- Rahab was a harlot and a foreigner. She became a wife and was listed in the genealogy of Christ (Mt. 1:5).
- David was a poor parent to Adonijah (1 Ki. 1:5-6) and Amnon (2 Sam. 13:21, 39). He went on to teach Solomon the truths of God’s word (Prov.1:1; 1 Ki. 2:1-4).
- Peter denied being a follower of Jesus at the critical hour (Mk. 14:29-31, 66-72) and struggled with hypocrisy (Gal. 2:11-14). He became a strong, obedient apostle and elder (Acts 2; 4:1-30; 5:17-29; 10:1-11:18; 1 Pet.5:1-4).
What does your past look like?
As a woman in Christ, your past no longer matters other than as a reference to be grateful for where you are now. Paul outlines his past misdeeds in Philippians 3, but he ends it in verses 13-14 this way,
“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Let me ask, of the mistakes you made yesterday, how will dwelling on those move you toward the prize today?
As women, wives and mothers we all have one job to do today – to be the best woman, wife, or mother we each CAN be, TODAY.
Do not get bogged down in looking back at failings without learning and adapting. Do not foster envy and bitterness by comparing yourself to anyone else’s journey. Embrace the freedom of living your life and stop trying to live someone else’s. All you need to do is to choose to do better yourself.
Titus 2:4-5 says that older women are to teach so that the younger women are TRAINED to
- love their husbands
- love their children
- be self-controlled
- be pure
- work at home/keep the home
- be kind
- submit to their own husbands
to the result “that the word of God may not be reviled”.
Ladies, you ARE a work in progress, as am I. As a Christian, as a woman, as a wife, and a mother – all of them take daily work to achieve the goal. The love in Titus 2:4 that we are to LEARN to give to our husbands and children is “phileo” love – a love that is affectionate. There are days when you are not going to do this well. Your self-control will allow other things to keep you from being the sweet, caring, loving wife or mother you ought to be. But guess what, you are NOT stuck there!
Seasons come where trials are many and they are hard. It is hard to get out of bed and do for all those we are called to do for. It is hard, sometimes, to even be NICE. Those days do not need to define you.
Sarah is defined as a woman we are to imitate in the way she was toward the Lord and Abraham (1 Pet. 3:1-6). But wait, Sarah had bad days! On one bad day, she decided to take control of the promises God made to Abraham and told her husband to have a child with her servant Hagar (Gen. 16:1-2)! That was a decision that determined the course of history for mankind from then on (the Middle East is full of Abraham’s descendants still struggling with being able to get along). BUT Sarah is not defined by that moment! She is defined by her faithful days that came after that (Heb. 11:11).
When you look behind, you see:
- that you have not been selfless, but selfish.
- you have been out of control rather than practicing self-control.
- maybe you have been manipulating your marriage by keeping back what is not yours to withhold (1 Cor. 7:1-5).
- the children have control rather than being taught obedience (Eph. 6:1; Deut. 6:4-9).
How do you deal with the guilt of a past full of wrong decisions?
The answer is the same for you as it was for Simon in Acts 8:22 – repent and seek forgiveness!
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:14-15)
Express your sorrow about your behavior to your husband and seek his forgiveness. Then show him you mean it by doing things differently today.
Tell your children you are sorry for not handling the situation correctly yesterday, but today you are going to do it right. Ask for their forgiveness. Let them see you humbled and then refreshed.
Share your hurts over past behaviors that are now baggage that you cannot seem to let go. Get them out and then put them away.
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
You get to choose again tomorrow how to deal with a situation! You’re not STUCK unless YOU choose to be. You can be free of the burden of that guilt, but you must choose to do so. Just let go of it!
You are not powerless. God holds the power and empowers you with it when you take your troubles to Him and lay them at His feet. Take off the burden you are choosing to carry and take on an easier one (Matt. 10:28-30).
Everything you do can be a sacrifice and a service that you give to God today. Make your choice that today will be different than the yesterday you are grieving over. Whatever you do, in word or deed, do what you CAN.
Today, choose to let it go! Choose to do better and be the woman you want to be for Him, for yourself, and for those you love. The past is already behind you, stop holding on to it. Let. It. Go.
Angela – The Diligent Woman