I’m going to confess some things. And I’m going to pray that after this confession CPS doesn’t show up at my front door step.
- I don’t spend even an hour a day in uninterrupted quality time with each of my children. OK, not even 15 minutes a day…
- My children do one sport. It’s the same one for all of them: basketball. My kids didn’t pick the sport. Bill and I did.
- We may never take our kids to Disney World.
- My girls don’t take dance lessons even though many of their friends do and even though my girls beg to take dance lessons. And just so you know, we have some mad dance parties in our house, so it’s not cuz we think dancing is a sin.
- We don’t eat organic. In fact, we love french fries. The processed and fast food kinds.
- Related to the one above, I don’t always include fruits or vegetables with every meal. Often starches overtake everything else.
- Sometimes we eat dinner on the couch while watching a movie (I’m noticing a food trend here).
- There have been times I’ve been at a store and have seen something that I thought one of my children might enjoy. I’ve bought it for him or her and not bought something for the siblings.
I wish you all could know how many hours I’ve lost sleep over the above statements and many others like them. This is not a joke, people, and I would bet many of you have fretted a comparable amount over similar decisions. According to the jury of my own heart, I often believe actions like these declare me guilty of bad parenting.
But why do I feel so guilty? As a Christian, doesn’t any condemnation I have flow from God’s perfection and my utter imperfection? Though I would never claim to be innocent on this charge of bad parenting, my guilt is not determined by parenting magazines & books, friends, newspapers, co-workers and neighbors, or my own opinions. That guilt I have is generated and false, not a result of repentance toward God but a social pressure to parent in such and such a way. And that’s just bogus.
Instead, the standard by which I judge my parenting is from a totally different source. And it may not be the one you’re thinking. Because even in Christian circles, we have our own ways of making up parenting rules to feel guilty about just that—rules. And Jesus died to set us free because we can’t follow the rules. That’s why I truly am guilty of being a bad parent and so much more. That’s why we need a savior.
On Friday, that’s where Bill will pick up this theme.