First, let me say that I love my kids. They are each unique, wonderful individuals and I am so blessed to me their mama. That God would choose me….well, I can’t begin to understand His goodness in that department.
Having said that, these wonderful, unique individuals are also…little sinners (just like me, just like you.) One of the best pieces of parenting advice I received after our oldest was born was to always see her as a sinner. A sinner worth loving, a sinner worth saving, a sinner with a God-designed plan for life. But, a sinner, nonetheless. I think adopting that viewpoint from the beginning has helped prevent me from worshipping my children or placing unusually high expectations on them. It’s also helped me maintain a spiritual, eternal mindset as I mother them.
Anyway, twice in the last week I’ve been asked questions about parenting and both times, the other mothers mentioned something to the effect that my children are “perfect” or that I am mothering them “perfectly.” I laughed both times and was quick to tell them that two of my daughters lied to me in one day and I was so tired one night that I let the kids eat Funyuns, Skittles, peaches, and gummy worms for dinner. Really. I did.
It’s so easy to look at another family and think, “Wow. They really have it together. Their kids are well-behaved, their marriage is so solid.” And then we look at our own messy marriage or willful children and feel discouraged. We can feel like failures or feel as if there is no hope for things to improve. What we don’t see are the inward workings of others’ hearts.
But, God does. And He sees your heart, too. He knows your struggles, your mistakes, your challenges…and He sees the victory, the redemption, the peace on the other side.
No mother is perfect. No child is perfect. God gives us perfect gifts in one another and through one another. We can choose to be a good and perfectly pleasing gift, but we ourselves are not perfect and neither are our children.
So, back to my own children…I love them. Most days, I like them, too. They are far from perfect, highly entertaining, eternally rewarding, messy, difficult, energetic. And I am so blessed to know them!