Imperfect Parents: Pastor Dave’s eNote
Categories: Pastor Dave's eNote
“Train up a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Here is the not so good news: God never promised you perfect parents. Here is the good news: God never promised your children perfect parents either. We are imperfect people and if we are parents, then we are imperfect parents. Tim Elmore, in a recent article identifies three mistakes we tend to make as parents. He states that we risk too little, rescue too early, and rave too easily. Guilty as charged.
When I was nine, eight, or even seven years of age, I would ride my bicycle through the city over Grand Island Bridge or down to Isle View Park, where I would sit along the Niagara River. Those of you, who have been to Honduras with us, have seen your share of machete wielding five year olds. In some cases the knife was longer than the kid! Yet in our culture, we don’t even let our kids stand at the bus stop by themselves. We insulate them from anything remotely risky. I have even seen kids at the mall tethered to their parents!
We rescue too early. Again, I am guilty as charged. How many times did I fill out applications, help too much with papers and projects, and even help them find jobs?My answer to this question is – too many times. I have huge regrets. We want our kids to be happy and we think that there is a correlation between ease of life and happiness in life. Elmore in the article tells the story of a college student who got a “C” on one of her papers. She called her mom and then handed the phone to her professor! I have talked with college professors from time to time and this happens all the time!
We rave too easily. I am partially guilty as charged. Of course, when Rachael and I were raising our kids there was no Twitter, no Facebook, and no social media. If our kids did something noteworthy, I could risk bragging among friends, but that was not always welcome. The other day, I was on Facebook and a parent had posted 16 photos of her child eating cereal. Apparently eating cheerios without getting any food on the table is a major accomplishment for a five year old. We’re out of control with this! In the real world taking calculated risks, working hard and achieving success is the MINIMUM expectation in life. If your 25 year old closes a sale, no one is posting the signed deal on Facebook. We know this and yet Elmore is right. We are too protective, too guarded, and a little too celebratory.
We’re imperfect parents wanting what’s best, but not knowing how to get there. The writer of Proverbs instructs us to “train up a child.” That is easier said than done! The truth is, we make mistakes, and we wish we could do things over.
Last Sunday in worship, I spoke a special word to fathers. This week, I want to share what God has put on my heart for imperfect parents like you and me. The great news is there is hope. God uses our imperfections for His glory. Our children were HIS children before they were entrusted to us. He has a plan, so come and experience the great grace that is ours in Jesus Christ. Let’s explore together a strategy for imperfect parents. I’ll see you Sunday, where a miracle in your life is just one word away.
Dr. David L. Davis