Hope for Dealing with the Comparison Trap
The internet is chock full of the call to end comparisons among moms. Comparisons lead us to either envy or pride, and not only rob us of gratitude and joy but also provides egotistical motivation for loving behavior toward our children. What are common standpoints we take to help us deal with comparisons? “One size does NOT fit all”; “No one is perfect”; find a positive mantra; more self-care. All of these are helpful, but what I believe makes the biggest difference is having a full cup. I do not mean a full cup of coffee (Although that helps too!). I mean a cup that is filled with the love of Christ.
The term “love of Christ” may sound ‘churchy’, but what I mean is a love unlike any other. God is the source of unconditional love, which means there is nothing we can ever do to make Him love us—He already loved us first, even while we were in the midst of actions, words and thoughts of which we are not proud. So, this kind of love is special, because He chooses to love not because of what we do or dot do, but because He made us.
Even when the rest of us humans seem good at choosing to love, we cannot find a match for how much God loves us. How much are we worth to any king on earth? Do they even know our names? How can the King and Creator of the entire world know the number of hairs on our heads; hear each and every prayer; and mark us with such value that is worth the cost of His own death on the cross, like a criminal, though He is the King of kings? This is the highest value we could ever be given—to be so loved and valued by our Maker.
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered…” -Luke 12:7
“We love because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:19
"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" -Romans 5:7-8
When we find ourselves caught in the comparison trap (something I still fall into), we can remember to stand in confidence that our value is marked by Christ and not by how well we feel like we are doing or how many meltdowns we can avoid.
We can see other moms as equally valued and dearly loved in God’s heart. We can let the love that fills our cup overflow and pour out words of genuine encouragement. We can value others without devaluing ourselves. We can even learn from each other and be at peace with our differences. We can admit our imperfections, knowing that humility helps us realize our need for God, and that God does not forget about us—he hears our prayers.
This transformed perspective does not eradicate comparisons and the feelings associated with them, but we can filter them. It is about believing and applying this filter. When I find myself caught feeling inadequate, we can remember these truths about God, ourselves and other moms. When we chose this cup over the other cups, we can be reassured that this cup does not run out. It does not need to be refilled. It is stronger and richer than any other cup.
Thank you for reading.
“..to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…that you may be filled”