Some of our attempts at parenting fail. We make mistakes. Our kids make mistakes. God is the only perfect parent. Hopefully we can ask God to forgive us of those mistakes and learn from them. Every child is different and our parenting strategies don’t always work on each child the same even when they are from the same family. Parents come to realize what they tried on their first child doesn’t work on the ones that came after. Each one brings a different parenting adventure. Sometimes the older child suffers because the parents have a lack of experience. The parents often don’t realize what is ahead. It seems the parents get them through the baby years and things seem to get easier, then we realize the teen years can be more demanding than those baby/toddler years. It is easier to protect them when they are small. As they grow and begin to take on the world we still try to protect our children from harm that they can come into contact with in the world. We want them to make decisions that will benefit them. When they go against our wishes, they often suffer consequences because they insist on doing what they want even if deep down they know it could harm them. When they feel judgment fall on them because they know they went against their parent’s wishes, the burden gets heavy.
God can lift that burden in the process of forgiveness. We have all sinned and sin causes a heaviness that can only be removed by seeking forgiveness from our Heavenly Father and from those we sinned against. We are not always forgiven by those that we sin against. We can still be sorry for our part and pray for them that they will someday come to forgive us. Those that don’t forgive also will not be forgiven. Read Mark 11:25. How many times do we forgive our children? We continue to forgive them because nothing they do will cause us to love them any less just as nothing we do will cause Our Father in Heaven to love us any less. He continues to forgive but He does ask that we come to Him and ask for forgiveness.
When we try to get our children to do what is right, we try to teach them what is right and true. When doing this we often cause them to feel judgment. That is not what we intend to do. We want to have a relationship and be able to share truth that helps the individuals and the relationship to grow. This can only happen when those involved can come to the terms that none of us are perfect and this life is a process of learning and forgiving. It is a life of relationships that can hinder or help, that can make life bitter or sweet.
God teaches us as much if not more from our parenting experiences as we ever learn as a child. As much grief as we feel sometimes as parents, it does not even compare to the grief we cause our Heavenly Father. He blesses those that honor their father and mother because we are to honor Him as our Heavenly Father. When we learn to honor our earthly mother and father, we are in the process of learning to honor our Heavenly Father. There is a promise that comes with the commandment to honor our mother and father. Read Deuteronomy 5:16. Once we are adults, this command still applies. Honor and obey are different and they take on a new meaning when we become adults. The important thing is our relationship with our Heavenly Father. When people have a right relationship with their Heavenly Father then other relationships with other people can prosper.
No matter where we fail or what we go through, God will not waste our experiences. God can use all that we go through for our betterment and His glory. We just need to trust in Him to do His work. Amen!
25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Mark 11:25 NIV
16 Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. Deuteronomy 5:16 AMP