IMPERFECT PARENTS PARENTING IMPERFECTLY

Hey friends, how are you today? We have a chilly start to our day, the wind has been whipping through the trees, even the birds are in hiding today.   But it’s still early in the morning, hopefully the sun will filter through the clouds to usher some warmth. What did you do over the weekend?

Are you a first born? Thankfully I’m not a first born.  I think the disadvantage of being a first born is that you become the ‘trial and error’ kid. “Oh… this didn’t work?” “Let us try that”.  Of course, you get the ‘best’ because you are the first born, but because most parents don’t really know what the ‘best’ is; you become the one they experiment on (sorry).  But there’s grace, right? The siblings that come after also learn to avoid the pit falls of the first. But again, there’s grace, right? Our first born is reminded of that all the time.  

As new parents, it’s takes time to grasp the character of the child. It takes knowledge, which again takes time to understand the natural ‘bent’ of a child. New parents are often bombarded with advice and we don’t yet know what we should adhere to and which to ignore.  Everyone knows better than the first-time parent, it’s easy to feel totally incompetent. We read so many books for new parents with our first born, that it’s now possible to write one ourselves.  We made so many mistakes as new parents that we thank the Lord for grace. Can love really ‘cover a multitude of sins?’ I think we will need it to do just that.  It takes time for us to realize ‘mom was right, after all, or was she?   

Cleo should really accept that practice makes perfect, right? Usually, if she compares her upbringing with her sister’s, she hears, “take to the Lord in prayer”.  Frequently she is reminded that perfect parents do not exist, and that she should do better, when she has her own children (I’m sure we’ve all heard that before). 

I do tell her of the Perfect Parent though, the One we do try to model after, but of course, because we are imperfect people, we sometimes miss the mark.  I tell her to go to her Perfect Parent, tell Him all about her woes and complains, because whether she believes it or not, she too, will not be a perfect parent. They really don’t exist.  It’s imperative as parents that we point our kids to the Perfect Parent. We need them to take their eyes off us and place it on the One, Who loves them more than we do.  Sounds impossible, but it’s true. 

A few years ago, I asked the girls to compile a list of what a perfect parent should look like, of course, our second born said I was the perfect parent (my baby). But oh no, not our first born, here’s what she had to say: 

The perfect parent never, ever runs out of patience

The perfect parent always, extends grace and mercy to their children

The perfect parent listens quietly, with the perfect answer for every problem

The perfect parent forgives quickly, without requiring any groveling or, ‘I told you, so’

The perfect parent never, ever raises the voice in anger or frustration

The perfect parent gently, repeats the instructions as many times as needed, 

The perfect parent knows always to say the right thing at the right time

The perfect parent always, disciplines compassionately and lovingly

The perfect parent gives wholly and willingly 

The perfect parent is always wise and diligent 

 Well, I can assure that description does not fit me, at all, especially with such qualifiers as ‘always and never’.  Do you know such a parent?  

Well, I do!  He is just and fair and guess what?   He has no favorites among His children. He loves each one, unconditionally and unwaveringly. He forgives completely.  He gives new grace and mercy every morning. His plans are perfect and unique for each of His children. He never, ever blesses one at the expense of another.  He knows and calls each one by name.  And the best news is He knows my name.  Does He know yours?

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