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Women Living Well Blog: Do Not Be Discouraged When You Feel Judged

Women Living Well Blog

Friday, February 5, 2010

Do Not Be Discouraged When You Feel Judged

Almost 7 years ago I brought my first born son home from the hospital. At the time, I had decided to do a scheduled feed, wake, sleep cycle. I had read books about this type of nursing and had discussed it with my husband and we had decided we would give it a try.

It wasn’t long before I explained my schedule to other moms and I realized that some of them felt I was out of my mind! I remember becoming defensive. I didn’t really know what I was doing – I was a first time mom – but my method had my baby sleeping through the night which made me happy. I was zealous about my method and wanted to share it with other new moms and again received some resistance. I didn’t understand why?

Since those newborn days, I have learned an important lesson in parenting. Do not squabble with your sister’s in Christ over methods! Many parenting methods are not moral issues –whether to nurse or bottle feed, whether to let the baby cry it out or not, when to potty train, what time bedtime should be, home school, christian school or public school choices … these are all matters of opinion. We must not judge other mom’s choices.

If we begin to criticize each other over methods eventually pride, self-righteousness and superiority enters in and that can give the enemy a foothold real quick!

Let me advise young women, consult your husband on what method you would like to use. As long as he is in agreement, do not worry what other moms think of you. And sister’s in Christ, beware of criticizing other’s behind their backs (the Bible calls that back-biting) – your friend may be cheerfully submitting to her husband and you may discourage her or worse cause her to be disobedient to God by following your advice rather than her husband’s.

It is important that we learn to be less opinionated for the sake of unity on matters that are not spelled out in the Bible. I believe this is why Titus 2 women are SO vital! If a woman has already raised her children, she may not not recall the details of the methods she used. Rather she will remember general principles that kept her on tract. Those principles are far more important than the methods we choose. So take the time to encourage your sister’s in Christ today and consider asking an older wiser woman for advice the next time you are wondering what to do with your toddler or teen.

Proverbs 17:27 and 28 says “A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”

Use restraint when you disagree with another's methods - and if you feel judged - stay the course and remember you and your family are unique. What is best for each family will look different.

Walk with the King!



Blogger NJohnson said...

Love this! I am constantly at battle with everyone in my life about this. I am of a different faith than everyone I am in contact with and my love of scriptures and teaching them to my children is always up for debate. When I chose to breastfeed it was up for debate. Other moms, I think, are questioning themselves and thats part of the reason they question others. I know I constantly wondered if another mom was right and I was wrong or if I was bringing harm to my children because someone said what I was doing was crazy!! I think we need to pray and find out what the Lord needs us to do for us. The Lord doesn't expect us to be the same so we shouldn't expect others to be the same as us!! Thanks again Courtney!

February 5, 2010 at 8:04 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

I NEEDED to hear this today, as I've been feeling discouraged. I know your point was more on not judging others, but it reminded me that if I'm doing what God wants ME to do, then I shouldn't let others get to me. Thank you so much - have a wonderful weekend!

February 5, 2010 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

After reading your two comments I renamed this blog post and tweaked it a bit. I realized I should be encouraging those who feel judged rather than "preaching" at those who do judge!

Thanks for your feedback!

February 5, 2010 at 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Deb-Ohio said...

This is so, so true. And I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to any of the questions. I think mothers need to be "in tune" with their children and know what's best for them. I breast fed my son because I felt it was the natural thing to do. I tried to potty train him at around age 2 but when he didn't have much success I backed off because I realized he just wasn't quite ready yet. When he was ready he got it and everything was fine...and he was still potty trained before he was three :) There are good points and bad points for almost every decision we have about our children. Pray and know that whatever your decision's the right one for you!

February 5, 2010 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Thorn said...

Thanks Courtney, this was a great post. We have a lot of women having babies in our church. Many of them are first time moms and it is hard not to get too overly enthusiastic about parenting methods. I know it is okay to have strong opinions about how we do things in our lives as long as we never look down on those who do it differently. Thanks.

February 5, 2010 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger kristi_temple said...

I totally agree. Even in a group of close knit, like minded friends there wiil be differences of opinion. We must never forget that most of those difference have nothing to do with our eternal identity and squabbling about them only leads to discord. It never fails to amaze me how we sometimes allow the enemy to break our unity with other Christians over minor differences. What a powerful force we would be for the Kingdom if we could be in unity. Thank you for sharing your heart on this matter. I really enjoy reading your blog. God bless you and your family.

February 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Melinda said...

I have very strong-willed children. I think sometimes parents with compliant children assume you must just not be strict enough, consistent enough, etc. No! We're all different and, truly, it is only by God's grace that ANY of us have children who choose to love and follow Him. We can do what we can and know to be right, but they are their own people. Only the Holy Spirit can capture their hearts.

Great post, Courtney! ;0)

February 5, 2010 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger MamaAngie said...

Great post. I can be very passionate about some things. Even jumping in to give advice before knowing the whole story. I need to be more careful how I come across and make sure that I am encouraging others to do what God wants them to do in their situation, not how I think it should be done. I know that one of the best ways to encourage someone is to let them know that you are praying for them.

February 5, 2010 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger Susan Tipton said...

Really liked this post Courtney.

February 6, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Heather Simpson said...

Great post! I too I am learning about parenting skills and it is interesting how God humbles us through the process. I have 5 children ranging from 7ys.- 14yrs. What has worked for one child, hasn't always worked for the other.Many older women have helped me through different seasons.It was the women that showed me Love and Grace that made the most impact on my life. I think it is important that we learn to earn a hearing with women and seek to show them the Love of Jesus.It is more important that we encourage other ladies to follow Jesus and seek His will than to follow the "methods" that we deem best.I think we are too quick to offer our opinion than to offer are help.How can minister to a young, frustrated or discouraged Mom today?

February 6, 2010 at 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Courtney-thank you for this! I can't help but remember when I had Kayley and I did NOT do the scheduling thing...and I felt very judged by those who did. I felt like I was the only one who did not schedule and I was constantly being asked if Kayley was sleeping through the night (which she didn't for a looong time). I remember becoming defensive about it and feeling like I had to defend my ways of parenting (because I felt judged), and one time I ended up offending a mom who thought I was judging her!

Being a mom is such a passionate, sensitive issue because we put our whole hearts into it, and when we come across someone who does things differently, it's our automatic response to assume they must feel our way is wrong. I never even considered that someone might have thought I was the one judging!

The truth is...I really feel like many of the "judgments" from other mothers come from a feeling that they need to defend their way...maybe it's insecurity? You so hit the nail on the head about being supportive and consulting our husbands on the issue. And as moms...we need to support and love each other! Thank you Courtney!!

Kelly L

February 7, 2010 at 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Diana said...

Great post Courtney! I sadly can admit that I no doubt have been on both ends of this! (being on the receivig end of some very hurtful back biting ie: "they really should get a better handle on parenting before having more kids"--my first child was only 18 MONTHS!!! OR here's a great one: her kids are rough and tough, I want to raise gentlemen" to dishing out some over zealous opinions on methods myself early on) Both are wrong and sad. We have enough to battle in this life with our own "old nature", the world and our arch enemy that prowls around seeking who he might devour, the last thing we need is to be hard on our own "family". I love a quote I often heard from Pastor Harpool: The plain things are the main things and the main things are the plain things!" I think at every stage one of the most main things would be to seek The Lord first and as we are transformed into His likeness we will become better parents as a side affect.:-) Too bad this is a process and we don't get it all at once when we bring that first precious baby home! In parenting I have so far to go, but am so thankful for the women I've been able to learn much from and of course for the best Parent of all whose mercies are new every morning, Great is His Faithfulness! As any mom knows this role keeps us humble and I'm learning that's a good place to be.

February 7, 2010 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger kimmy said...

I sooo love this post!! If the bible doesnt clearly speak on an issue than the only thing we are "standing up" for and definding is our own opinion which pretty much means squat:) Encouragement is sooo important in parenting and marriage b/c they are both so hard...we dont need any added judgement from outside influences:) I am so glad to have christian woman around me who offer advice but more often encourage me to seek my husbands opinion and most importantly God's word!!Also praying for each other instead of judging is waaay more helpful!!Great post girl!!

February 8, 2010 at 8:51 AM  

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