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This is a “guest” post by my wife, Marissa. I’m so excited to have her along for the ride. Please enjoy her post and leave a comment below.


My daughter’s in a “follow me” stage, meaning she will take us by the hand, spout out “follow me” in her beautiful 28 month old way, and then pull you wherever she wants you. This is wonderful to me, her voice makes me smile, her attempts to pull an adult that’s over 4 times her size is hysterical, and her desire to share things with me warms my heart.

Image courtesy of stockimages at

Image courtesy of stockimages at


But this makes me think about my job as her Mother, I long for my children to “follow me” in life, to allow me to take them by the hands and lead them.

However, before I can expect them to follow, I must ask, “am I worthy of being followed”.

Being a M.O.T.H.E.R. is not easy, and there’s no checklist, or acronym that can contain all the things she needs to be, but I pray that this will be food for thought.

  • Be a MENTOR:: which is different than a teacher, this is more of a guide. Guides point things out, ask/answer questions and help the people that are with them. Show them how to live, remember More is Caught Than is Taught.
  • Be ORIGINAL:: I feel like motherhood in America has become a contest; who feeds the most organic, who does the most crafts, she breastfed, the list goes on and on. STOP IT MOMS, stop comparing your mothering to others. (tweet that) We are all created differently, so be the mom that God created you to be. It’s fine to do crafts, eat organic, give an allowance, or have chores, but don’t do those things out of pressure.
  • Be TRUSTWORTHY:: this means that you’ve proven you can be trusted. Don’t tell your girlfriends your kid’s secrets, remember important things in their lives, show up when you say you will, follow through on disciplines. When you show you can be trusted your kids will be more likely to listen to you.
  • Be HOMEWARD FOCUSED:: I’m not saying to be a stay-at-home-mom, but the Bible’s clear that a mom needs to make sure that all the affairs in her home are taken care of first, relationally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
  • Be EMPATHETIC:: When we put ourselves in our children’s shoes we can help, relate to, and lead them so much better. If your middle schooler is crushed because her “boyfriend” dumped her, don’t just laugh it off, think back (I can remember when Craig dumped me in 5th grade, and how much it hurt). We need to understand that they are experiencing very real emotions.
  • Be RESPECTFUL:: Of them and their father. Show your children that their dad is worthy of respect. Don’t be a bully just because you have the power, don’t be mean because you can get away with it. You kids are people, treat them with respect. **Sidenote: if you think they’re doing something wrong, rule-breaking, or dangerous, you don’t need to “respect their privacy”, find out! **

Put them all together and we have:

Homeward Bond

This is a follow up post to How to Be A Great F.A.T.H.E.R.

Update / April 9th 2013.  @MarissaDingler now has her own blog.

What would you add to the list of what makes a great mother?

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