I am an imperfect parent. As much as I try to be the best mom possible, I fail daily. I can be quick tempered, lazy, and selfish. I count it a good week if me and the kids get out of the house at least twice, all the rooms get cleaned one time, and everyone has clean clothes. It is difficult parenting in the world of social media where you see so much perfection behind the squares on your phone. You become discouraged because of the perfectly clean homes you see with siblings not fighting and the kids doing awesome activities every day. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it all in a day without passing out by 9pm each night! It is also so easy to compare yourself to these super moms and dads on social media.
We begin to sink into the sin of comparing ourselves to others and desiring for their life. We think if we could just be that good of a mom then…you can fill in the blank. The issue with this is we are basing our parenting and really our daily living based on other people (I might even add we base this off people we don’t even know). Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we sit and desire to please others in this manner? I think when we do this, we miss some important things about parenting.
First, we miss the fact that parenting is not about us or our status. In Genesis God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. In Deuteronomy 6 we are told the importance of parenting and raising up our children for the Lord. In Proverbs, we are provided wisdom on parenting and the importance of discipline. In Ephesians, we are reminded of the relationship between a parent and child. In all of the Bible verses that deal directly with the issue of parenting, none address the issues of a perfect house, skill activities, and play dates. While those things are great, they are not the meaning of parenting. Parenting according to the Bible, is to raise up your child in love and discipline, while continually teaching them about God and the gospel. We don’t leave this job for the Sunday school and Awana teachers at church. No, this is our task as parents. God called us to this task, while the church comes along side to help you where needed.
Second, imperfect parenting reminds me daily of my need for Jesus. When I fail each day as a parent, I am reminded of the fact that I cannot do this task alone. It reminds me why I, the mom, needs Jesus and the reminder of the gospel each and every day. I cannot do anything apart from Christ, this includes the biggest job God has graced me with. I cannot parent without Him, because if I do, I am quick tempered, I lack grace, I choose my selfish desires over my kids, and I complain more than I should. If I wake up remembering the gospel and living a life of thankfulness towards God, it will be easier for me to show grace and patience to my kids, let go of my “needs” so that I may serve them, and choose gratefulness over emptiness. If I take time to sing the catechism songs with Sawyer or we read a “Jesus” story it isn’t just teaching her; it’s also reminding me too of the goodness found in Jesus. I need Jesus just as much as my kids do.
Third, my imperfect parenting can glorify Christ. I can glorify Christ while I stumble through parenting each week. We are created to glorify God. Therefore, parenting must be done for the glory of God as well. You might ask, ‘’how is my crazy hectic days glorifying Christ?’’ I would venture to say it can if you are continually giving God the honor He deserves each and every day. Josh told me one time how he is filled with amazement every morning that God wakes him, me, and the kids. Every day that we wake up, God grants us with another day to live, and because of this we should glorify Him for the blessing of life. So, each day my kids wake up, I should be overjoyed and excited giving thanks to God because of the blessings I get to parent that day.
I fumble through parenting every day. Sawyer still pitches fits, Titus is a clingy baby, we make lots of messes, and break things at times. Sometimes my kids are in their pajamas all day and sometimes they go a day without a bath. Sometimes I put them to bed earlier simply because mom is tired. I don’t feed my kids the most nutritious meal every night and sometimes if I can get Sawyer to eat one thing for dinner I count it a win. All of these things are minor details in comparison to the gospel of Jesus. I think I am at the place in parenting where I would rather my kid be in pajamas all day if I get to hear her sing a song about Jesus. I would rather her be a picky eater if it means she is able to sit there and talk to me about Moses. I, the imperfect mom am not going to define myself by what I see on social media. Rather, I want my parenting to be defined by Jesus and glorifying him daily.
Soli Deo Gloria
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