I’ve been a parent for just shy of ten years now. That’s not a very long time in the scope of life, but in the midst of the daily grind, it can feel like forever. When most of my day consists of catching the sippy cup before its contents paint the kitchen floor, playing referee, scooting everyone out the door on time, endless battles over technology, chasing my toddler who is playing hockey with my computer mouse, the battle is in full swing. This is parenting, and I voluntarily signed up for it multiple times, but the days can be long,
the struggle is real, and I am only at the beginning of my journey!
The dog days of parenting
Like everything else in life, I’m still trying to remember that there are seasons of parenting. Some of the days are fabulous and encouraging and I feel like an awesome parent, but many of the days are really hard and I finish the day exhausted, crying in bed, praying to Jesus that I didn’t do anything that day that would scar my children for life. I feel discouraged and angry with my words and actions during the day… and then the guilt sets in.
Trying to love my kids Like He loves me
Then, not by coincidence, I am reminded of the truth that I have a loving Heavenly Father who has an endless supply of grace and mercy for me, not only as a parent but also as a child, His child. Even though I mis-behave and throw tantrums, and make poor decisions exactly like my children do, Jesus abounds in grace and mercy for me AND for my children. His power and strength will be most evident when I am losing the battle. And that’s when I am given the opportunity to demonstrate humility and forgiveness towards my children.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 9-10
As much as I want to, I don’t always do a perfect job of loving my kids the way the Lord loves me. Therefore, I am eternally grateful for a God who offers forgiveness and patience and a promise to work all things for good, even my parenting failures.
So, if you too are in the thick of parenting, the path for how to love your kids and yourself starts with taking those thoughts of guilt and condemnation captive. Be encouraged by the Lord’s truth that His grace will cover all of our inadequacies and parenting mistakes. And I’ll try to remember the grace the Lord extends to me next time my middle child takes red nail polish to the bathroom floors!
Categories: Modeling Authenticity