Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tiger Mom and Mama Bear ~ Part One

I think something changes in a woman’s DNA the minute she conceives.  All of a sudden you feel desperate when you hear stories of missing, sick or neglected children.  It’s impossible to watch the news or a hallmark commercial without crying.  You can’t shake the feeling that this world is a horrible place.  But mostly, you’re totally cool with dying in defense of your offspring.  You want to mess with my kid?  Bring it on!

That’s what someone referred to as “Mama Bear Syndrome” on Facebook the other day.  It’s so true.  When someone treats our kids unfairly, rudely or is just plain mean it just rises up in all mothers.  Or when you have one of those moments where you don’t know where you kid is and instantly fear the worst?

I remember losing a child at Target a few years back.  They had a plan and were able to locate her quickly, but me?  I instantly went into a state of distress.  On the inside.  I was logical enough to play it cool on the outside.  There’s that feeling that this person you love so much is walking around outside of your care and protection.  It’s so wrong it makes us crazy!

Mama Bear popped in for a visit to me the other day.  In an instant after the debriefing, I was in Mama Bear mode.  I felt energy flowing through my veins. Protection to the death!

We instantly imagine the worst.  It’s love and care mixed with constant worry and guilt over being the sole provider of this child’s well-being.

I think God gives us that Mama Bear nature.  It is, after all, our job to protect our kids.  And that’s good.  However, Mama Bear syndrome can go a little too wild if we’re not careful.

Sometimes when there is a safety issue or an immediate need, it serves it’s purpose well.  But other time it may cause us to act or make a call or send an email that we’ll regret. Or worse yet, a Facebook post for all the world to see.  Emotions run high where our kids are concerned.  As they should.   As good as Mama Bear is at protecting her cubs, finesse and grace are not in her arsenal.

Sometimes Mama Bear is trying to play God.  Try as we might, we cannot protect our kids from everything this world has.  We cant’ protect them from accidents, sickness, death of loved ones or natural disasters.  We can and should be safety minded.  Car seats, helmets, seat belts are all great tools.  But ultimately we have to put our hands up and realize we can’t protect them from everything. 

The only one that can protect our kids truly is God.  He is our eternal protector.  The Mama Bear is us needs to be able to turn things over to Him.  He loves our kids even more than we do.  Which, quite frankly, is impossible to fathom isn’t it?

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”  John 10:27-30

So I want to use my Mama Bear card carefully.  For sure, I want to protect my kids with everything I have.  But I also don’t want to be so bearish that we have to live in a den away from the world.  However, I wouldn’t mind hibernating all winter! 

God gives us those instincts, but we need to trust Him and ask Him to help us use them in a gracious and Godly way.  And search our hearts if we are willing to put them securely in God’s hands not our own.

Jesus prays for all believers in the book of John.  He prays for our protection.  If you aren’t a believer and want to talk about what that means, please email me or call me. 

For now, soak in the prayer of Christ for you and me. And our kids.

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

John 17:11-19


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