Parents, Show Yourself Some Grace
Becoming a parent is one of the most fulfilling, overwhelming and scary things you will ever do!
My favorite verse as a parent of babies, toddlers, preteens, teens and now young adults has always been James 1:5: “if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him.”
Let’s take a look at the different parts of this verse.
*The very first word is “If”. If?? I’m a parent. Of course I lack wisdom!
*You should ask God. How often do we remember to ask God for help when we are in the middle of a tantrum with a two-year-old or a sixteen-year-old? Or in those sleepless nights with a newborn? There are so many questions in those brand-new days as a first-time parent! Just a quick prayer of, “Lord, please help me to know what to do or say” will help you. Sometimes as a parent, we reach the end of our rope, and we don’t even know how to pray or have the strength to pray. There are other parents all around you who have been through what you are going through. Surround yourself with people who will support you and pray for you.
I recently heard about an autistic boy who, at age 16, had never slept through the night. His parents were exhausted.His grandmother shared with her friends who agreed to pray for that specific need.THAT NIGHT, he slept through the night! And continues to, thanks to the prayers of the faithful grandmothers.
*Gives generously. God does not give us just a little bit of wisdom. He gives generously. A lot. Abundant.
*Without finding fault. God does not judge you when you find yourself lacking wisdom. Why, then, do we judge ourselves? Keep your self-talk positive. “World’s worst mom”, #momfail or “I’m an idiot.” are not labels God will use for you, so you should not enter. When you make a mistake, and we all do, don’t beat yourself up. Apologize when needed and leave it in the past. Your identity is in Christ not in the mistakes you make.
Finally, remember that our kids have the freedom to make choices. It does hurt when they make poor choices. But, they still have free will. Give them tools to make good choices. Guide, direct., teach. But when they make a choice that hurts you, it does not mean you are a bad parent. Their mistakes are not your mistakes. Continue to use mistakes to learn for next time. And give yourself some grace. God does!
Jennifer has been married to Randy for over 27 years and is the mom of two mostly-grown kids, Kimberly & Nick. She loves Diet Coke, chocolate and the Seahawks. (#GoHawks!)