I am fortunate to have both of my earthly parents still living. As I look back over my life, I can honestly say that they were and still are “good parents,” but were they perfect? Did they make mistakes along the way? Sure they did! As a parent myself, I have tried to be a good parent, but I know for a fact that I have made mistakes. Is there such a thing as a “perfect earthly parent?” NO! How do I know this? I know this because there is no such thing as a “perfect person.” We are all flawed in some way and those flaws will reveal themselves in what we do and how we behave. If I’m being honest, one of my flaws was the need to be liked. As a parent, many times this flaw would come out in the way I treated my kids as a friend rather than being a parent. I would withhold discipline when it was warranted because I didn’t want them to not like me. By the time children, numbers two and three came along, I began to change my tune! I began to see that all those times when I was growing up and feeling like my parents were making mistake after mistake (because as a child or teenager, I knew better right?) those times were actually not mistakes at all. They were efforts made, although not executed perfectly at times, by loving parents. It is funny that we look at ourselves and think we are perfect parents; that we do things the right way, and it’s easy for us to point out the imperfections of other parents because they are not parenting like we are. But for earthly parents, there is no such thing as perfection.
There is, actually, a perfect parent in existence. It is this parent that we should look to as an example of how to parent. He is the Heavenly Father and he loves his children with a love that is unfathomable. He sings songs of joy over them! He protects and provides for them. When they stumble and fall, he is quick to pick them up and dust them off; setting them back on their own two feet and guiding them down the right path. His eyes are always on them and ready to intervene when needed. He disciplines them so their soul will prosper, grow, and mature; gaining wisdom. Sure, there are times when we feel he is making a mistake, but wait for him to show you what he is doing. Several years ago, after I had had two kids, I found myself pregnant with twins. My marriage was not in a good place at the time and truthfully, I believed it was about to end. I thought God had made a mistake giving me these two babies. I thought he mixed up my sister and me since she was the one who always wanted multiples. Many times I asked God, “What are you doing?” As I grew in my pregnancy, the motherly bond strengthened for these two littles, but when they were born prematurely and with health issues, I questioned again. I saw more parental “mistakes” being made by my Heavenly Father. Then when one of our twins stopped breathing, again I was quick to point out the mistake being made. Was I right? Did God make mistakes? He did not! First, both twins are alive and healthy young men, but it was never about their health, but about my heart as his child. The problem I had as a child of God back then was being a control freak. My Perfect Parent disciplined me in the only way he knew I would learn. He had to teach me to understand that I am not in control of anything. Learn I did! It was not easy or fun, but what discipline is? Unlike me, wanting to be friends with my kids, my Father rocked my boat so hard to get me to learn to let go and let Him be God in my life. Once I rested in His strong arms, my soul began to prosper. In His perfect ways, he began to bring healing to my marriage and set the example of how to parent those he loves before me. Just like our Heavenly Parent, sometimes we have to allow our kid’s boats to be rocked and even capsize in order to teach them the right ways of life. Sometimes we have to love hard. I can attest that those times often hurt us as parents just as much if not more, than it does our kids, but we must hold on knowing that the outcome; the right lesson learned will be good. Oh, how often I have wanted to step in and rescue my child when his/her boat was being turbulently rocked, but if I had done so, the lesson to be learned would have been undermined. Hebrews 12:6 tells us that “the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” I mean seriously, who as a parent, in their right mind, would allow their child to do something that would be harmful to themselves or someone else? Wouldn’t the parent discipline, correct, and train them so they can learn what is right out of love? YES! It is never fun to be disciplined by our Heavenly Father but it is a deep sign of his love for us. When God is allowing your boat to be rocked incessantly, ask him what it is that he is trying to teach you. Remind yourself that God never makes mistakes, but he does love hard. You now have a choice to respond to God in anger and resentment (like most teenagers do with their earthly parents) or you can accept his discipline gratefully, knowing it is out of deep love from a loving Father.
One day my parents will be gone and one day I will be gone from my kids, but our Heavenly Father will always be present; He will love me and my kids our whole life through. In our imperfection, we may falter today in what we do and think as parents, but the core truth is, we are so loved by our Heavenly Father and it is a perfect love from a perfect Parent. Scripture tells us “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:16). Having invited Jesus into your life as your Savior, you will never be parentless! You are and will always be His sweet child whom He lavishes His deep love on forever!