The Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Ken and I work hard to “train up” our boys. But, sometimes I wonder who is training whom? God has used my children to train me. I’ve learned a lot about myself – my failures, my issues. There’s something about raising kids that exposes problem areas in the parent.
No parent is perfect. As I look back on my 20 years of parenting, it’s easy for me to think about all the mistakes I have made. There were times when I was too harsh, too angry. My expectations were too high or too unrealistic. I have discovered over the years that anger doesn’t accomplish much – except to often make the situation worse. There have been other times where I was too lenient. Because I was tired, I didn’t correct my children like I should have. Or, I have said ‘yes’ to things and then later wondered, “What was I thinking?”
Both Ken and I have made mistakes on all degrees of the parental spectrum. But one thing that we have tried to do as parents is acknowledge when we’re wrong. We ask our kids to forgive us for stuff all the time. Instead of having a hard-fisted vice of authority, or instead of demanding respect, we try to model humility. We’re not perfect, but God loves us anyway. Our kids aren’t perfect and we love them anyway. And the Bible speaks truth. It says, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8