By Joey and Carla Link
April 27, 2022
Let’s be honest, do you ever feel like a parenting failure? Do you wonder if what you are doing is right in training your kids? Are you afraid of making a mistake, or that you are going to mess them up? Do you worry if you are too strict, or too lenient? Welcome to the parent panic club!
When our first child was born, I (Joey) was afraid to hold him. I was sure I was going to break him somehow. The nurse, who was a friend of Carla’s told me I had to get over it sooner than later and she put him in my arms and my whole world changed. I felt the weight of the world on me as I was now responsible for a little person.
Every parent fails many times in the 18 years they have to raise their kids. Since none of us are perfect, it is a good thing failure is the back door to success. That is assuming you are teachable and are able to learn from your mistakes. Our mistakes usually show up in our kids’ bad behavior, so learning from them is best all around.
This is where God’s grace comes in. Like God said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
When we don’t know what to do, God’s grace covers it. When we are unsure, God’s got it. When we mess up, God has our back as His power steps in.
To ignite God’s grace, we have to ask God what to do. That is the one thing He wants us to do, just ask. When we admit we don’t know what to do and we do ask God for wisdom, James 1:5 says:
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
When your kids are asking to do things you feel uncomfortable about, throw up a Peter prayer (when he was walking on the water). He asked God to help him as the disciples were on a boat and being tossed about by the waves and wind.
“But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Jesus tells us to be strong because we have come to Him for answers and He knows He has them. He also tells us not to be afraid, which is the opposite of trust. Jesus wants us to trust Him and we can do that when we throw fear and worry out the door.
Instead of trusting Jesus, Peter asked for the ridiculous and Jesus gave it to him. But instead of saying “Hallelujah!” Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked around him. When you pray and ask God for help, how often do you take your eyes off Him and look around you? Well, what he saw made him fearful. He obviously forgot who was standing right there in front of Him.
He cried out to Jesus asking Him to save him when he began to sink. Jesus reached out His hand immediately.
So, what in this passage tells you that Jesus won’t be there for you when you tell him you need Him? Where do you see that He takes His sweet time and makes you sweat it out? He does say we don’t have to worry, but we do so anyway. Why?
When your kids are frustrating you, instead of losing your temper one more time or giving in and letting them have their own way, ask God for what you are missing with your kids. Joey and I would do this. We would ask God to remove our blinders and help us to see what we were missing. What biblical principal are your kids violating that you are not seeing? How did their moral compass get turned upside down?
If it means you need to take a break from the kids to spend a few minutes with God to seek Him, put them in a safe spot (if they are too young to be left alone) with a snack and video and take 5-10 minutes for yourself and God. He will empower you. I (Carla) remember the time one of my kids was looking for me and was headed to my bedroom. One of my girls was sitting in the hall and told her brother to find me later because “I’m in trouble and Mom’s trying to find her happy heart with Jesus right now.” Indeed I was!
If you ever feel like you are failing, remember, as perfect as God is, He gave Adam and Eve the freedom of choice that brought sin into this world. We and our kids have that same freedom, and we need to help them learn to succeed through their failures too. When your failure kicks you out the front door, there is always a back door to revisit the problem and start over again.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.