We’re ALL Messed Up

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.



7 thoughts on “We’re ALL Messed Up

  1. This is so beautiful and I am always prying that God will leave the happy moments in my children’s minds so much more than the ick. 😉 But I hope that if we show love, that will override the mistakes we make. What a beautiful gift. that statement and that kiss! Popping over from Better Blogs and I am so glad I did!


  2. Now that my kids are older (25 & 21) I can see some of the ways God brought good in all the mistakes I made as a young mother. He allow my kids to remember so much more of the good times than the bad.


    • Amy, I KNOW God will use their growing up years for His glory. We had many struggles, a few years ago. I’ve written about some of them here. The short story is one son with attachment issues that made life very difficult for a few years, hormone and thyroid imbalance that made me witchy for a few years (overlapping with son). I have a wonderful, wise husband that made up where I lacked. And yes, there were some good memories made during those years; fun family vacations, and general goofiness, but there was some ugly at our house for so long that I really wondered how they would not resent me as they grew up. I really do believe repentance was the key to my daughter being able to remember the good childhood she had.


  3. Christine, what a beautiful grace that your Hannah was able to see the joy in her childhood through those almost adult eyes! I had to laugh at your opening, too. I made the same promise. And have had the same results. Messing them up, only better and different. But for Grace.


    • Missy, I think EVERYONE makes those same promises. In fact, I remember telling my mother that I would NEVER do ______. (Joke was on me, I did and still do) Ahhh…the young and niave days. So thankful for older and wiser, looking forward to even more wisdom in the years ahead 🙂


  4. I love your opening: “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.”

    I have been thinking about this recently as my oldest flew the coop this past year. My children’s story has been much different than mine was. I have done some things right, but there are many things I’ve done wrong. I made different mistakes than my parents did. Now I can have more grace towards my parents. I see now that they did the best they could with what they knew and with what they had.

    Great post!


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