The game of comparison is such a common yet harmful trap. To compare is to examine two things to find similarities and differences. It is to measure one thing against another.
As women, we begin the game of comparison at an early age. We compare dresses and shoes and dolls, then bra size and boyfriends and weight, and then cooking ability and the cleanliness of our homes.
When we find ourselves becoming less than successful in any area of our lives, we often find comfort in unearthing the knowledge that someone else is less successful than us in the same area. It's the relief you experience when you walk into a friend's or neighbor's home to find piles of laundry and toys on the floor. Or it is the feeling of failure you may experience as you walk into a home that is squeaky-clean and free of dust, with homemade bread baking in the oven. We immediately begin to compare. It's a natural reaction.
There is nothing more vicious than the comparison that takes place at times between mothers. As mothers, we have an insatiable drive to succeed at raising our children. At times, we have all wrestled the drive for our kids to dress the best, achieve the best grades, score the most points or possess the best talents. We can become guilty of measuring our success by the output in our children's lives. We may compare parenting styles, discipline styles, methods of education and even the spirituality of our children.
When we feel as if we are falling short of our potential compared with the potential of someone else, a tormenting game begins that will drive parents to do the most absurd things. This is the breeding ground for pageant moms, academic moms and those who push their children mercilessly and behave in insane ways at sporting events just so the parents can see their children succeed over others.
We must examine the story of Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, in the Word of God to come to the conclusion that in order to be a Spirit-led mom who raises a child of prophetic destiny, we have to be freed from the cycle and trap of comparison. We have to release our children to be the unique individuals God has called them to be, even if it causes ridicule or potential embarrassment.
To begin with, Elizabeth's son, John, didn't even carry a traditional family name. I am sure it did not help her reputation when John decided all he wanted to wear was camel hair. And imagine the social anxiety the family experienced when all John wanted to eat was locusts. Elizabeth had to overcome mother-to-mother comparison and just allow her son to be whom God created him to be.
We cannot fear allowing our children to wear camel hair, even if it's not the latest trend at the newest children's boutique. Standing out and being different may be the divine design for your child of purpose, and it will require you to bury your desires to fit in or be popular. Kingdom-shakers were never meant to fit molds. They were created to break them. We have to allow God to do that through our children at times, and by nature that means they will not always fit in.
Children with unique personalities were not created to just be medicated, labeled and tolerated. What the world diagnoses as a disorder, defect or psychological glitch may actually be the genetic makeup of destiny. What seems undesirable or difficult to deal with in our culture may be a divine setup for kingdom influence.
What prophet in Scripture ever lived up to the profile of "normal"? Hosea had to marry and remain faithful to a prostitute (Hosea 1:2). Jeremiah tried to be silent and normal, but the call of God on his life pushed him as if his bones were on fire (Jer. 20:9). Samuel was dropped off at the temple around age 5 and slept near the holy place (1 Sam. 1). When a child appears different in the natural realm, it is often because he is different in the spiritual realm.
We must view our precious little ones as an answer to a problem, not the source of one. They are an answer to prayer, fully equipped in every way to fill a specific, valuable purpose in the kingdom and plan of God. Don't be afraid of that purpose, even if it is to destroy a mold.
Deven Wallace and her husband, Bishop Kevin Wallace, copastor Redemption Point Church, based in Ooltewah, Tennessee. Wallace is a regular speaker at conferences in the United States as well as Latin America. She is a licensed minister in the Church of God and a graduate of Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. This is an excerpt from her new book, The Warrior We Call Mom.
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