10 March 2011

Perfect Parenting 101

As hard as I try to be a perfect parent to each of my children, I never measure up.
Each is different and has different needs.  I can't meet them all.
When I try I only fall short.  Every time.

I read a blog yesterday that reminded me and inspired me.  It took the weight off.

A short summary from my standpoint:

God doesn't call me to be a perfect parent.  He never did.  He only calls me to follow Him as my perfect parent and to point my children to the One who can parent them perfectly as well.

I've been committing to memory 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.  (The love chapter.  I chose it because I desire pure love in me, but also for its familiarity...giving me easy success will make me encouraged to memorize more, yes?)

The first three verses:

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor or surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

When I memorize, things start sinking in....

Like this:  No matter how gentle, fun, witty my words are in parenting, if I don't speak in love, I might as well be talking like Charlie Brown character "Wawa, wawa, wawa, wawa."

Like this:  No matter how much wisdom and insight I have into my children and why they do what they do, if I don't correct and train and lead in love, I'm better off going to reorganize my closet.

Like this:  No matter how much I believe in them and their potential, how much I encourage them, without love, it's nothing.

Like this: No matter how much I sacrifice to get my kids' fed, clothed, taught, having fun, enhancing their childhood, getting them to places (and on time), if I don't do it with love, it's nothing.

Nothing?  It's hard to understand how doing all those things could lead to nothing.

But the last verse of the chapter explains....Now these three remain, faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

If my influence is to last, it must be bathed always in love.