On first of each January, men and women across America resolve to making a list of goals and achievements they’d like to accomplish by the end of the year. Some of these goals might include losing weight, eating less ice cream, reading more books, traveling more, or making more phone calls to loved ones. With each listed resolution, the one who sets out to achieve it (generally) seeks out a more healthy, more meaningful, and happier year than the year prior.
I’ve given some thought to the idea of New Year’s Resolutions, and in past years, I’ve made a list of my own. Of course, I attempted to meet my goals, but like most, I sadly tapered off and eventually abandoned my newfound “habits” before the year was done.
In pondering my experience with past New Year’s Resolutions, I’ve drawn two conclusions:
It’s my first New Year as a mom and my priorities have changed drastically. Therefore, my disciplines have changed drastically. I’m no longer as worried about the number on the scale, my fat-to-muscle ratio, or whether or not my closet is up to date (although it would be nice to buy a new pair of jeans that actually fit my postpartum hips).
This year, I am worried about whether or not my heart is pointed to Christ. I’m worried about whether I am nurturing and protecting my still-infant son in a way that is God-honoring. I’m worried about the spiritual state of my child and whether the disciplines I practice will equip him for salvation if the Lord wills it.
My goals this year are to steward my body well via exercise and nutrition, read the Bible chronologically, pray more, and memorize entire chapters of Proverbs. But while these are vital and effectual resolutions for myself (and every Christian) to pursue, I have additional desires as a young Christian mother that I’ve never had before. Here they are:
My son is almost 3 months old, so to some it might seem pointless to begin teaching him God’s Word. He’s too young, they say, that he can’t understand and I can always teach him when he’s older. But I would argue that if this is true, then he’s too young to understand the nursery rhymes I recite to him each day. Is it more important that he thinks back to his early years and is reminded of the poetry of Mother Goose or the wisdom found in God’s Word? The answer is pretty clear.
While reading my Bible does look different these days, I have an opportunity to begin teaching my son the Word of God. So while he lays on my chest each evening, I read the Bible aloud. When he needs to be rocked to sleep, I sing him hymns. My prayer is that in my desire to teach him these things, he will be much like Timothy, who, from infancy knew the scriptures and was made wise for salvation through faith in Christ (2 Timothy 3:14-15).
No matter how old my son is, I will always make it a priority to ensure that I never respond to him in sin. During the small hours of the night when he is crying incessantly, when I am deprived of sleep, and when I don’t have time to get all the things done that I had planned to, it is never permissible for me to be annoyed or irritated with him. I want him to know that his needs come first, that I will be there to nurture them every single time, and I pray that the Holy Spirit grants me the patience and gentleness needed to endure the difficult days ahead.
This will be a lifelong struggle, but a necessary one. Coming to the humble realization that my son has been given to me as a gift to steward and to train and to love until the Lord calls me home has changed my entire perspective when it comes to parenting him.
When I found out I was pregnant, there were many decisions my husband and I had to make for our baby. Medical decisions were at the forefront of our conversations, and we didn’t always agree. But I was often reminded that our son is not our own.
God chose us as parents — my husband as his father to lead and me as his mother to nurture. God assigned my husband the responsibility of making difficult decisions such as these and me the responsibility to honor them and trust in his headship. Ultimately, I had to surrender our son to the Lord in this situation, trusting in His sovereignty in not only choosing my husband as his father but also in guiding my husband’s decision-making.
These New Year’s Resolutions aren’t just for 2023. I will commit to them again next year, as they will be an ongoing effort.
And there are probably a thousand more disciplines to add to this list. As the Lord continues to sanctify me, my desire for Him grows. As my son ages, I pray that the Lord reveals to me the sins in my own heart that I need to repent of with each year that passes. And if I’ve learned anything so far, it’s that motherhood is a duty. It’s a gift, to be sure, but it’s also a job I’ve been entrusted with.
So as a Christian mother, no New Year’s Resolution matters save the one that brings my family and me closer to the Lord. All else is fleeting.
As we labor day in and day out to the glory of God, let’s make this the priority, no matter the date. Christ is King, each and every day. All glory to Him in 2022, in 2023, and forever.
Follow Reagan on Twitter! @thereaganscott
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