Are You Desperate for Discernment in Your Mothering?

So what is discernment and how do we help our children be discerning? Spurgeon once said that

“Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”


Part of being discerning is asking God for wisdom when it comes to choosing the battles we engage in. So how can we know the difference between a battle and a war? What’s worth fighting over? How do you choose your battles carefully?

I wish I had a formula that I could write here for you. Honestly? It would sell more books! We would rather be told how to do something exactly right than take the time to listen for that “still small voice” most of the time. The truth is a lot harder than that. The truth is that the only way to know is walk in humble relationship with God.

When it comes to our children, mothers need to be tight with the Lord. Every day, we need nothing short of divine wisdom to help us navigate the rough waters of the culture. We need wisdom to discern a foolish action of a child from a rebellious one. One is childish, the other is sinful. One is a skirmish, the other leads to war.

Wise moms recognize their need for discernment, and they know where to find it. Discernment is not something we have apart from God; it is something we acquire as we walk closely with Him. If you’re in a struggle with one of your children, it’s time to get on your knees and ask God for wisdom and perspective for that child. God knows exactly what’s going on. He can give you the wisdom you need.

Instead of facing all the challenges and changes of motherhood on our own, we have the Creator Himself walking alongside us. Want to know what battles are worth fighting? Ask Him.

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Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children from toddler to adult and have homeschooled all the way through high school. A favorite conference and radio speaker, Heidi approaches marriage and parenting with humor and grace. Her passion to encourage moms and set them free to be who God has created them to be will bless and encourage you.
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John

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4 Responses to Are You Desperate for Discernment in Your Mothering?

  1. Fearlessly Forward says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for all the hard work you do. I have not heard or read one of your post in a while due to the “busy” of life. We recently have taken in our 15 year old niece along with our three girls. The situation is so complicated, no surprise there, however I asked myself everyone of the question you started this post with and more. How do I know what to teach her, will they take her away and place where she is not safe, will our family be persecuted, and many others. I am standing at a point where I look back and see my straight, slightly bend ha-ha, road and face forward to the spaghetti looking mess of roads ahead. I know whatever happens I am not walking this alone and the Lord will straighten the path. Thank you again for the encouragement and information. Fearlessly Forward!

  2. Carmen says:

    “We would rather be told how to do something exactly right than take the time to listen for that “still small voice” most of the time.” I have thought a lot about this idea over the past decade. It does feel easier to just be told, but it does us no good. If we are told by a person, then we are relying on the arm of man and our own lack of information. If we wait for God to just tell us, then it will take away our opportunities to grow and to grow closer to Him. The very best thing we can do for ourselves is to rely on that God who knows all – to ask and to listen. That requires humility and faith, which may be the hardest qualities many of us need to build.

  3. Angela says:

    We do truly need to rely on God’s word to guide us. He has given us everything we need – even for mothers! I had a friend tell me once that the Bible just did not tell you how to parent your children through the daily things. My suggestion was to read it again! We can read every word from the point of view of single woman and get something out of it. Then read it as a married woman and get something new. Read it as mother of five daughters – and you learn A LOT you did not know. LOL Every woman’s story in scripture takes on a new application. Every man’s story shows another aspect of the relationship with our heavenly Father. Every incident shows how one stays close to the Lord and has a pocket of protection around them or how strays from the Lord right into the mire of the world. To guide my children I need to guide myself first. 1Tim.2:15 – faith, love and sanctity with self-restraint. When I know it for myself, I am readily equipped to help my children. Thank you for the reminder!

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