If only parenting the “right” way could make sure our children would always make right choices and would always love God and want to serve Him. But our children’s lives are not held together for good or bad based on our parenting choices. How we raise them influences them in a huge, huge way both for good and, sadly, at times for bad, but they are beautifully unique and individual people who ultimately make their own choices in life. And they won’t always make the same decisions and choices in life we think they should make. Sometimes that means they will make mistakes that they can learn from, and other times it simply will be just that: a different decision than we would have made, but one that was a fine decision for them to have made.
The idea of them making mistakes that could hurt them or others around them can be so scary. But we are human, and knowing how humans are (being humans ourselves!), we can know that they will make mistakes. Making mistakes is normal and often how we learn important things. Life is messy, and by God’s grace and mercy, messy is okay.
These words said by a wise mama named katiekind a couple years ago really spoke to me: “If it were possible to raise children to perfection, then God would have sent a parenting method, not Jesus.” Our parenting, no matter how hard we try, no matter how “right” we do it, no matter how much love and grace we put into it, cannot save our children, cannot protect them from making mistakes, cannot make them perfect. Jesus never meant for us to carry the burden of trying to raise perfect children, or for us to think that we have that much power and control.
We parents need Jesus just as much as our children do. Even though we make many mistakes along the way, we must keep plugging along, trying our utmost to model God’s love and grace to our children, to let His love flow through us, pointing our children to Jesus, trusting that God will use our meager offerings for His own glory and to show His love to our children. I am so thankful that even with as much as I love my children and would give my life for them, my dear Savior amazingly loves them so much more and has given His life for them. I would place my hope and trust in my gracious Savior over my parenting (that’s for sure!) or any parenting method any day.