Why Perfected Parenting is a Lie { And What Your Children Really Need}.

Our age is saturated in the lie that we can have perfect. Whether we are born with it, buy it, earn it or achieve it – all aspects of life are held up to the standard of perfection. It’s a lie we swallow hook, line and sinker without even knowing it. And though as parents we want to protect our children from these lies by monitoring what they read, watch, listen to or be involved in, it is impossible to completely keep our children pure. For one thing, children are not innocent {Psalm 51:5}. And for another, the enemy – who is the “father of all lies” – deceives all of us one way or another as he prowls around looking for people to devour {John 8:44}. Because we know that we can’t fully protect them from “out there”, we try to protect them “in here” – and one of those ways is being the perfect Christian parent.

And once again, we swallow a lie.

It is vital that we, as Christian parents, grasp this early on. And thank goodness I am still in this “early on” period! Aside from believing the lie that a parent must be perfect in order to grow sound, unhurt, woundless adults, I have also got myself into a hole of misery everytime I fail at this perfected parenting thing {which is a billion times a day, by the way}. When I make little mistakes, big mistakes – I honestly believe I am going to wound my children for life.

The thing that I am learning and oh, so, slowly is this:

My children will not benefit from a perfect mother. I want to be the perfect mother who never yells, who never gets frustrated, who never struggles with actually disliking aspects of her children {yes, hand up here}… But I won’t ever be her and, even if I was, what would my children gain from that? That would wound them because, when life stinks {which it will for them at times}, they will feel no sense of relation to me. How could they talk to a mother who never…?

Despite hating being imperfect and despising parts of me that are just so fallen, I am learning that my imperfections will raise my children’s hearts to the One who is perfect.

You see, when I show them sorrow, guilt and repentance for my mistakes and they see me at the feet of Jesus {even if only in spirit}, they will see gospel truth lived out in example. It won’t be pious, thinly-veiled religion. It will be as I always am – –

before the Lord with open hands and a rebellious heart.

Damaging my children terrifies me. Many aspects of my late-childhood and teenage years has deeply wounded me. I can see why I want to parent perfectly. I want the best for them. I want them to have full hearts, little baggage, life in their souls and no sense of shame, betrayal or yuckiness. But I am coming to accept that, in lots of little ways, I will hurt them more than I will in bigger ways. The difference I hope my children will experience is the true, open-Bible, gospel-truth of Jesus.

In my moments of great pain with my own parents, Jesus featured very little. Not all of Jesus, anyway. The perfect, holy Jesus was there – a part, separate from my circumstances and who would be just completely grossed out by what our family was going through. I knew he forgave and that I should forgive, but only the law and righteousness were in my heart.

Oh, may I not teach that in my own children.

May I willingly be an imperfect parent who shows them she desperately needs Jesus, whose love and grace and mercy lavish over us like soft velvet.

May I show them that, in my own weaknesses and faults, I love the Lord and need him to help me care for them.

Though I want to be perfect and never make mistakes and always love my children perfectly…I pray more so that a real, vital, living understanding of who Jesus is and what he is about is made clear to them because of my sin-stained, faltering parenting.

Living Real Life {And Why I Hopefully Won’t Have a Big Blog}

I’m constantly challenged to cut as many ties off with the internet as I can. I’ve already been off Facebook well over six months. I don’t have a Twitter account. Pinterest and Instagram are the only social media tools I use alongside blogging – and even that, I don’t “use” them to the fullest social media potential. And as for blogging – well, I’m haphazard, my site changes appearance when I have a whim to, and I have little interest in “putting myself out there” barring linking up when I can.

Don’t get me wrong, the temptation is there – just like it’s tempting to keep up with Jones’ in regards to housing, so it is with blogging. Beautiful sites, viral content, gospel influence – it’s all right there, at my fingertips. If the devil showed me all the possible outreach and opportunities that could be mine like he did Jesus, I wouldn’t deny him as wonderfully has Jesus did. If he showed me how much money and the perks that come with being a big blogger that could be mine, I would work harder and spend more hours into this blog of mine.

livingreallife

My heart isn’t fully bad. Yes, there are desires lurking in the shadows of my heart that would come out with a mighty roar if the opportunity presented itself. But there is also genuineness – a great desire to love the Lord, to point women to him and the amazing life that he presents to them in their roles as wife and mother. I want women to know that this life of sacrifice is good. Oh so good.

But something stops me. Something – and not just knowledge of my weaknesses – stops me from working harder to spread this message. Do you know what it is?

Life.

This one life. This one opportunity to love my husband as best as I can. This one chance to love my kids with all I can give.

Just one life.

Our days speed by. We’re up at six and, before we know it, it’s lunch, then dinner prep, then bedtime and another day has gone by as I head to bed. Where does this time go? Is there a fathomless bucket where God pours these moments into? Do they just disappear, never to be remembered or played over again – not even in Heaven?

Time, like grass, withers and fades. But what stands forever? God’s word.

“The grass withers, the flowers fade,

but the word of our God stands forever.” ~ Isaiah 40:8

I don’t want to miss my marriage. I don’t want to miss the presence of my husband, the lunchtime phone calls, the evenings enjoying shows on telly. I don’t want to miss the life in the eyes of my children. I don’t want to see their days go by while I sit at the computer doing my own thing. I don’t want to miss growth moments, learning moments, joyous moments, hard moments.

I want it all.

I’m not saying having a big blog is bad. Not at all. I follow a number that I just love, whose messages pour into my spirit. I just know that I can’t do it. I couldn’t work full-time with that and being a full-time wife and mother. Something would have to give in my life, and I don’t want it to be my children. I don’t want it to be my real life.

I love my mother. She loves the Lord and has done great things with children and refugees and has travelled with a special message of hope for those displaced by war, famine and unrest. She has loved the Lord well by sharing the light she has with those who need it.

But she missed some of our life. And we missed some of hers. Something always has to give. I vowed that my family would not be sacrifice.

So that’s why I won’t – God-willing – become a big blogger. I want real life. Because we only have it just the once. I want to live my quiet life, with my hands and love well. And on this blog, I hope to share in sporadic moments, this quiet life.