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Dear Wife, Who Feels Like You Just Don't Measure Up,
I know that feeling in the bottom of your stomach. The one that is caused by the voice in the back of your head that has listened to other outside voices. It says to you, “You stink at this. Look how overwhelmed you are. A better woman would have her act together. What is WRONG with you?”
I'll never forget my lowest, most discouraging point. We were struggling to get our farm off the ground and we found ourselves unexpectedly in the middle of a huge construction project (building a tiny-house for Farm-Grandmother). For months on end we had a constant stream of people coming through the house to visit or help build (and I LOVE visitors! But it does throw our schedule off.) Amid all this chaos I was trying to mother three very young children and homeschool. One person in particular made sure I knew they thought I was a complete failure. I was thoroughly criticized as a wife, homemaker, mother, homeschool teacher and even human being. And the little girl inside of me listened and believed every word of it.
When somebody is critical of you, remember that they do not measure up either. Their struggles may be different from yours, but they sin, too. (Case in point – criticizing you!) Their life is not the standard that we should be trying to emulate. Can you imagine Jesus coming into your home and saying, “Wow! This place is a wreck. What have you been doing all week? Do you know that laundry has been sitting in your dryer for 2 days? Why don't you pick these toys up? It looks like a daycare in here! Are you seriously going to serve soup for dinner again? This is the third time this week! Why don't you just put your kids in public school and let someone who knows what they are doing teach them? That would free your time up to go get a real job. And why is that baby still crying? Can't you do something to stop it? You can do better than this, just try harder. Your husband deserves better than this. And speaking of your husband, he deserves a little more action from you when he comes home at night….”
Um…NO. I really can't imagine Jesus treating anybody that way. Instead I imagine He would say something like this: “Wow! I can see you really have a lot to do. Juggling everything sure is a challenge, isn't it? Let me give you a hand and help put some of these toys away. MMM! I see you have soup on the stove! Good idea! There are so many ways to make it and you can serve it with just about anything. You are doing such a good job, here with your children. You and your husband are teaching them to follow Me, and that is your #1 job right now. If you get overwhelmed with the other stuff, don't be afraid to ask for help. And speaking of your husband, I'm so glad you have each other. I created marriage as a gift for you.”
I'm so glad that Jesus isn't in the business of telling us that we are losers who don't measure up! We can't ever measure up on our own strength… we need God to make those changes for us. Here are some Bible verses that have been an encouragement to me:
When you feel like you're failing, remember God says: You are CHOSEN.
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” (Isa. 43:10).
When you feel unloved, God says: You are LOVED.
“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jer. 31:3).
When you feel like you blew it, God says: You are NOT CONDEMNED.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1)
When you feel forgotten, God says: You are REMEMBERED.
“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” (Isa. 49:16).
When you feel like God isn't working in your family, God says: You are AN IMPORTANT PART OF MY PLAN.
“The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.” (Ps. 138:8)
When you feel like it's too hard, God says: I WILL DO THIS FOR YOU.
“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6)
When you feel that the task is hopeless, God says: You have HOPE.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor. 12:9)
When you feel like you don't measure up to the women around you, God says: DON'T COMPARE.
“Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” (2 Cor. 10:12)
When you feel worthless, God says: You are CALLED.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
This post is part of a series of “Dear Wife Who…” Letters that some bloggers and I wrote many years ago. For more encouragement, see the links below!