If you are a parent, I know you have had one of those days when everything seems to go wrong. You feel like an awful parent. Even if your children are grown and out of the house, you wonder if you did a good job and if their mistakes and failures are your fault. In case you were wondering, all parents fail at some point in time and if some of us were honest, we feel like we fail a lot. No parent is perfect and often times we feel like our failures overpower our successes. I want you to be encouraged today knowing that even Joseph and Mary made mistakes.
We find this in Luke 2:41-52. Their custom was to travel to Jerusalem every year at Passover, but on this particular trip the accidently left Jesus behind. On their way home, after a day’s travel, Joseph and Mary noticed that Jesus was no longer with them and they could not find him anywhere. (This almost sounds like a plot from the movie Home Alone) In fact, it tells us in verse 46 that it took three days for them to find him – put yourself in their shoes for just a moment. So, where was he? He was sitting in the temple, listening and asking questions. There are a lot of truths contained in this passage, but there is something I want you to notice. Joseph and Mary were not perfect parents, but they were the ones chosen by God for Jesus.
For those of you that have never misplaced a child, congratulations! However, there are other times you have been disappointed with your actions, worried about the future of your child, or wrongfully compared yourself to other parents either for justification or condemnation of your own actions. This does not just apply to those that have kids at home, but also those whose kids are grown. We have all made mistakes, and we all will make mistakes in the future. So what do we do about it? Acknowledge your mistakes, pray that God’s grace would cover them, and that his mercy would cover your child.
I want you to know one great truth as a parent: God loves your children more than you do. At first, you may find this offensive, but let it sink in and bring you comfort. Your desires for your child pale in comparison to His. Through prayer and seeking his will, his grace covers our mistakes. Wherever you are in life, surrender your family to God, for his purposes. Set aside the anxiety, worry, and comparison. You are not perfect, but you are the parent that God chose for your child. He knows your flaws and his grace is sufficient.
This post was published in The Monitor, the local newspaper for Naples, Texas on 4/14/16.