Every parent has been here before. It’s the moment that you think will define the rest of their entire lives. It’s a monumental character building moment in their life that you simply cannot get wrong, and you’re wrestling with the fear of getting it wrong.
- Your two year old looks you in the eyes and says “NO!”
- Your teenager told you she’d be home by 9:30pm (which is the curfew time you set) yet for some reason you’re still awake, worried sick because it’s 9:42pm.
- Your tween constantly gives you grief about the chores that you give them, and they’re very vocal and whiny about their forced child labor (and have even threatened to call a lawyer!).
- Your senior in high school is about to graduate and has checked out of all responsiblities they have around the home.
Whatever the situation is, it’s time to intervene (and intervene you should!), and you’ve been contemplating exactly how to handle it. It’s the how that has you all jacked up and you can’t even think straight! Can I share a brief word with you? Relax. Take a deep breath and just relax. Whatever your response to the situation will be, I can guarantee this; it won’t be perfect. You’ll say some things that you wish you could take back, or re-word, or wish you would have said but failed to do.
But How could you possibly tell me to relax with such a monumental conversation coming my way? Because the gospel reminds us that it is only by God’s grace we can rest in his ability to raise our children better than we can. Our attempt at being the world’s best parent will ultimately fail us. Why? Because we’ll fail. Because we fall short. Because perfection has become an idol in our parenting abilities. God doesn’t want you to be a perfect parent, he wants you to rest perfectly in his grace.
Point your children to Christ. Point them towards grace. Discipline them accordingly. Don’t withhold the rod from them. But rest in knowing that it is by grace you have been saved, and it is by grace that you will carry out the role of being a parent.
Abandon your attempt at perfection, surrender to grace.