Oh, to stop those voices of people who criticize and disapprove. I think all of us know that feeling of trying to please and impress those we care about (and some we don’t). Rhonda Stoppe shares about the value of only working to please the Lord in her post below. She offers some profound parenting tips to get out of a rut.
People Pleasing Isn’t Pleasing
by Rhonda Stoppe
Repeat after me…People pleasing isn’t pleasing. Am I the only one who struggles with the propensity to please others? We tell ourselves, you can’t please all the people all the time. Yet those of us, who tend to look for security in the affirmation of others, know how easily we are distracted when someone expresses their dissatisfaction with our performance. And for us moms who people please, there is a real danger of raising our children for what others think.
Listen to Luke Smallbone’s (For King&Country) account of how his mothers’ rise above people pleasing influenced him as an adolescent:
Luke was 13 years old and had become quite a good tennis player. One day he was playing in a tennis tournament. As he watched the match preceding his, he became convinced that he would have no problem winning against his next opponent. However, during the match, he became inconsistent and was not doing his best.
Luke got very angry with himself. He even threw down his racket and chastised himself for making a mistake. Amidst his temper tantrum, he looked up into the audience in time to see his mother, Helena, get up and leave the stands. Luke lost his match that day, and Helena never returned to the event.
Later, Helena met Luke at the car. Driving home, she explained to him why she had walked out of the tournament: “I will not witness my son showing such disrespect. Your actions today did not display a man who was emulating Christ.”
Luke Smallbone is the one of seven children raised by Helena and her husband, David. Helena’s oldest daughter is Rebecca St. James, a well-known Christian singer. Luke and his brother, Joel, also make their living as Christian musicians with their band, For King and Country. Luke says all of his siblings have grown up to serve the Lord, and he attributes that to how his parents raised them to surrender their talents to God. “Keep your hands open. Be willing to take a risk,” Helena often told her children.
Luke says, “My mother always made it a point to have the hard conversations with me and my siblings. My parents taught me to think. They were good at answering my questions. By taking the time to take my thought process through the answers, they helped me learn to weigh out the possible consequences of my actions.”
Luke says, “My mother always cherished us, with the perfect balance of love and a discipline that said, ‘I am for you. I believe in you. I see who the real Luke is. I know God has something in store for you.’”
When I asked Luke to describe his mother’s influence upon the man he has become, he said, “My mother is strong, compassionate, caring, all mixed into one. She raised me with incredible care and honesty. I probably owe all that I am and have achieved to my mom because when a man is loved by his mother, he can end up doing great things…I am grateful to have a mother who selflessly loved me.” (Excerpt-Moms Raising Sons to Be Men, Stoppe pg 195-196).
As mothers there is a tendency to raise our children for the approval of others. Which in reality is an attempt to glorify ourselves. But when we do that we miss the opportunity to raise our kids for the glory of the Lord. Won’t you determine to raise your kids for God’s glory alone? My book, Moms Raising Sons to Be Men can show you how.
Share a question or story of when you were too concerned with what other people thought of you as a parent. You’ll be entered to win Raising Sons to be Men.