I had a fight with my daughter the other night. She was sure I was being unfair. I was sure she was overreacting. She cried. I got frustrated. She went to her room. I wondered, “Am I doing this all wrong? How am I messing this up so bad? What kind of a parent am I? What is she going to think about me when she grows up?”
My son blurted out a word that, well, he didn’t hear from me. I tried not to react with shock and awe but I failed. The confusion in his eyes and the tears that came later when he told me he didn’t like it when I got mad at him broke my heart. “Why didn’t I handle that better? What is he going to remember about this? What kind of a parent am I?”
Here I am, a blogger about discipleship, a minister in a faith community, a student of ministry focused on children, youth and family, and … a mom who wonders every day, “Am I getting this right?”
I want the guarantee.
I want to know that if I do all the “right” things my kids are going to grow up to be lovers of God and lovers of others.
I want to know that I’ve equipped them with the tools to have healthy relationships, make wise decisions, and live lives of consequence. I want to make sure that with each interaction, I am pointing them to Christ and showing them love and creating space for them to be uniquely them.
But, oh, the moments, like the ones above, they happen and my heart clenches and I wonder, “What kind of parent am I?”
I’m an imperfect one. I’m not always going to get it right. And sometimes, even when I do get it right, it’s not going to matter because the right thing doesn’t always feel great to the child on the receiving end.
And there are no guarantees, except the only one that matters.
That God loves these children more than me.
That He is perfect.
That He is big enough to reveal Himself to them in spite or maybe even because of my failings.
That eventually, it won’t be me who decides for them what their faith will look like… it will be between the two of them.
And that is my guarantee.
That while I (and my husband) do have the greatest influence on them and that it is our great responsibility and joy to raise them by loving God and loving others in front of them and giving them the opportunity to meet God through His body, His creation, His Word and this family, ultimately, the only guarantee we have is that God will never stop pursuing them and loving them and never failing them.
We are called to “impress these things” upon the hearts of our children, the things of God, the things of our faith.
We are called to talk about them when we sit at home and when we walk along the road, when we rise and when we lie down.
We are called to “praise” God’s works and declare His might acts to generations to come.
We are called to love our children and not provoke them and we are called blessed if we have the chance to serve as parents to the next generation.
We are not called to be perfect.
We are called to be parents.
So, by the grace of God, let us live a life worthy of the calling we’ve received and rest in the guarantee that our God loves our children infinitely more than we can imagine and He will pursue their hearts.
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- Seminars, Workshops, Coaching
About this Blog
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and church planter at Plowshares BIC. With years of experience in family ministry and children’s ministry, she is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, ChurchLeaders.com, and Seedbed
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