How many times do we utter this phrase when it comes to parenting? I have repeated these words countless times in my head as I have tried to imperfectly parent my children and felt like a failure over and over again.
"They don’t listen", "I yell too much", "I am inconsistent", "I’m too tired", "I don’t know the right answers", "I made them cry," "I’m angry all the time", I … fill in the blank with your reason.
The task laid before us to raise up these children is daunting. Not only do we want them to be decent human beings but, hopefully, if we desire to honor God and raise godly families, we want our children to love and serve God their whole lives. But that calling is too hard! I cannot do it. I have tried. I've read the books. I've done the studies. I have even encouraged younger moms who have been where I have been, but all the while, at home, I have yelled at my kids out of anger, wrongly accused them, mistrusted them, or criticized them. Wow - feeling like a total hypocrite!
I went through all these feelings when I wrote my first book, “Chasing Adulthood – A Character Study Guide for Christian Tweens and Their Families”. Who would listen to me? How credible can I be? My kids are far from perfect (don't tell them that). But, I was reminded by the Lord repeatedly that he is the Only perfect parent. The Only one who never did it wrong. And, He never called me to be a perfect parent to start with. Those are my self-imposed standards. He placed my three beautiful children in my arms, not to make them into perfect adults but to point them to Jesus. However imperfectly done it may be. God created me with weaknesses. He knows my failures and imperfections. He knows I will carry those into all my relationships, including my parenting. He made me unworthy, broken, and inadequate so that I would depend on him and experience His power. He has fully equipped me, through his strength, to be mama to my specific kids. I am the most qualified woman to mother them. It is far better for us to embrace the brokenness from which we parent than to try and perfect the process. That only leads to disappointment and comparison. When I come before the Lord and admit my failings as a mom and ask for his Spirit to work through my best effort to love and discipline my children, I find I am bolstered, encouraged, and renewed. I can give out of HIS abundance, not mine! It also allows me to parent with more humility and grace.
Be encouraged, dear friend. God does not need us, those He has called to parent our children, to live with guilt over our inadequacies. The children He gave us was by design. He didn't plop these precious ones into our lap then walk away and say, "You're on your own". He never fails to give us all we need to raise up our young warriors for Jesus. Give Him your mustard seed and let Him multiply it.
“But I am not worthy,” I say. And Jesus in His sweet tender mercies replies, “Yes child, I know. I made you that way. But I AM”.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
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