Parents Just Don’t Understand

I have been thinking a lot lately about my failures and successes as a dad.  Unfortunately I feel like my failures outweigh the successes, but regret never helped a thing, so I am trying to learn and go forward.  And with a sermon I have to give this weekend on parenting, I have really been seeking ways to grow and improve.  There are so many places you can take a blog post about parenting.  I want to share some things that I really hope my kids understand are true about what is in my heart and actions for them, some things that are important and are often not said out loud.

  • I pray for you – I want my children to know that I talk to God about them, for them and over them.  I pray not just for their safety or success, but their purity, character, future ministry, struggles, hurts and dreams.  I seek God on their behalf regularly.
  • I am proud of you – I am glad my kid are my kids, not because they are the fastest or the smartest, because in fact they are not.  But they are fearfully and wonderfully made, and I love them not because of what they do, but because they are mine.  I am thankful God gave them to me, and I am not embarrassed by them.
  • I am ok with your faith doubts – As my kids age and wrestle with doubts and questions about the faith that my wife and I are intentionally trying to instill in them, I want them to know they have permission to ask anything.  To question anything.  Their doubts will not make us doubt them.
  • I am making mistakes – I am aware that I am getting certain things wrong sometimes.  I raise my voice.  I say no when I should have said yes.  I did not provide this or offer that.  I pushed too hard.  And so on.  But here is the thing:  I am doing the best I can, but they need to know I am completely connected to my failures and I want to apologize for those and ask for their forgiveness.  Parenting is hard and I am trying to best that I can, but I swing and miss sometimes.
  • I want what is best for you more than I want to be your friend – I want to be their friend, I do.  But I am not going to sacrifice what I believe is the right call at the expense of them liking me more or being my friend.  My goal is to raise a responsible, God-fearing adult, and this means making calls they do not understand or like. I hope someday they would say we were pals and we liked each other, but more than that, I want them to say I parented them to be a grown up with the right stuff inside.

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