Finding favor as a mom can seem elusive.
As a mom, have you not felt like a middle manager? You are your child’s supervisor, and while you don’t report to teachers, coaches, or doctors, you must be the advocate for your child.
Nehemiah had prepared himself for his role in middle management. We have seen that he knew how to work well with those over him—namely, the king. He also proved that he knew how to work well with those under his management.
Nehemiah’s diplomacy with the king opened the door to a much-needed opportunity for his people. You can do the same for your child. Think about Nehemiah’s winsome approach and how that same approach might help you find favor for your child at your next parent-teacher conference! Here are three things I found in his example. Do as he did and you will find favor.
3 Keys to Finding Favor as a Mom
1. He was respectful
Persian kings were absolute rulers and often cruel. Nehemiah may not have agreed with his king, but he respected his position and showed deference. On several occasions in my children’s school experiences, they had a teacher or a coach whose philosophy I opposed. In a couple of cases it made for a difficult year. One of our daughters is very fearful of negative attention. She had a teacher who was very harsh and sarcastic. After several conversations with the teacher, I realized she was not empathetic. My only recourse for that year was to encourage my daughter to respect the teacher for her position, pray for favor, and be brave for that one hour every day.
2. He was tactful
Nehemiah could have taken this opportunity to really speak his mind, complaining about how the king had stopped the rebuilding of the wall at the request of some other guy who was jealous of the Israelites without ever listening to their side. It does feel good to vent; however, when we do, it usually makes us sound arrogant and angry and it puts the other person on the defensive. I know because I like to vent. It never works in my favor.
This is what it might look like when you vent using a parent-teacher conference example: The teacher gives a really hard test. Everyone does poorly. You are mad because you think it was unfair to your child. What you don’t know, of course, is what has been going on in the class. You begin the conference by letting the teacher know what you think about the test and how unfair it was. The teacher, who may have had a plan or purpose for the test, is now on the defensive and may be mad because you are intimating that she does not know what she is doing. The teacher feels you have misjudged her and refuses to waste her time explaining to you what she planned to do about the test. Hopefully she does not transfer her anger toward you to your child.
Nehemiah did not vent; he simply told the king he was sad because his people were in danger. The king understood and was sympathetic. Using his approach in our teacher example, you could say, “I am very concerned about Megan’s grade and would appreciate your advice about what she needs to do to improve it.” The teacher in this case is not being blamed and may confess that she did make it hard, or perhaps she may give you some insight into her strategy with this class.
3. He was careful
Nehemiah did not launch into a convoluted list that would no doubt leave a busy listener annoyed. He cut right to the heart of the matter—he was sad for his people. If you present a teacher or coach a laundry list of things you think need to change every time you see them, you will not see them much—they will avoid you. Nehemiah earned the right to be heard and carefully saved it for when he really needed it.
The passionate mom must patiently prepare. She must develop relationships with the people in her life and her child’s life. She must build up her confidence through prayer so she can succinctly and passionately articulate her requests on her child’s behalf when presented with an opportunity. She must gain the favor of God and others by being faithful and trustworthy. And she must carefully craft a plan to accomplish her purpose for her child.
And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests — Nehemiah 2:8
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Nehemiah’s preparation certainly contributed well to providing his people with a safe, secure future. Do you pray specifically that you and your child will find favor with their teacher, coach or even friends? As a Christian, how do you try to remember that when you are acting as your child’s advocate, you are represent Jesus Christ in the eyes of the world? Does that often change your actions and words with others? Leave a comment on our blog below — we’d love to hear from you!