The Imperfect Parent
I recently wrote an article for a writing assignment, “A Christian Parent’s Worst Nightmare.” While the article was based on a real life story, some of the details were not clear as I recalled the incident to write about it. When reading back over what I wrote, and thinking about that time in our lives, I realize we sure didn’t handle our daughter’s struggle with grace. (Why is hindsight always 20/20?). It grieves me.
I was aware at the time, we weren’t handling it well, but then to remember it now, puts a big stamp of “failure” on it, in my mind.
We are no longer full-time parents as in: the conditioning, training, coaching stage of life with our children. Our children are all grown up with lives and families of their own. So now, as I look back over those years, I see many failures in our parenting skills. Some I saw and knew about at the time, and didn’t take an intentional path to correct. Others, I simply did not see.
Sometimes my heart longs for a “do-over”. I wish I had been more attentive, more kind more understanding, more empathetic, more patient with the children. I wish I had prayed more and talked to “girlfriends less.” I wish I had been more intentional about daily telling them about Jesus, and not so much about, “what they could do and not do.” Yes, I have some regrets.
I think when we are young, we can be prideful and think we have it all together. I know that was me. I could not see it at that time.
In reality life is a process. All of us are in some stage of being shaped by the potter’s hand. No one, no one has it all figured out.
I am grateful that during the many years of my life as God has been shaping me, much like pottery on His potter’s wheel, he did not get so discouraged, or frustrated or lacking in understanding that he just “smashed” my potential to be a pot of noble use.
Father, we thank you for your grace, for your understanding and patience…..when we don’t get it. For all those new mothers, those mothers of many young ones, or mothers of teenagers that have days that make them feel like a failure. Draw them to you for times of rest and affirmation of your presence. Give them strength for the daily responsibilities and the decisions that are many. Help them draw on the wisdom of your word as they meet the needs of their families. Incline their hearts towards being intentional in teaching their children about you and your Son. Father, we give you all the praise and glory for your design of the family.