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Are you ever tempted to compare your home, your car, your husband, your children, or your homeschool with others? I know I am! I’m Wendy, one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms, and I’d like to talk with you for a few minutes about the dangers of making comparisons.
Making comparisons isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s great! If you’re looking for a good deal on clothes, shoes, books, or large purchases like a car, it’s a terrific idea to shop around, check prices, and compare sales. But there are definitely times when it’s a bad idea to make comparisons. For example, it’s never a good idea to compare your husband, children, or homeschool to someone else’s. When you do that, it usually doesn’t help improve your current situation. In fact, it usually only serves to make you feel worse.
A while back, I was having a conversation with another homeschooling mom. She was telling me how disappointed she is with her teenage son. He’s an average student who doesn’t care much about making good grades. He’s very bright, but school just isn’t high on his list of priorities. He’d much rather be building something, fixing something, or doing some other kind of work with his hands. What this mom doesn’t realize is that her son may not make great grades in school, but one day he will make a wonderful mechanic or landscaper or builder!
The problem this mom has is that, instead of focusing on what her son is good at, she’s comparing him to other students who have much different gifts and talents than his! If given the chance to do something he really loves, he will excel! It’s ok that her son may never love literature or science or math as academic subjects. But when he encounters them in a college class or internship in the context of something he loves (like car repair or home building), he’s likely to find a new love for these subjects!
The truth is that I’m guilty of doing the very same thing. Most of us are. It’s so very easy to see a small part of someone else’s life and think that person has it all together. That her life and her family are perfect. But if we could see other people’s entire lives and really know what they’re going through, we would realize that we all have our challenges and our blessings. We simply have to choose to focus on what’s good in our lives, change the things that need to be changed if we can, and not worry about the things we can’t change or improve. After all, dwelling on the things in our lives that aren’t exactly as we want them really doesn’t change anything at all!
I’ve often been guilty of doing the same thing this mom was doing. I’ve focused on my children’s shortcomings or my own faults instead of choosing to pay attention to what we’re good at and be thankful for our gifts and talents.
Isn’t it great that God doesn’t decide how much He loves us based on how well we meet His expectations? What if He only loved those of us who act like He wants us to? What if He made sure each of us understood exactly how we failed to do what He wanted us to do each day? But, thankfully, He loves each of us no matter what we do simply because we are His children!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be the same way with our own families? What if we chose to stop comparing and start loving our lives just like they are? If we chose to stop comparing our husbands, our children, our houses, our cars, and our homeschools to others and chose to be grateful instead? If we decide to simply remain faithful to our husband and take care of our children and teach them to love Him, it’s enough.
So next time you feel discouraged, remember that God loves you. The next time you feel worthless, remember that you have worth simply because God created you! The next time you wonder if God loves you, remember that He loves you simply because you belong to Him. The next time you wonder if what you’re doing really matters, remember that it does because He gave you your job as wife and mother. And that is enough.