot be the mom my boys need and the wife my husband needs. I can’t. I need the Lord and I need Him desperately.”Perfect, timely advice. Thank you.

  2. Wonderful advice. I'm a married 29 year old, with a sister and sister in law who are both newly married. As I'm reminded by the newlyweds of all those beginning struggles & in my 8 yrs of marriage, I have seen that the advice you have stated is golden. p.s. My sister in law joined a "Apples of Gold" (?) Bible study/mentoring group at her church. It's a published curriculum/program. Maybe God's laying Titus on your heart to start something similar…

  3. Those are all excellent points! Since I don't have kids, I have also learned… *that God will teach you all you need to know for life & godless no matter what your position – married, not married, kids, no kids.*sometimes what we think is a disadvantage in life, may in fact, be an advantage for the kingdom of God.Thanks for this post. 🙂

  4. I agree whole-heartedly with your list. Most of those, I've learned the hard way (except the socks part, since I only have one child, I haven't had to learn that one).I've also learned that one of the best gifts I can give my family is to have a Sabbath. That will look different for each family…but I've found I DESPERATELY NEED a day of rest to renew myself & be the best I can for my family during the rest of the week.AND, I've learned how important it is to date your spouse. One day, my girl will be gone. I want to be as passionate about my husband then as I was when we first got married.

  5. Honor your parents. (Gee, I don’t think that origninated with me, huh?!) I cut my folks a lot more slack once I had kids of my own. You’ll never regret caring for them; no matter how crazy they make you, you’re never ready to let them go.

  6. That list was NOT written by someone who is “a mess.” Excellent. All of it. And as someone who’s learning from you, I believe you DO have “something worth teaching or training.”

  7. Good, good thoughts. If you find yourself in a mentoring relationship now when you feel like you don’t have passion, it may be because you know you don’t have it all together. I think younger women like to know that they are not alone in their wondering, questions and feelings of uncertainty.One thing I have learned in my 22 years of marriage and 19 years of parenting is this: never say never. Sometimes, we build up a picture in our mind of what will happen and how things will go. That can be terribly devestating.I have also learned that I am not the only one who doesn’t have it all together and that any women who says she does is kidding herself.

  8. The first item on this list is something I wish I could get every woman to do. I call it “grace based marriage” and it’s the reason we’re so happy. I need the grace more than my husband does but he has plenty for the both of us.This was a wonderful post. You are obviously much more qualified to be a mentor than you think. I shared it.

  9. With you on the socks and underwear! And yes, this season will pass…sooner than you know it. I love watching my sophomore college age son become the man that God has intended for him to be all along. He amazes me with his transition. He’s leading Bible study on his college campus, writing a column for the school university and helping his crazy mother learn the in’s and out’s of facebook and even inviting her to be his friend.Friendship. That’s the gift of walking the previous years of hard with our kids. Yes, I will always be his mother, but now, I can be his friend. Hang on mom! The fruit of your mothering is seeding well and will soon come to full blossom.peace~elaine

  10. I am in total agreement with your entire list except maybe the teenage years. Sorry, once a mother always a mother and my kids now 23 and 26 are still turning my hair grey(er).What a great post. If we are willing to learn at all stages of our lives, then God is pleased to allow us to teach and train others.Blessings, Cindy

  11. What great advice! I find that everytime I start to complain about having to do my husbands “chores” I walk into the room and the dishes are washed, clothes put into the dryer and the baby being fed…I too am blessed with a wonderful husband! As you know, I am raising a teenager (or attempting to)and another one who thinks she is! I do alot of praying also and I am convinced that our children will be great warriors for Christ!Keep hanging on because the truth is you are mentoring to many more than the young newlywed…

  12. =) If you are a mess, then you can take comfort in the fact that we all are, each in our own little ways. Thank you so much for sharing. I need these little reminders from time to time. Ok, maybe ALL the time. My son is just starting to put sentences together and I realize baby is gone forever so a reminder to enjoy life in all its stages and seasons is a good one. Thanks for sharing what was on your heart!

  13. Oh Lisa, It’s posts like this that still allow you to “mentor” me. You taught me a lot about being a Godly woman when I just lived across town, but even now as I am many miles away you are teaching me through your blog. Thanks for the wisdom. Just what I needed today. (I only have time to read your blog every couple of weeks, but oh how I enjoy getting caught up) Thanks Friend-Laurie B. in TN

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