Grace. We know it’s the benchmark of the Christian faith. We know it’s BY GRACE, THROUGH FAITH we are saved. We know it’s His GRACE that enables us to obey. We know GRACE carries us through each day. But I admit, I struggle with […]
I am a perfectionist by nature.
This is problematic as a parent for two reasons. First, I am NOT perfect. Second, my kids are NOT perfect. We are all broken people. And where our imperfections and brokenness meet, despair and doubt as a parent can be SO consuming.
“What am I doing wrong?”
“I’m just no good at being a mom.”
“If I were doing my job, they would listen better.”
“We aren’t saving for their college, we’re saving for their therapy.”
But then, if you’re looking for it, you get a glimpse of the truth about parenting.
It’s NOT ABOUT me. It’s all about THE GOSPEL.
This week, we had a situation with our 5 year old son caught in the act of lying. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering, but it was a blatant lie. I found myself questioning (ever-so-briefly) my identity as a parent: “Why does he feel the need to lie? Am I not a safe person? Am I doing something wrong? I don’t know how to deal with lying! If I do it wrong, will this be a pattern? I need to nip this in the bud! I’m such an inept mother!”
Whoooooooaa there, mama.
Without going into detail (though I’d love to share with you what transpired in a face to face conversation), I was so encouraged by what happened in this situation… but it was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING my husband or myself did. It was such an evident moment of watching the gospel work in our sons life. And while we know this won’t be the last time we deal with this particular issue in our children’s lives (far from it, I’m sure), we were so encouraged by the reminder that God cares for my children far more than I ever could, and HE is the pursuer of their hearts.
I was encouraged that afternoon when I heard Paul David Tripp as a guest on one of my favorite podcasts, God Centered Mom, as it reinforced exactly what God showed me through my son earlier that morning. I was reminded that our goal as parents who are also followers of Christ is NOT ultimately complete compliance to our rules and regulations. Yes, we want our children to walk in moral goodness and obedience, but our goal is not moral and compliant perfection.
Our goal is the gospel.
This is what Tripp said:
“My job as a parent is never anything more than being a tool in the hands of the One who can change my children. It is my Savior who bears the burden of the spiritual welfare of my children. He is in me, He is with me, He is for me.”
Further, in discussing what to do when a child shows their tendencies:
“God will expose the needs of your children to you so you can be a tool of their rescue and transformation. Grace is about asking the question, “what right now is God seeking to do in the heart of this child?” and being a part of it.”
I don’t know about you, but I find that so encouraging and hope-filled.
I encourage you to head over to The God Centered Mom Podcast and have a listen to episode 176. You WILL NOT regret it.