The cliché, “Hindsight is 20/20,” rings true today. As I reflect on the flawed mothering of my now grown children, I am grateful that God entrusted them to my husband and me. We did some things right and a host of things wrong. We worried too much about superfluous issues that felt so weighty; in retrospect, they were insignificant. It was by far the most rewarding, yet hardest job I have ever done in my life. There is undue pressure to raise “perfect” kids in this crazy, competitive, fast-paced world. But, looking back, what I believe kids need most are roots grounded in love and wings held up by grace.
We are the first image bearers and vessels of God’s extravagant unconditional love. Children interpret God’s love through the lens of our expressed love. Well loved children have a better chance of rooting their hearts and lives deep in His love. It can become the bedrock of their existences and the foundation of their perspectives. They live loved…
The walls of a home created in love are far from perfect, this I know well. Love can be hard and messy. Yet, home should be a refuge from the harsh bitter winds of the world—a place for connection and rest for the heart. Safe unconditional love provides the fertile ground for a trusting child to flourish.
Living life takes practice. Kids will have missteps and mistakes, especially as they begin to spread their wings toward independence. My kids saw our tears, and we openly expressed our hurt concerning wrong choices. In my humble opinion, guidance or discipline are better received through the safety net of grace. Boundaries and consequences are paramount, but drawing our children in closer and speaking life into them is equally as important. Every child is unique and every situation begs the wisdom of God. Parental grace gives kids the courage to pick themselves up, try again, and accept God’s invitation for a divine do-over.
Wings held up by grace, empowers. Maybe it relieves some of the fear of failure. It certainly can encourage kids to bravely seek the unique life path God has determined for their lives. Grace-rich kids may more easily extend God’s grace to others.
Friends, as we ponder our parenting, we must extend grace to ourselves; we are all flawed and we will make mistakes. Our very best efforts will never be perfectly accomplished or expressed. This has been the source of my deepest regrets.
We are guaranteed no outcomes. Eventually, adult children must steward their own lives, choices, and nurture their own faith. This has been the place of my greatest anxiety.
But, I am learning that God can be trusted and is committed to the redemption of my mistakes, and to the redemptive completion of the stories of my kids’ lives. He is always working. Friend, that is true for you, too.
Word of the Day:
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may, have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep in the love of Christ, and to know the love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Father God, thank you for trusting us to raise Your children and prepare them for life. Grant us the wisdom to give them roots that are grounded in love and wings that are held up in grace. Help us to pass on an eternal legacy of faith. Give us mercy and grace for our mistakes. Amen
Author: Maryanne Abbate