“Could you remove the imperfections?”
For two years I worked at a publishing company as a Digital Photo Artist. That meant the editors and photographers would bring me pictures that needed to be perfected. It was my job to take their work and make it look just right.
When the magazines were published, ultimately my supervisor and I were responsible if the photos looked bad.
Even if the photographer did a terrible job and provided photos that were blurry, too bright, or missing something the pressure was on us to sharpen the photo, adjust the lighting and Photoshop in the missing elements.
We were responsible to take care of the imperfections.
Isn’t that how it feels sometimes as a parent? It can feel like you are responsible for your Child’s imperfection. Parents are often afraid to allow their child to make mistakes, because it could reflect poorly on who they are as a parent.
When kids make mistakes, parents can easily begin thinking, “where did I go wrong?”
That question in itself is defeating and weighted.
You may want me to say, “no you did not do anything wrong, you are giving it your best effort.” However, Moms and Dads, the honest answer is that you and I mess up everyday. There is no such thing as a Perfect Parent.
The reality is that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The reality is that your kids will mess up and we will mess up. What is key is how we respond to this reality.
David both committed adultery by sleeping with one of his soldiers wives, Bathsheba, and committed murder by having the husband of Bathsheba killed.
Suddenly, our imperfect families sound a little more normal. But then how was David a man after own God’s heart?
In Psalm 51 David confessed his sin to God, he did not blame or make excuses, but owned his sin. He submitted himself to the Lord.
Like a dog chases after a cat, going after something simply means pursuing it. David was not perfect, but he pursued God in the middle of his imperfection.
How do we respond to the reality that our family is imperfect?
Families must pursue God in the middle of our imperfection.
First, It is not the parent’s job to be perfect, but to demonstrate to their kids how to confess in the middle of their imperfection.
Let’s learn learn to bring our confessions before both God and community, so that we might be forgiven and find healing.
Secondly, parents cannot expect their kids to be perfect. Mistakes are an important part of learning and growing. For kids to be secure their have to know that you will be there to support them through their success and through their failure.
It’s ok if your child messes up. What is more important than having kids who behave perfectly in the grocery store is having kids who confess and seek God even when they are not behaving.
It is not a question of whether or not your kids will make mistakes, but who they will feel safe talking to about them. You can begin creating a safe environment for your children to grow, when you are honest about your own faults. There is power in confessing our imperfections.
I want to challenge you. I want to challenge you to write out a confession about a time you were short with your child, a time you were impatient, or a time you were distracted.
First, confess that to God in prayer. Ask him for forgive and for wisdom in being a parent.
Secondly, confess to your child. Ask if you could have a moment with them, say that you want to apologize for something. Don’t blame. Don’t make excuses. Don’t rationalize. Own your mistake and begin creating a safe place for your child to confess and make mistakes.
It could be as simple as, “Hey, can I ask for forgiveness for something? Yesterday, I was impatient. I could have waited a minute longer for you to get to the car. I am sorry that I got mad at you. I should not have reacted like that. I love YOU! Will you forgive me?”
Share how it goes by commenting below or sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org