I don’t know about you, but before I became a parent, I thought I’d do it perfectly. I thought I would receive supernatural wisdom and aptitude for parenting when my first child was born. While God does give us some natural instinct, most of parenting wisdom comes from trial and error and on-the-job training, right?
Very quickly I realized that it’s not possible to be a perfect parent. It won’t ever be. I’m a sinner, saved by grace, who daily needs Jesus to live out my role as a mom. I mess up. I lose my patience and my temper sometimes. I need God’s grace, forgiveness, and strength to make it through each day.
I hate when I mess up and allow the worst parts of me to come out on my children. But here’s what I’ve learned over the years: my weaknesses and parenting mistakes are the perfect opportunity for me to show my kids the power of the Gospel and how we need it in our lives on a daily basis.
God gives us opportunities every day in our own homes to model our need for the Gospel. When I mess up, I make a point of apologizing to my kids and asking for their forgiveness. I remind them that I need Jesus too—every day and in every way! I try to include these three statements:
I’m a sinner and I need Jesus.
Will you forgive me?
In the New Testament, there are many verses that talk about God’s desire for unity within the church. The church also includes our families! Seeking unity often means working through conflict and the times we hurt one another. Confessing our sins to one another and forgiving one another are powerful ways we can live out our faith.
As we model being real, repentant, and forgiving, our kids are watching and learning. When mom and dad are honest about how much they need Jesus, not only for eternal salvation, but also in daily life, it reminds our kids of the powerful truth that Jesus is for all of us, every day.