God is sovereign, even in our failures.
None of us are perfect parents. Sometimes there are teachings that make it sound like we can be, but that’s a lie. There is no magic formula that we can follow to make our children turn out perfectly. And this is true because of the simple fact that there just are no perfect people! Our children will turn out flawed, needing the redemptive work of Jesus in their lives, their minds, their hearts and their souls. And sometimes WE are a part of their lives that needs to be redeemed or healed.
OUCH! But have you ever noticed that we generally fluctuate between 2 places: believing we are doing everything right and believing we are doing everything wrong. What is with that? It’s the enemy messing with us. Either he wants us so smug in self-satisfaction that we don’t see our need for God’s redemptive work or he wants us so stuck in overwhelming feelings of condemnation that we don’t trust in the fulness of God’s power.
Keep deception and lies far from me,
Give me neither poverty nor riches;
Feed me with the food that is my portion,
That I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the LORD?”
Or that I not be in want and steal,
And profane the name of my God. Prov 30:8-9
How are we handling these two ends of the spectrum? We need to be bathing our lives in the life-giving Truth of the Word and walking in the power of His indwelling Spirit. And this is not a one-time deal. This is pursuing daily intimacy with Him. Asking for His Spirit to seek and cleanse our hearts, to reveal sin that we can confess and repent of. It is getting to the place where we are faster on the trigger of confession than the enemy is on condemning. And it is walking in the Truth of our identity in Christ.
What does our walking uprightly with God have to do with our children?
In a word: everything. We are the expression of a godly relationship to our children. We are the expression of grace to our children. We are the expression of God’s love, care, reproof and redemption to our children.
- Are we watching our children make mistakes in their lives?
- Are they technically adults but still young and foolish?
- Are they not accepting responsibility for their own sins and failures?
- Do they constantly blame us for their problems?
How can we help them walk beyond their fleshly responses (you know, those emotional, worldly thinking, sinful pleasure pursuits)? The first place is by living out the surrendered life of grace in our own lives. Extending grace to our children does not mean that we accept their bad choices or that we allow their worldly responses to control our home life. Sometimes love and grace force hard choices for our children, push them to make decisions on how they will act in our homes.
God loves our children more than we do.
This is one truth that has kept me sane on many occasions. I can listen to the lies and even let part of me agree with them. But then the Lord reminds me that His love for my children is greater than mine. And I can sigh and rest in His sovereignty. I can rest in knowing that, just as He uses ALL THINGS in my life to draw me closer to Him and to teach and train me, He is doing the very same thing with my children. And part of what He is using is MY weaknesses, MY sins, MY failures. He uses our relationship: the good, the bad and the ugly, to let His redemptive power transform them to the image of His Son, as they live in surrender to His love and will.
As you go through your day today, perhaps feeling frustrated or worried that you are ruining your children’s lives, remember that He is sovereign in their lives. Let His peace and forgiveness flow over you and fill you with the rest that brings hope and victory and joy. Trust your children into the hands of the One who loves them more than you do.
(image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net)