I remember thinking in the not too distant past, “I won’t mess up my kids like my parents did.”
And I haven’t.
I’ve messed them up differently.
How can I not?
There is no such thing as a perfect parent. We have ALL have sinned (Romans 3:23).
My sins have looked different from my parents. I didn’t (and won’t ever) divorce. I didn’t (and won’t ever) give my 17-year-old free reign of the apartment with her boyfriend on prom night, I didn’t and won’t ever all the other things my parents did that “messed” me up.
No, I won’t do those things, but I have done just as bad, or worse!
As young adults,our intentions are admirable. We want better than what we had. But then we actually HAVE children, and we become a little older, and hopefully, a little wiser.
And we discover that we are human. We discover that we can’t be the perfect parents. Just like our parents, and their parents, and their parents….back to Adam and Eve.
If you think you can be a perfect parent, you are deceived.
If you think you are the perfect parent, you’re a liar.
Children aren’t the only little sinners (or big sinners) in the world.
We will raise our voice when we shouldn’t, we will be too strict, or too lenient, or too ________.
No matter how hard we try not to, we will. It’s human nature.
For myself, I was sick. I couldn’t help the way I behaved, but what I did was wrong, and it was sin.
I could have swept it under the rug. I could have made excuses, or ignored it and gone on with life. But I couldn’t! My children would have suffered greatly if I had done that. I had to be a responsible parent.
Fathers, (Parents) do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.(Col. 3:21)
If we do not take responsibility for our sin, we WILL provoke our children to anger, bitterness and hate.
I believe the key is repentance.
When we fail our children, when we mess them up, we MUST run to our Father first, and then to them and repent for our wrong doing. We MUST! If we don’t, it can breed ugliness…I’ve seen it happen with parents who don’t accept responsibility for their sin and who never repent for their wrongdoing. In fact, like all of you, I’ve been guilty of it at times myself. Of course, when this happens, the children have a choice to make. They can chose to be angry and bitter, and hold on to all the ugliness that happened to them as children; or, they can choose to have a forgiving attitude even if the parent never repents to them.
When we do repent, our children will forgive us, because they love us. If they are young, they will forgive because of their innocence, they will forgive as the Father has forgiven us. Our sins will be as far as the east is from the west in their minds. If they are older, depending on the extent of the sin, it may take some time, but they will forgive us because there’s nothing in the world a child wants more than to have a right relationship with their earthly parents.
The other night, I was taking Hannah (3 months shy of 18), to her “Much Ado About Nothing” rehearsal.
She made the statement,”I had a wonderful childhood”
It made me want to cry.
Because I remember how ugly I behaved when I was sick. How checked out of life I was at times. I don’t know how much of that she really remembers; but for her to say, “I had a wonderful childhood” seems amazing to me.
Before she got out of the car, she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.