As the mother of two adult children, this month’s post on truth is a timely and intriguing one. My daughter Jessica came home last week for a short visit. We always have a great time together and when my son Durrell joins us, it often makes me think of those early days of parenting.
In my unrealistic quest to be “the best parent ever,” I held my children and myself to some really unrealistic expectations. Along the way, I realized these expectations were not because they were the right or best way, but more about how I thought it made me look to others.
Truth: Perfect parenting leaves no room for the power and grace of God. Instead, everything is about performance. When we aren’t perfect as parents, we have to create the illusion that our kids are. 2 Corinthians 4:7 reminds us that “we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” The point is that Christ’s power is demonstrated best through cracked pots. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Him and nobody would see Him shining through our cracks. So take heart—crackpots make the best parents.
The older our kids get, the more they see our imperfections. Eventually, our defects will be on full display and failing to admit our failures (especially when they are so obvious) only serves to drive a wedge between our kids and us. So, what’s the best way? Truth—with yourself, with your kids, and especially before God. (Ps.25:5; 86:11)
Truth: Parenting is hard, humorous, complicated, messy, heartbreaking, filled with peer pressure, yet one of the greatest joys in life.
I would like to think I was a great parent when my children were young; the truth is, I’m just glad we survived it all and I still have their love, friendship, and the occasional piece of great advice they offer for my own life. Today, as I look at their lives, I see my days of parenting in the flesh (“Do what I say because I’m your mother!”) are over because they are adults. Now, it’s time to parent them in the Spirit. Earnestly and consistently praying for them and trusting God to do what I cannot do and believing He will.