Monday, March 18, 2013

When I Doubt My Parenting Skills

My latest contribution to ...

There are many, many, way too many times I realize I might not be the best father in the world …

- When my prayers at the end of the day ask for patience. And gentleness. And self-control …

- When Penny desperately wants to drink from the sippy cup that has been lying on the floor all day, and I give in, sighing, “I don’t even know what’s in here.”

- Similarly, when I let Penny down from her high chair and she grabs a handful of food off the floor that she dropped 15 minutes ago, and I don’t even make a move to stop her from eating it.

- When Cooper asks me to play with him in his room and I reply, “In a few minutes. First I have to check my Facebook messages.”

- When Penny is climbing the baker’s rack and my first thought is, “If she pulls that over those canisters on the shelf might break.”

- When I was writing the above, Darling Valerie comes in and removes a small piece from a toy castle that Penny had full in her mouth.

- When the last words I say to Cooper at night are, “Get in bed, stay in bed and if you get up to go the bedroom one more time I will take away every monster truck for a week.”

- When we get ready Sunday mornings and I at some point have to say, “We’re going to church and that’s that!”

- When I am at a place with other kids who are doing more advanced things and I say, “Why can’t our kid(s) do that?”

- When dinner takes an hour-and-a-half because Cooper isn’t getting down until he eats that last chicken nugget, for goodness’ sake.

Thankfully, God doesn’t expect us to be perfect or he wouldn’t have sent his Son to die on the cross for our constant sinning.

If I was perfect then I would be God, and nobody wants that.

When founder Steve Childress posted the mission statement he wrote that “There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ father, except our Heavenly Father who is perfect in every way. Fathers carry an amazing responsibility in their home, their places of work, and most importantly, the responsibility to be the spiritual leader to their wives and children. They do this knowing that they will never reach perfection.”

Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9 that it is “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

It is by grace that we raise our own children, as well. We love them unconditionally, so not cleaning their room isn’t going to keep them from enjoying your mercy, as our Heavenly Father promises us as ridiculously unworthy sinners.

So yes, He has already forgiven us, and thankfully even me when I teach my kids that certain bodily noises are hilarious.

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