Ever have a bad day as a parent; or maybe a bad month or a bad year? Ever feel overwhelmed with discouragement? This happens sometimes.
I look back now at some of the huge failures that I had being a father. Through the gracious words of my wife or the disappointment or hurt in my children’s eyes I would feel the weight and the wreckage of trying to do things my way. I remember the times of demanding respect because I thought it was due me. I remember thinking that I was right so nothing else mattered. I remember and weep at how I failed my kids, my wife and my God. I remember thinking that there was no reason for encouragement.
But God, in mercy, was faithful to me in spite of my sin and failure. I remember reading James 3:17 one night and it seemed like it was the first time I had ever read that verse. God made me see that my sins would not keep me from his goodness. The words “open to reason” contained in that description of wisdom from above hit me with astounding force. Even though I had taught about parenting for years I had missed this key component.
My God used this portion of his Spirit’s sword show the power of the gospel to me. I realized that I could trust in wisdom from above to help me repair the damage my pride had done to those I loved most. I realized I needed to seek out and listen to my children who had now become teenagers. I realized that God could and would do immeasurably more that I could ask or imagine.
No, things didn’t change overnight, except for my heart. All the wrong thoughts and attitudes became clear all at once. I realized it had taken time for me to make the mess I had self-righteously constructed. I also realized that the powerful love of God would do it’s work in God’s good time.
If you have blown it as a parent and as a Christian take hope that God is not like you and me. When he sees me it is through the sacrifice of his Son on my behalf. God is faithful. I pray that God will use Paul’s words to bring hope to you as he has to me:
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…