Writing a Christian parenting blog isn’t easy. There is the burden of helping young Christian parents be as effective as possible in giving their children strong spiritual foundations and helping them develop to their full godly potential. Then there are parents whom you want to reach who are actually harming their kids in some way out of their naïveté. That all must be balanced with the realization that there are some days or even seasons in parenting that are a true struggle for survival.
On those bad days or during those tough seasons, you don’t want or even need to be reminded of what you aren’t doing. You are already well aware that you will be thankful if you all just survive – forget about thriving or growing through the events. Sadly, there is a subset of parents who are having perfectly normal days who have convinced themselves they are too burdened to Christian parent. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t counsel you to examine the situation and see if it can’t be improved by making different choices.
If not, I want to encourage you by reminding you that it’s okay to let almost everything slide on those days when everyone is violently ill with a stomach bug or one of your kids is in the hospital for a time. Or those days when it seems like everything important you touch breaks and there’s no money or time to figure it out that day. God knows your situation. He knows your heart. He loves you and your children dearly. He understands you will make mistakes and even sin. He wants to forgive you, if you will only ask.
More importantly, God has put people in your life to help you through these tough times. His people. Christians who want to love and help you. You may not be seeing them in your exhaustion, but they are there. Ask for help. Pray. Listen to godly wisdom. Read the Psalms for comfort and for reassurance that God wants you to pray your emotions to Him.
Your kids are resilient to a point. They love you and most of the time, they know you love them. An apology and a hug go a long way. Taking a break from the stress just to do something that will make you all laugh is good for the mind, body and soul. Praying together can be healing. Your kids want to forgive you. They want to be close to you. They love you – even if they don’t always act like it.
No mom or dad is perfect, but we can all learn and grow. Perfection may not be attainable, but doing our best is within reach. What that “best” looks like may vary from day to day, but we should never be proud of our parenting mistakes. Don’t live a life of making excuses to get out of doing the hard work Christian parenting takes. Laugh at your mistakes if they are silly. Apologize for them if they are serious. But keeping trying to be a more effective, more godly parent. Your kids desperately need you to parent them towards God as many days and in as many ways as possible. You can do it!